The Battle Within: The Story of a Stay-at-Home Mom


The views and opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily represent the postings, strategies or opinions of the author and publishing company.


 I find this topic is the most difficult to pen yet liberating for me as it opens an opportunity to tell a story of a stay-at-home mother– the life of struggles and victory of someone whose desire is to serve, love, and take care of her own family on the principles she believes in even though she’ll be forgotten and ridicule by most in her inner circle and in the society.

To begin with, I wanted to ask this question to anyone who is reading this post right now,
What is the most important battle you ever fought in your life?

Some would say Love..

Others could say terminal illness…

death of loved ones…

a near-death experience…

divorce…

rejection…

loss of job, your home…

surmountable debt…

depression…

abuse of any form…

unhappy childhood…

and the list could go on and on…

If you my friend went through the same or a different kind of battle,  it makes me wanted to give each of you my very warm embrace and pat in the back for being  brave as a soldier. I want you to know that you’ve got my respect and love.

But as for me, the most important battle I ever fought in my life is becoming a stay-at-home mother.

While I’ve had my own share of stories  citing several of those in the list (in no particular order), staying-at-home with my husband and kids doesn’t come out naturally to me.

I love to earn and spend my own money. I was earning at the age of sixteen. My very first job was at a fast food restaurant. I worked in the office as an executive assistant. I also worked in the hospital as a record officer. I’ve worked various jobs  so to speak and earning money from my own hard work even if it isn’t  a six-digit salary entitles me to become  financially independent and some place in the society as an ’empowered’ individual.

So, what made me give up the corporate world and spend my life with my family at home?

Before I tell you my story, I want you to know that each of us has a unique situation at home or in our personal life, and any other factors that led mothers to work so they provide the needs of their family or loved ones.

I actually admire mothers who would lay down their lives for their children at all cost even if it makes their body split in half out of exhaustion. I can also guarantee that no mother would ever tell you that they would rather go to work than spend time with their children all day. If all mothers in all household would be presented with a good and stable economy, if all wives are blessed with a responsible husband that provides, if all marriages are wonderful and intact, if all members of the family are contented with what they have, all mothers would stay at home and will never miss a moment of their child’s life. All mothers would rather choose to make an impact to their children because they believe that what makes a good society are the well-established character of a child as he becomes a man.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since 2008. It wasn’t something that I planned or decided alone. My husband and I had a very long talk about it because as our family’s needs are growing, we both know we need to take a serious consideration to our finances. Keeping our faith with each other and faith to the One who provides,  we decided one parent must work and the other one should stay at home with the child.

Staying-at-home is like a marriage bliss that you get so excited to be with your loved one but nervous to the things that may come as you embark on this unknown journey. And just like a married couple that needs to make compromises and adjustment to make the love grows each day, I also felt  the need to learn to love everyday my new life of being a stay-at-home mom. My first few years staying home were like a honeymoon as I perform my daily task with grace and enthusiasm. I enjoyed reading a book while doing laundry. Then I patiently fold the laundry one by one, organizing them to each dressers and drawers which I will reorganize the next day that I visit them. The highlight of my daily living I could say is making a home-cooked meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I am no better cook than anyone in fact I didn’t know any full course meal to serve on my husband during the early months of us living together. Cooking for me back then was  like tossing whatever things you had in the chopping board then put it altogether in the pot. I didn’t think much of the pressure that my mother-in-law is very excellent in home cooking. My cooking skills now I confidently say is far better than it was before marriage.

I have learned over the years that serving meals to our family is the very soul of what it means to be a family.

A mother will undergo so much effort to buy in the market,prepare,cut into small pieces then cook a buttered or steamed vegetable before her children could swallow down their hated vegetables. A wife who has an incredible talent on stretching within the budget their one-week meal plan but still managed to get a pint size ice cream for the little ones. Even a meaningful and decent husband sometimes forget to ask how’s everything going on to the exhausted wife, yet the wife knows that a scrumptious dinner is not the only way to please her husband. And yet, after that very tiring day plus the dishes to deal with after meal time, the mother is beyond happy to take care of her family and she will never, ever stop doing the same routine as long as she lives.

I am not writing this to argue who is the better mother nor which decision is much greater. I admit that long ago that was my intention. I’ve been misjudged, ridiculed, belittled by some people in my life so imagine how defensive I was every time being asked ‘Why aren’t you working?’ I unconsciously let other people dictate my perspective by trying to keep up with the competition. I let these people clouded my self-worth. I let these people misaligned my divine purpose. I let their words broke through my very core that I was just lazy, unwise, and fool. I write this post just because I am proud of myself and of what I do. I am no longer waiting in the dark who is cheering on me or not for being a stay-at-home mom. I can see clearly now that God has laid a path on our lives differently than the others to avoid comparison.

I want to tell other moms to silence the voices in their head. You are not lazy just because you choose to work at  the laundry instead of working on your office promotion. You are not unwise just because you choose to master the art of cooking, folding clothes, cleaning up toys than creating a success that satisfies you by following your dreams.
You are not fool just because you believe that your undivided time and presence are the greatest gift you can give to your children, sacrificing the more comfortable life that money can bring to your family.

For a longest time I am fighting a silent battle because I chose to stay at home.  The criticisms I’ve heard are gut-wrenching even today I am asking God to help me forgive those people who knocked me off the ground. One of the most painful words I received was from my mother-in-law telling me that I was just making excuses and using my children for not working.  Another friend told me that she will never stop working because she doesn’t like to be a heavy burden to her husband. My ex-boss told me what if my job couldn’t keep up waiting for me to become available. I’ve never been continuously humiliated in my life. I had lost all my self-confidence as I experienced complete desolation. I’ve been acquainted with depression and anxiety, all the more reason for me to doubt my existence, my decisions, our marriage, even my faith.

I hated myself. I became self-critical. I became my own worst enemy.

That’s when I realized that stay-at-home mothers often don’t get the same respect, love, and understanding  they deserve while society honors working moms and put them on the pedestal. It has become epidemic that people places value among mothers without understanding that all mothers have the same amount of love for their family.

As I’m taking a high road on my healing and recovery, I turn to books to learn more about myself. I am fortunate to read the book The Stay-at-Home Mom by Donna Otto. She empowered me to be a better mother, to be gentle to myself, and has taught me that my affirmation and identity comes from the Lord. But like everything, this was a work in progress. I’ve come to acknowledge my self-worth even forgiving myself for being who I want to be and disappoints people who expects me to be otherwise.

At the end of the day. I’d still choose to stay-at-home while my children are still young. I understand that this is a crucial stage where children depends more of their emotional stability on their mothers alone. When the time comes both of my kids are done with junior high school, I am confident enough that they are ready to face the challenges of the world. I will watch them like a proud mother bird watches her baby bird take flight for the very first time.

Then it’s TIME for me to chase my dreams once again, because I learned there is a perfect time for everything. And it is God’s timing that’s why it is PERFECT…


Read the Best Parenting Quote from The Stay-at-Home Mom by Donna Otto

4 thoughts on “The Battle Within: The Story of a Stay-at-Home Mom

  1. KATE says:

    Hi, Lureta! Thank you!
    When I see other moms successful with what they do in profession of their choice, I can’t help but think, “I wish I could have been that person.” At some point in my mothering life I am wishing to be like someone else. I thought I’m doing these things for our family but I’m doing it for my own image all along. This is what I’ve learned while being humbled by God on how to take honor in my image from His eyes.
    Blessings to you too!

    Until then,
    Kate

  2. Lureta says:

    Lovely post Tammy. I was not a stay at home mom but I wish I could have been. I live my kids and my husband and I would have loved to serve them this way. I admire you for the choice you made, which I believe was and is the best choice. Both you and your family will be blessed for this.
    Blessings

  3. KATE says:

    Thank you Tammy! This is also for God’s glory. I hope He’s ALWAYS magnified with every decision that I make, big or small. Even though our family have to make some adjustment in finances, but God is ABLE and FAITHFUL EVER to provide us of what we need. That’s also my prayer for other brave moms who is or will be staying at home.

  4. Tammy says:

    Kate, I am HAPPY for you and your family, that you made this choice to be a stay at home mother !! This is lovely, thoughtful post, and it was wrong of people to put you down for your choice. Your family is blessed because you !!

    And to find the time to produce a blog to encourage and inform others………. You are amazing !!

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