Hi, I’m “Just” A Mom.

Rewind to 4 weeks ago.

We had just watched our friends get married and were now waiting in the reception area for our names to be called to dinner; simple chit chatting with people we weren’t too familiar with.

“So, what do you do?” My husband asks.

“Oh, I work as an engineer for building high end construction,” he replies. “And you guys?”

“I work as a project manager for building custom high end homes,” my husband said, then looked over at me.

Embarrassed and almost feeling unworthy, I stumble over my words and say, “I just stay at home with our son.”

Fast forward to today.

I’m sitting at my (well, my husband’s) Grandma’s table, eating some spaghetti she warmed up, as Andrew is on the floor playing with his daddy’s old micro-machines. “I thought of you when I read this,” she says as she hands me a clipping from a newspaper article.

As a summary, in the clipping, the article was insisting that we strive to make a difference in the world and we always give ourselves a hard time– as if we aren’t doing enough. It went on to suggest that even though our world may be small, we make a difference in our small world, and when our small world opens up to the bigger world, those people make a difference. So, in reality, we’ve really made quite a big difference.

Grandma looked at me and said, “You are doing the most important job in the whole world because Andrew will grow up and be a good person. You are also helping and making a difference in so many lives, even if you don’t realize it.”

She knows my struggle.

I often struggle with the whole, I am “just” a Mom, thing. I often feel like I am not doing enough, that I’m not making a big enough difference in the world like the others who have more “freedom” than I do.

As I reflect on those couple moments a few weeks back where I was almost ashamed to say that I “just” stayed at home with my son, I feel even more ashamed to have even felt that way in the first place.

Because the reality is this–

I am making a difference. I am raising my son to grow up, not as a mindless person walking this earth, but someone who is mindful. Mindful about the choices he will make. Mindful about the food he will eat. Mindful about the earth around him.

I need to stop being so hard on myself and realize that, although I may not have a college degree or a fancy job, what I am doing is bigger than anything in the world.

You know, I have always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. I am constantly searching for ways to satisfy this yearning of mine. Silly me, I simply just need to look at what is in front of me, you know, that little — but quickly growing — person who looks to me for everything, and at that point, I will find the answer…

I have always wanted something to challenge myself. Well, being a Mom is, by far, the hardest job I think I have ever — and will ever — experience. It has challenged me in ways I did not even know possible. It has knocked me down, lifted me up, taken me on a roller coaster ride that never ends and enabled me to do and endure things I did not know were possible.

This is not to say that being aware of this makes the task any easier. There are times where I feel like I need to accomplish things for myself to satisfy the yearning of making a difference; something that I can say I did simply for myself, to better myself. I need to put more focus in getting the quality ME time that I deserve so I can feel like I have done something for my own soul and not feel so hard on myself. However, the one thing that being aware does do is bring me back to my “roots.” It grounds me, reminds me that I do have purpose when I’m feeling low and enables me to take a deep breath and enjoy the very minimal time I have with my son in his younger years.

Although this is a reflection of how I feel, it is also a little reminder to all you “just” Mom’s out there who may feel you are not doing enough in this world.

Give yourself more credit than you do, girl.

YOU are creating a wonderfully earth-conscious being and that right there, is the most important and biggest thing to be a part of.

 

Do you have any struggles with this? How do you overcome them?

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About

Aside from being a wannabe backyard homesteader who wrangles chickens and free-range kids, Loriel is the owner/creator of the professional natural lifestyle blog Naturally Loriel, owner of the organic spice blend business Naturally Free, and freelance professional food photographer.


'Hi, I’m “Just” A Mom.' has 14 comments

  1. December 2, 2013 @ 10:34 am Sivan

    I think this blog is a huge part of your life. Next time say I stay home to take care of Andrew and blog to make a difference which you definitely do!

    Reply

  2. December 3, 2013 @ 8:57 am janine

    Being a mom is the greatest job in all the world. No one else is going to do that for your son. But as for fulfilling a need outside of you home. You are doing that here on this blog. You do that as you serve a neighbor or make a friend. I absolutely agree that it is the small things we do that make the biggest difference. And we may not be able to help every person on the planet, but for the ones we do help, it matters to them!! Way to go mom!

    Reply

  3. December 4, 2013 @ 2:36 am Stephanie @ Naturally Mindful

    Omg, Loriel, I got teary eyed. I struggled with this too. I’ve always said that I envy people working for Green Peace, or for some Non-Profit helping people struggling with basic needs…I just want to be part of something big, have an extraordinary life…but I am just a mom. I just stay home with my son. Even though, I run a blog, a go to school, I still feel like at the end of the day…I’m just not doing enough.

    And you have made a difference in my life already 🙂

    Reply

  4. December 4, 2013 @ 3:41 pm LittleOwlCrunchyMomma

    <3 this so much.

    Thanks.

    Needed the reminder today. 🙂

    Reply

  5. December 6, 2013 @ 2:03 pm damama55

    Oh, My ! ! I was just telling my beautiful oldest daughter the exact same thing. She was kind of feeling not fulfilled, I think, and I told her she is doing an awesome, beautiful job as a Mom. She is loving and caring and I am very proud of her, as my daughter and as a Mom and wife. She is beautiful from the inside out and I get teary eyed when I wonder how did I get so lucky. A Mom is a beautiful, wonderful person to be. Making happy memories for you children is soooo awesome. When you are able to be a stay at home Mom, you are teaching your children what you want them to learn, not putting them in day care where they are learning from someone else, their values. Know what I mean? A stay at home Mom, to me, is one of the nicest gifts you can give your children. I just wish I had done more for my children when they were growing up. One thing, I would have never had a TV in the house. It is such a time stealer and thereby, a memory stealer. But, I am rambling. Thank you for you and take pride in what you do. Big hugs and best wishes to you and your family.

    Reply

    • December 8, 2013 @ 4:34 pm Loriel @ Healthy Roots, Happy Soul

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, when stepping away from all the hectic-ness, it truly is one of the most amazing and important things you could do in the world. The hardest part is remembering that and living in the moment.

      Still working on it but I think every day is a step in the right direction. We recently lived with my inlaws for a few months and the TV was on all the time. Now, I am struggling with “detoxing” my son as he only wants to watch TV. Luckily, we don’t have any cable so it makes it that much less accessible, but still.

      Best wishes to you and your family, as well.

      Reply

  6. December 7, 2013 @ 1:01 pm Stacey

    I’m new, but I think it’s funny that this was the first post of yours I’ve read.

    I’m a SAH/homeschooling mom of four boys, ages 12,14,17,19–well the 19 year old is graduated now; but he lives at home yet.

    I’ve been a mom for the better part of the last two decades, and let me tell you: I still struggle with this every. day. Especially with people who know that I left a “good” job two years ago because I finally convinced my husband we could make it on his income alone. I had been there just shy of ten years, ever since my youngest was a baby. I still have people who make comments like, “Well the boys were all getting older. What was the use of you quitting your PT job NOW?”

    On bad days, when teenage hormones are running at an all-time high, everybody is grumpy and in need of sleep they don’t want to own up to, and I’m ready to send them all for time-outs, I wonder what in the world I was thinking. But then one of them does something…stupid and off the cuff, and I am laughing and enjoying the moment…and I remember that the reason I’m here is because I love them best of all…and where else could I be?

    I did ask all four of them (one sunless, horrible day) if they regretted me being home and whether they wouldn’t really rather be in school. To a man, they all said they’d never go back to sharing me with a job (even PT)…and if I tried to send them off to school, they’d run away and not come home.

    Being a mom is a tireless, thankless job….and we’re the only ones who can do it. *HUGS* Enjoy these years. They fly by so fast!

    Reply

    • December 8, 2013 @ 4:38 pm Loriel @ Healthy Roots, Happy Soul

      Welcome!! It’s never too late to do what you want in your life and if that means quitting your job and staying at home with your teenage children, then go for it! I think you should be proud for that even though I can only imagine how tough it may be.

      It truly is a tireless, thankless job but I can imagine when we are older and they have their own kids we can truly appreciate it and see how amazing being a mother really is.

      I’m doing my best to live each day in the moment and writing posts like this really helps me come down off the stress horse and take a deep breath.

      Reply

  7. December 19, 2013 @ 3:46 pm Jenn

    I totally needed to hear this! I am so glad someone pointed it out to you! You made a tremendous difference in our household! We love you and your beautiful little family!

    Reply

  8. May 13, 2014 @ 4:59 pm Kirk

    Right on. I am a stay-at-home dad and proud of it. Though, unless someone is close to me, I don’t think most people comprehend why and just assume I’m unemployed rather than that our family made a very conscious lifestyle decision not to outsource our child-rearing and to value time over money. Luckily, there are many rewarding parts about staying home and cooking real food for my family and doing other things to save money (like baking all our own bread, lacto-fermenting our comdiments, raising chickens and bees, gardening, making our own cleaners, etc). Not to mention building a very special relationship with my daughter that I believe will last a lifetime. It can be hectic and challenging when doing things the old-fashioned (aka labor-intensive) way, but I think my child will learn to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life and that’s really what it’s all about.

    Reply


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