Last fall I was really struggling in my role as mom. I had found out I was pregnant again just 5 months after having my 3rd son via c-section. I was not ready to be pregnant again with all the hormonal ups & downs, the fatigue, nausea, and every other wonderful symptom. My two older boys, ages 6 & 3, were constantly fighting. It seemed like no matter what, I couldn’t get them to play together or be nice to each other. I was constantly yelling and at the end of most days I was in tears, disappointed that I had treated my kids like that. My oldest boy, who is home-schooled, was also whining about doing school and how he hated it. Life was just exhausting & I got to the point where I dreaded getting out of bed.
I heard about this book last December, I don’t remember exactly where I heard about it, and it sounded like a book I needed to be reading. After the business of the holidays was done I finally decided to see if I could get a copy from my local library. Sure enough I was able to get a copy and I have been reading ever since. It is one of those books that you read a chapter and then you need a couple of days to think about what you read.
The author is Jill Savage and she runs a ministry called Hearts at Home. Before picking up this book I had never heard of this ministry. It is a ministry particularly for stay at home moms but all moms go to these events. It is a 2 day event but you can choose whether to go 1 day or both days.
Back to the book. The book is broken into 4 parts.
- Shifting Your Thinking
- Determine Your Strategy
- Tools of the Trade
- Establish Your Career Training and Development
In the first chapter she talks about the responses most moms give when they are asked by others “So, what do you do?”. I love how Jill says we need to respond “I am a wife and a mother, and I love my job!” I must admit, when people ask me what I do I cringe because after you tell them I am a stay at home mom its like this light goes off and the conversation is done. Jill puts it perfectly when she states, “It is as if the other person determines that you can’t possibly have much to offer to the conversation because you ar not educated or sharp enough to contribute. . . after all, you are “only” a mom – how hard can that be?” I have gotten comments like the ending of the precious statement before and I am truly offended by it. Its hard not to get angry at someone who is literally telling you you don’t have an important enough job or that you are lazy somehow staying home to raise your kids.
Our society today just doesn’t see staying at home with children as valuable. We have pushed our children to the side for our own passions and pleasures not realizing in doing so are we doing an injustice to the next generation, our grandkids. People wonder why children now are entitled, kill & bully. The list goes on and on. I believe our children act out because they crave, they need, that attention and if they can’t get it at home they will search else where to get it. Some children are just accessories to adults, like thats what you do after you get married or to achieve a certain status. Our society needs more parents who are involved and home with their kids.
I can personally say, since I have been at home with my children for 7 1/2 years now, that raising kids and managing a home is no easy task. It takes hard work, focus, LOTS of patience, and lots of love. Yes, there are days where I want to work outside the home but ultimately looking back I am so glad I have been at home with them. I have gotten to see all of my children’s firsts, be here when they fall (so I can pick them back up), tuck them in every night, make healthy meals, and help them become thriving, independent adults. I want them to look back at their childhood and know that they had a mom that was always there for them!
In the book Jill quotes a mother of eight, Holly Schurter, who wrote about making a home instead of keeping a house:
“Cultivate the skills, not only of housekeeping, but of making a home for your family. They are not always exactly the same. Housekeeping consists of the laundry, the dishes, the toilets, and floors that need to be scrubbed, but homemaking is something else. The difference between housekeeping and homemaking is the difference between a barren field and a lovely, fragrant garden. Homemaking is the deliberate cultivation of beauty and productivity in family relationships. Homemaking is about helping your family feel loved and comforted. Homemaking is about celebrating each other, and about caring for each other, as well as for your friends and extended families and even the occasional stranger. Anyone can keep a house. Not everyone bothers to make a home.”
This mother of 8 could not have said it better. I love this statement and it has truly helped me to look at my career as a mother in this season of life differently. Jill goes on to state about living on 1 income instead of 2 and looking at motherhood a professional career.
My husband and I have lived off 1 steady income for almost 8 years. What do I mean by that? What I mean is I have occasionally made craft items for people and sold them to give us extra money when needed but it has never been anything consistent. Last year was when we finally decided we wanted to make major headway on our financial goals so we started homesteading and my husband ventured off on his own to start his own company. Progress has been slow but we are getting better and the income opportunities are growing. The key, I think, to living on 1 income is to live as simply as possible. Over the years we have gotten rid of a lot of stuff. We save up for things we need and pay cash. My husband and I are always on the same page about our finances and any purchases over $100 are talked about before hand. We try very hard to be diligent with what we have and what we are given.
*(I hope to post later about our transition to living simpler and on 1 income)
Looking at motherhood as a professional career was a totally new concept to me but after thinking about it, it made perfect sense. With any other job career I would continue to learn and take classes to better myself for that career. Why not do the same with motherhood. Reading blogs from other stay at home moms, listening to motivation mom podcasts, and going to Hearts at Home conferences is how I am planning on bettering myself for my profession. On a side note I am unable to attend Jill’s conference this year but she has an option called Conference To Go, which you can buy if you cant make it to the conference. I purchased this option this year and can’t wait to get it. I will link the option above. One of my favorite podcasts to listen to each week is God Centered Mom Podcast. This podcast touches on a variety of topics and is encouraging and uplifting. Other podcasts I enjoy are Enjoying Life On a Budget, Focus On the Family, FamilyLife Today with Dennis Rainey, This is Your Life with Michael Hyatt, EntreLeadership and The Chalene Show.
At the end of every chapter Jill has a personal reflection section where she asks 3 questions regarding what she covered in this chapter. I am starting chapter 3 tonight and needless to say I am loving this book so far. It is truly changing the way I look at motherhood. I will continue to blog every couple of chapters of this book. I hope you found this post encouraging and insightful.
Have you read Professionalizing Motherhood by Jill Savage? If so, what inspired you to be a better mom. What part encouraged you the most? Have you ever attended at Hearts at Home conference?
Please leave questions or comments below and THANK YOU for stopping by!