I remember very clearly the serious talk I had with my husband. We were in the shower and I was bawling.
I felt worthless; like I didn’t matter and had no purpose.
I was tired of pretending and playing this motherhood Pinterest game. I remember asking my husband, “Is this all God has in store for me?”
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely ADORE being a momma. Motherhood is the best gift that God has ever given me. I also love being a wife! It’s a privilege to be a wife to such an incredible man. However, there was something missing in my heart.
I was tired of looking up impossible recipes to impress other families. And, constantly cleaning my home for the possibility of guests did not give me joy. My heart did not sing with joy for baking extravagant desserts. Plus, I did not get excited when I found a new way to clean something.
(Quick back story about my personality: I am a learner; I strive on learning. Me being me, I also love school, homework, and anything that can educate myself. P.S. I am also an overachiever who is a big fan of A+ grades and perfection. My homework was always turned in a week before the due date and if it wasn’t, I would down-right panic. I had dedicated my life to music. I was traveling around the world with a very impressive choir. Also, I was one year away from graduating college with a piano pedagogy degree.)
All these feelings of worthlessness kept building and building.
That evening of my bawling was the evening where I literally exploded with a feeling of worthlessness.
It was during that evening that I was told that being a homemaker is not a job. I was told that I need to go get a job because I was adding extra stress to the family. I was told that I have it easy.
And you know what? They didn’t mean to hurt me with their words, they were only trying to help our low-income situation. But of course what they didn’t know is my guilt of not being happy with my homemaking/motherhood situation and my feeling of worthlessness. These people didn’t know that their words sent me in a spiral towards depression.
It was during my shower crying fest I decided it was time for me to find the purpose that God has called me to. I told my husband that I loved being a mommy BUT I have lost myself in this “perfect” image of what being a mother should look like. I lost myself in this endless fight of cooking, baking, cleaning, organizing, etc. Motherhood is hard but it shouldn’t be sucking my life away. I should be enjoying it and I should be soaking it up!
I had lost myself behind a pile of dirty burp rags and a garbage full of stinky diapers.
So, together my husband and I prayed for my heart that night and we prayed that I may find myself once again.
It didn’t happen overnight. If only prayer was an instant answer and a smack in the face! (haha) It was a gradual, slow, process and sometimes — most times — I didn’t even realize that God was working in me.
The first thing that happened was MOPS.
I began meeting other amazing mommas who had the EXACT same feelings as me! Many of these moms had a feeling that they had lost themselves and what they love. In fact, we watched one video on this exact topic! You can read more about my experience HERE.
The second thing that happened was Facebook.
I know, sounds weird! What happened was that I posted a picture of my hand painted gold and black toy shelf on Facebook and received many messages about partnering for a business and if I could make something similar for someone else.
I watched another momma (friend) find her passion.
That same winter I watched a friend from college who became extremely passionate about weight loss. She became a fitness coach — with a Christian emphasis — and started changing lives of other moms who wanted to lose weight. She even helped me lose weight!
Someone bought me a brand new sewing machine.
This gesture was HUGE to me. It was the first time in a long time that I felt like someone was interested in helping me thrive and understood what I was feeling during that stressful year. It was also the first time — in forever– that someone noticed a need of mine who wasn’t my husband and acted on it. Anyways, this sewing machine was my first true step to what I wanted to do with my life.
Long story short, I decided to start posting what God had laid on my heart to my blog for myself. Soon after, I began to update my blog. My goal was to make it feasible for other people to enjoy reading what I had to say as well. And now, I make enough money to pay for all my blogging expenses and it just keeps going uphill!
I read a book.
I know what you’re going to say… “Um congratulations, Tenesha. We all read books.” However, this book is special. This book is by a fabulous woman with an even more fabulous message! Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma’s Heart by Becky Thompson is a book that every mom of young children should read ASAP. Hope Unfolding is a very transparent, heart warming, and encouraging book that helps lift the “momma guilt” which I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with! This book changed the way I looked at motherhood and softened my heart towards myself.
So why am I telling you all of this?
I want you to know that you are NOT worthless! Whatever your situation is, God sees it and He is working in your life — whether you notice it or not.
But mainly, I want you to know that there is no such thing as a perfect homemaker/mom. No matter how many homemade meals you make, how many times you mop the floor, and what kind of food you have in your fridge; you will not feel 100% whole until you are also putting aside time to find yourself too. So take a walk, color, paint your house, or whatever it takes to make you feel like a person again (not just a feeding machine).
Pinterest is NOT what defines motherhood!
You can’t bake yourself to perfection and you cannot clean the grime off your heart. Jesus is the only one with the power to do these things! Jesus makes us whole and He is also the only one who can make our hearts new again.
Although each season of our lives are completely different from the next, sometimes God does call us to more than one purpose. Motherhood is a HUGE calling, one that we must commit to the rest of our lives, but God has also given us specific attributes and gifts that we are called to exercise at some point in our lives.
For me, it took a couple of misplaced comments and a whole lot of prayer to realize that there was something more I needed to be doing.
Finding yourself can be a daunting task! As a momma, it can feel like there is much to lose. I was worried about losing precious time with my baby, losing money to something I thought I would like, and letting myself get too distracted from my calling of being a wife and mother.
However, I believe that finding yourself is what helps a great mother become an excellent mother.
You are more secure in yourself, you are a more positive/happy person, and you are enjoying life! As a momma who is finding yourself, you are also teaching your child that they are more than their school work and extracurricular activities.
Finding yourself gives you an extra identity for your soul. Your first identity is through Christ and your other identities are through your children and husband (or hat’s, I should say). But, your soul is a separate identity from your responsibilities. In the process of finding yourself, you expose your passions and loves which you can use as stress relievers!
All I know is this: When I found what I loved to do, I smiled more. I also enjoyed my homemaking chores more. Plus — call me crazy– but I looked forward to waking up each day.
Alright, let me clear up one more thing.
Motherhood IS difficult.
Do not ever believe the lies of, “you’re just a homemaker.” And for goodness sake, if I learned ONE thing in my life, it’s to NEVER, EVER listen to the opinions about if I should be staying home with my children or working.
Unless God had specifically laid it on their heart, it’s not an opinion that should matter to them.
Staying home is a difficult choice in itself. It means that you are giving up a whole paycheck, part of your life/freedom, and so much more. It’s not an easy decision. However sometimes — but not all — God has called one of the parent’s to stay home. Maybe for only a season or maybe for their whole life. Either way, it’s what God has called you to do and I (personally) would rather listen to God than to someone who does not walk in your shoes.
Never feel guilty for staying home. You are giving your children a memory, experiences, and possibilities that they wouldn’t have before.
Never feel guilty for working. God has called you to that profession for a reason and your children are being taken care of.
In fact, just never let anyone make you feel guilty for the decisions you have made between you, your spouse, and God.
But if, just if, God is calling you to do something more… take the leap! I think you will be pleasantly surprised. After all, nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255