Register to get the latest post directly to your inbox!
The Title Mom is More Than Enough
I'm that mom who always dreamed of being a mother since as far back as I can remember. As a little girl, I had more dolls than made sense, but for me each one had a name and a place in my make-believe family. I sat endlessly daydreaming of one day having a family of my own.
I remember borrowing my mom's JCPenney and Sear's catalogs to cut out pictures of baby furniture and other house stuff so I could make little collages with the cutouts on construction paper. I would lay out these imaginary rooms and let my thoughts play endlessly. I now know that I was actually creating vision boards and didn't know it!
Obviously, the doll stage passed me by, but the desire to be a mother stayed. As I grew into a young woman that desire only grew stronger. It's funny, the things as a mother I sometimes take for granted now; are just the things I longed for as that childless young woman.
In my early twenties, I would long to be able to do my grocery shopping with a toddler sitting in that little seat that I now use for my purse because all too often I go shopping alone. For obvious reasons ...
For me, having children was always present in my desires until my dream finally came to pass and I had my first child. Aside from the not so pleasant side of the birthing experience; having a baby was everything I ever wanted. I was in love. I still am.
My daughter is now ten who was joined later by her sister who is now seven, and their brother who's almost two. Motherhood is wonderful, beautiful, brutal, dirty, exhausting, exhilarating, and inspiring all at the same time. There is nothing like it. And I honestly wouldn't trade it for anything else.
A Condition of the Heart
But no matter how strong my desire for motherhood always was, my heart was divided and I didn't even know it. Subtle seeds of insignificance had been planted in my heart all along the way. The insignificance of motherhood.
The value of motherhood is slowly eroding in our society. And no matter how much desire I had to become a mother; when the day finally came, I struggled to actually be a mother.
I always felt divided. Always choosing between my family and my work. When I left the corporate world while I was pregnant with my first baby; I went to work with my husband in our real estate company. I later would add a high-paced ministry position at my church to the mix.
All this "work" made me feel valued and important. While the work I did for my family felt less and less valuable and important. These thoughts and feelings were buried deep in my unconscious; ones that at the time I didn't even realize were there. I wasn't thinking these thoughts everyday, but they were certainly having an effect and were guiding my decisions.
I prided myself on all the ways I contributed in my work. Once a friend of mine made a simple comment about how she thought I stayed at home and didn't work. I came just short of jumping down her throat about all the work I had to do. I can look back and see my puffed up chest heaving in and out right now.
Meanwhile at home, I was absolutely in love with my husband and children but I was largely going through the motions. I was confused and overburdened. I would actually feel guilty for taking a break from "work" to fold laundry and play with the kids. Yes, I had issues! I'm free to laugh about them now, though.
This cycle continued until January of 2013 when God took me by the hand on a life changing journey. This journey helped to heal and change my heart toward who I am and who I was called to be. The process took over a year and is still going.
I believe all change, good or bad, takes place in the heart; and mine was in desperate need of help. I was up and down emotionally all the time. It was simply a result of my heart being divided.
I devalued the part of me that was one of the most valuable. Being a mother.
The Title Mom is More Than Enough
I remember as a teenager watching an Oprah episode featuring mothers. This was the early 90's so feminism was hot. It featured a group of mothers who were divided into two sections on opposite sides of the stage. Working moms on one side and stay-at-home moms on the other.
It was a real show-down. I remember wondering why these moms were so angry and took such pleasure in vilifying the other group. Especially, since they were both raising the children they loved - just doing it differently.
But I believe some seeds were planted in my heart that day and I picked up a few more along the way. The moms who chose to stay home were portrayed as old-fashioned, lacking in creativity, and maybe even a little lazy.
All by the working moms who claimed they chose to actually "use" their gifts and talents to contribute to the world. Meanwhile, the stay at home moms accused the working moms of being irresponsible and selfish by letting someone else raise their children.
I stood there that day believing the lie because I didn't want to be seen as old-fashioned, lacking in creativity, and lazy by the world. So over time, without realizing it, I put my work up on a pedestal. Every day measuring my personal value by it.
I never had anything against moms who chose to stay at home and raise their children full time, but it wasn't going to be me. I was a Work-From-Home-Mom. Can't you see me standing tall wearing my flowing mom cape?!
That title sounded so much better. So much more accomplished. And it provided the bonus of telling myself that my children were better off because I was at home with them.
Boy, was I wrong.
But before I go on. I want to be clear that I'm not talking about the stuff I was or wasn't doing on the outside. You know, my to-do list, my schedule, or my goal list. I'm talking about the condition of my heart.
If my main focus as a mother was about how I was viewed by others; I was truly doing a disservice to my family. It simply doesn't matter if we work outside the home, inside the home, or devote all our work towards our home and children. If we have misplaced values, we're doomed from the start.
As mothers we were created to value our
right privilege to be mothers. Raising children is the greatest calling on the planet. And we can't get by with giving only a portion of our heart toward it.
What I'm continuing to learn is just how magnificently beautiful the gem of motherhood is. It's priceless! I took the world's word for it and undervalued what I had. And I thank God that His loving grace showed me the truth.
And the first step on the path to truth is to lay our coveted titles down - stay-at-home, working mother, work-at-home mom. The title MOM is more than enough!
The truth is, these titles don't mean anything, really.
Mom. Mother. Mommy. Mum. They don't need any help or added credibility by adding anything to it. Mom is the most honorable title of all!
As women ... as mothers; we should be lifting each other up instead of pulling each other down.
Motherhood is an Occupation of the Heart
Motherhood has a whole lot less to do with what you do, but everything to do with what's in your heart.
And it can be done wonderfully and beautifully by a mother who's sacrificing her life on the battlefield in some remote part of the world as a soldier, by a mother who runs a company or her own business, or by the mother who devotes her full days to the running of her home and the raising of her children.
A mother who works outside or inside the home is not loving and nurturing her children less. No more than the mother who dedicates her life to the raising of her family isn't necessarily loving and nurturing her children more.
Motherhood is a mission of the heart. And our hearts work instinctively with the hearts of our children. If allowed to work unhindered.
I have chosen to finally give myself permission to be Mom.
To lay down guilt, the opinions of others, my doubts, my insecurities, and my fears.
What about you? Leave a comment and share how you feel about your role as a mother.
Since experiencing this change, I am happier and more fulfilled than any other time in my life. I can now see just how far off I was. And I'm grateful for a loving God who knows how to get me back on track. I thank Him for my sake and my family's.
They now have a mother who's heart is open, willing, and joyful.
I'm still working from home and now in the trenches of baby life all over again; so life can get gritty at times. But I have learned to edit my life and only include those things that God says should be there. And with His grace, I don't feel torn anymore. I certainly haven't "arrived" but I'm getting there.
What about you? Are you still torn? What do you think is holding you back from being free to be Mom?
Hi! I'm Brandi Michel and, not too long ago, I was that frazzled, tired, and overwhelmed mom. Having a family has ALWAYS been my dream, but when it happened - I didn't know how to actually enjoy my blessing of having a family.
That is, until I learned how to tap into a grace that allows me to live in the beautiful, mundane, and even sometimes crazy moments of life. To not just love and take care of my family but to be truly present and enjoy them, too. The goal of Family Felicity is to help you do the same!
LET'S STAY CONNECTED
Subscribe to be notified when new blog posts & products are released and get special offers right to your inbox!
*We Respect Your Privacy - We Will Not Sell, Rent Or Spam Your Email