Wednesday, July 29, 2015

More than "Just a Stay at Home Mom"

Today I was struggling with writing. I couldn't find anything I wanted to write about bad enough that the words just flowed out of my mind.  This happens from time to time and when that does there are a few things I do to get ideas.

  1. Read other blogs. Because reading other's ideas usually gets juices flowing. 
  2. Look on pinterest. Because, again, other's ideas help and can be tweaked to fit my blog.
  3. Look for inspiration around my house that remind me of the things I love and that I'm passionate about.
  4. Look at my notes on my phone. 

Today, I found a note on my phone that I had written during church several weeks ago. 

I'd been praying to know what I was doing wrong in my life to make these people be so rude towards me. And right there in the middle of the lesson that had nothing to do with this trial in my life, I got this answer in my heart, and I had to write it down.  

You probably noticed that the date on this was in April.  I had actually forgotten all about this note, all about the trial all together until now. When I needed a little blogging inspiration, there it was. I feel that was another tender mercy to me.

And I hope that sharing this will touch someone else's life in a way that they need it.  If you're being put down in anyway right now. If anyone is telling you that your choice to be a stay at home mom, or your choice not to finish college or anything else is wrong, remember that you are in charge of you. And you have a purpose. 

For me, this problem happens to be all about staying home with my kids right now. Clearly that's what I get the flack from others about. And after thinking and praying about that issue for weeks, and more, God reminded me that I'm more than "just a stay at home mom".  It might be my job right now. But that shouldn't give me a label saying that being a stay at home mom is the only thing I know how to do.

Who gives these labels anyway?  And why do they have the say in what our value as a person is?  I know that by being a stay at home mom, I'm shaping the future through my children.  By being a stay at home mom, I'm able to share my feelings, beliefs and anything else on this blog. And maybe by doing that I can help shape the future even more.

Just because I no longer work as a full time photographer, dental assistant, day care teacher, or marketing assistant doesn't mean I didn't take any of those lessons and traits with me when I quit.  I can use every one of those things in my daily life still. I take pictures of my kids, I know what a cavity looks like and I teach my kids good hygiene, I still have a "teacher look" once in a while that I have to use when the kids start getting into trouble and I use a lot of what I learned in marketing in this blog (and lets be honest, I use some of it to bribe my kids too).

I used to hate when people asked me what I did. As if being a mom isn't enough, I was expected to have a job on the side. I still don't love the question, mostly because I don't know what to say.  I'm a mom, a blogger, a photographer, runner, and anything else under the sun. It reminds me of a story about Ann Romney that Mitt Romney shared at the UVU commencement a couple of months ago.

Ann had been asked to speak in some meeting that included a lot of successful, powerful women (and men) attending. The other women were asked to speak about their jobs, and Ann was too. She was nervous because she had decided to be a stay at home mom instead of work full time and that made her feel slightly inadequate in comparison to these other ladies. When she got up to speak, she told the group that her job was a therapist, a nurse, a chef, a maid, a teacher, a councilor, (the list went on) all of these things because she was a mother.

Now let me make it very clear that I'm not against mom's working. I understand that it's a personal choice and it's not my business what you choose to do with your day. Just make sure that what ever you choose to do is making a difference, for the better, in the world today.

What I am against is people telling women that they are living the wrong way. whether they choose to stay home or choose to work. There is no happy medium, it seems. But here's a suggestion. Instead of tearing each other down we support each other in these kinds of decisions.

After all, it's not your decision on what I do, it's mine. And if I feel that I'm giving my best every day to do what I know is best for me and my family, what else matters?


  1. Thanks for sharing, Jenny. You should know I think very highly of you. In fact I've felt inadequate in comparison to you, with how good you are at cooking and cleaning and whatnot. You're great, and caring for kids is great. And we can relate to trying to find a good career fit. I'm just grateful Sam has a job at right now! That can be stressful enough, not even mentioning trying to figure out long term stuff.
    In an email a friend sent me about a year ago, she said something that really stuck with me. It was something like "I don't think everyone needs to go to school, but they do need to find their passion." You seem to have many of those, and that's plenty to be proud of.

    1. Oh Ariel! You are awesome. Thank you for reading and for telling me those things. You're a great person and I've always looked up to you. You're such a good momma. I wish you still lived in Provo so we could do more together.
      It's so nice to know that people get it. Because most of the time you hear from people who don't get being a mom and everything that comes with it. So thank you for your thoughts and thank you for being such a great friend and example to me.

  2. I'm a stay-at-home mom too and I don't think you should ever feel bad about that - if you're exhausted by the end of the day, it means it's a real job and you work hard! (if you're not exhausted by the end of the day, don't tell me. I don't want to know if I'm doing it wrong!)

    1. All I ever want to by dinner time is sit on the couch and watch a movie. Totally exauhsted by the end of the day for sure.

  3. Such a great post! I definitely learn from other bloggers and would have as many tools and resources if it weren't for them. I just hope it pays off in the future. Whenever you leave a job, the knowledge you take with you is priceless. It always helps you as a future mother, teacher, entrepreneur, friend and spouse. Love it!

    1. Thank you, and thanks for reading! I think that's one thing people forget about, that even though you've changed jobs or quit working, you still have that experience and knowledge. And you can still use it too.