Have I Wasted My Life As A SAHM?

“What? You’re just doing to waste your life?” Came the flabbergasted response of my long-time friend.
“Ummm…no. I’m going to marry a pastor and be a stay-at-home wife and mom.
“Yeah, but what about your music? You’re just going to throw your talent away like that?”
“No. I will still use it — just in a different way. I believe this is what God wants me to do, so I am going to do it.”
“Well, I still think you’re wasting your life.”

wasting your life
Those words kind of stung, but only for a little bit. To think people viewed me as unimportant even before I had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom and wife was a little unsettling.

A few months passed and I was starting college. I was engaged and my fiancé was away at Marine Boot Camp. It was hard being separated, but it gave me time to re-think my future plans. Four days a week I went to college with other women who held the opinion that being a teacher in a school was a high calling. I didn’t have the nerve to tell most of them that I had no intention to teach in a school, only to learn how to better home school my future children. I then would hear the married ladies laugh about how messy their homes were, how they never cooked meals for their husbands anymore and how they couldn’t even think of having a child at this point in their life.

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Four months passed and I was walking down the aisle to say my vows to the best man I had ever known. Three months after our marriage I told my husband that I really, really, really wanted a baby. We began to pray and ask God to give us one.

After only one month of earnest prayers, I was filled with a new little life. My husband and I spent many evenings laying in bed talking about the new baby. We read all the parenting books and even talked to my tummy. We had a few false alarms before he was born, and we both didn’t handle it well. “What was taking that baby so long to get here?!”

Nine months is a long time to wait for a cute bundle of joy.

After much pain and labor, my first child was born. I remember the nurse placing him in my arms. The first thought that came to my mind was, “It’s real. This whole mommy/baby thing is really real!”

Then my next thought was, “How do I take care of a baby?”

Months passed and I learned about the title of full-time stay-at-home mom. I learned that a baby’s breath is the sweetest smell on Earth. I also learned the amazing feeling of knowing you are needed and craved. I cam to know that I was the only one that could give my tiny bundle of joy the solace he needed in times of distress. I also learned that this tiny human being could hold mountains of love in his heart for me. I learned that even though I had given my heart to my husband, there was another part of my heart that was created for a motherly love — and it was full of happiness that came from being a full-time mom.

Do you know what else I learned from being a sahm? I learned that peek-a-boo is one of the best games in the world. No one can replace those tiny giggles that erupt from a precious bundle of joy. I also learned how good a baby smells after a nice warm bath. How cuddling a baby can make the world seem so much more peaceful and sweet. How losing sleep at night is not so bad if you get to hold and nurture a tiny, soft cutie that grins at you while milk dribbles down his chin.

You know who got to teach all six of my kids to read? I did. You know who got to be there when my kids lost their first tooth, took their first step and said their first word? I did. No full-time salary that could buy me a nicer car, home or clothes could replace that.

When my kids think of learning to read, they’ll think of their mom. When they think of baking and cooking in the kitchen, they’ll think of their mom. When they think of trying new crafts and or coloring a new page, they’ll have memories of mommy and them doing all those fun things together. Those things will never fade and bring much more reward than a new home or house that can seem too quiet, lonely and empty without the presence of a sahm.

So, after 12 years of being a sahm, I would love to answer that long time friend that is now nowhere in my life. I wish that person would now ask, “So, was I right? Did you waste your life?”

My answer would be, “If money and fame is what having a successful life means, then yes. But if happiness, amazing memories, full cups of joy and the knowledge of changing a person’s life for the better means being successful then my answer is no.”

Those are just a few of the benefits of my full-time job. Plus, my job has everlasting benefits. Money, retirement programs, medical insurance and holiday pay will all fade away, but the little lives I invest my time and energy into will never fade away. Their spirits will live forever, so my treasures will indeed go on. I hold my untouchable treasures close to my heart. So the answer after 12 years is still, “No I am not wasting my life, nor have I wasted the last 12 years.”

I invested it and gained unimaginable returns that keep on giving. That, friend, is a life not wasted.

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9 thoughts on “Have I Wasted My Life As A SAHM?”

  1. Thank you. For perspective. I just wish that I knew how to provide such things. I try. I have always wanted to be a mother. but now. I just don’t know how. I pray a lot that God will just…just… give me super powers to do the things he must also want as I do. still waiting. I loose my temper. I yell. I run from them trying to get peace…why? I don’t know. I just feel overwhelmed.

  2. Courtney Spiers

    I am currently struggling with this myself. I am a SAHM currently and also excepting my second baby. I love staying at home with my little girl but I wonder what I will do when both kids are in school. Will I be so past the experience needed in the work force if I decide to back to work when they are in school… Any thoughts on this?
    Thank you,
    Courtney Spiers

  3. I understand your point of view in this (responding to a friends comment), but I have read so many blog posts from SAHMs I just had to say something. I wish women would stop being so judgmental and hard on each other. Can we please just do what’s best for our family and our children and not be questioned? I am a full-time teacher, and I do not currently have the privilege of staying at home with my baby. It’s not about having a NICER car or NICER house. It’s simply because so have to. Period. And Honestly the reason why is no one’s business but my own. Others need to remember that some moms do not have the option, and all of these posts can come off as very insensitive and/or judgmental. I work full-time, but I also consider myself a full-time mom. I have all the responsibilities of a mother. The chores are still there when I walk in the door at 4pm. My sweet baby still needs to be loved, cuddled, played with, fed, and bathed. I too have learned the same things you mentioned learning in your post, and I too plan to be big part in teaching my child how to read. All I am saying is let’s put aside this thing between working moms and stay at home moms. Can’t we all just be MOMS and be supportive of each other instead?? Let’s be considerate as Christians especially, and realize that maybe God’s plan isn’t the same for everyone.

    1. Hi!

      This post was not directed to moms who work outside the home, it was directed towards sahms. I do not believe anything in this post was judgmental about moms who work outside the home. I was simply desiring to encourage other moms who may be struggling with outsiders opinions about wasting their life as a sahm. That, and only that, is my goal for this article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    2. I agree. I hope someday we can 100% respect each other’s roles. I too am a full time working mother. I would love to be a SAHM but isn’t feasible. I know you are trying to encourage others but just because you stay at home and teach your child how to read, working moms (some of course) are doing just the same after work.

  4. Someone said this to you 12 years ago. Maybe you should just let it go.
    As “Mom” pointed out, for the vast majority of working mothers, its not about having a nicer car, or a nicer house (as alluded to in your post), its about just making ends meet.
    There are thousands of mothers who have to spend long days working as waitresses, at supermarkets, earning minimum wage. Do you think they are wasting their lives?
    We all do what we can.

    1. OH, it’s nothing that I hold on to. This post was to encourage moms through my own story that they are accomplishing so much as sahms! I want them to see that no matter what others say, they are investing their lives in an important work!

  5. Thank You for such a powerful testimony to young moms! You are right! Nothing can replace those formative years like a mom!
    I just retired from teaching 3rd grade for 25 years and was able to stay at home until their upper elementary years! Great time Spent not Lost! Now I’m a Gigi and able to invest in my grandchildren!
    God Bless You and Your Blog!
    Lou (Gigi)

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