how to benefit from someone else's epiphany

{my wednesday morning with frosted snowflakes}

good morning. 

let me just state for the record that today is my last day of babysitting. hallelujah! i can hear the angels singing loudly today. i might just bake a batch of brownies to celebrate. 

last night i attended book club. we discussed a book about moms who chose to stay at home rather than work outside the home. i liked the book almost as much i as didn't like the book. i loved my experience working outside the home while raising children. i, unlike many of the women in the book, do not think it damaged my girls. in fact, at the time, i felt like i was the best mom from the hours of 5-8pm. i had a concentrated amount of time with my girls so i spent it with them rather than doing whatever it is moms do to pass their loooong days away. 

why am i choosing to stay home now? because it would cost me close to $15/hr to find a babysitter for my three girls and well, i just can't justify leaving my kids to ear a meager $3-$7 dollars an hour so my career path is on hold right now. becoming a stay at home mom has been a real struggle for me, but i do feel like i have come into my own after nearly two years and i now see many successes in my day to day jobs. in the beginning, it was honestly hard to see any upside to staying home since all i felt like i was doing was wiping tears, wiping poop and wiping spit-up. let me be real honest...those things still get to me. i mean i have a college degree and sometimes i feel frustrated that all i do all day is do that, but i have also learned to find joy watching my girls recognize a letter (that i taught them no less) or share a toy they normally hold close or sit up for the first time. they do most of what they do because i sit and practice certain skills with them and with each accomplishment, i feel a little pang of joy too. 

as we discussed the different topics of the book last night, i listened to the each of the women speak of their own personal struggles with being a stay at home mom. in the end, i decided most women struggle with the same things (you know...the whining, the crying, the fighting, the blah blah blah). as we were talking, one of my friends said something to this effect: "women often tell other women they think they are such good moms because they bake the tastiest cookies or make the best costumes or create the most elaborate hairdos, but none of those things make women the 'best' mom. it may make them incredible bakers, seamstresses and hairdressers, but not necessarily the best moms. it is hard to measure what makes a good mom, but i am certain that i don't have to be the best at all those other things to be great for my kids." her epiphany sank deep into my heart.

i often think "oh so and so is so amazing. she does this and that. i can't do that. i can't sew a button or a straight line. i can't figure out how to make my fingers work together to braid mya's hair like that. i can't keep my kids quiet during church. i can't keep my kids faces clean. i can't...i'cant...i can't." but none of that matters. what matters is that my kids feel my love and my encouragement. what matters is that i sit for hours playing house or dress up with my girls. 

i have to tell you that i am in the company of incredible women when i go to book club. i sit in awe as i listen to them dissect a book and engage in meaningful discussions. the women in our group are from all over the united states. each of them has a different family situation. each of them has strong convictions and beliefs. i adore these women. i have learned that the best way for me to benefit from them is to listen to them. i talk too much. i do. it's a flaw. but as i listen to them, i hear these small phrases that just hit me out of nowhere, and i feel compelled to grow up right there on the spot. 

i hope you too can gleam something from my friend's big epiphany.


  1. That's great Janine. It sounds like an amazing evening.

  2. I was just thinking of this. I get the "you are the best mom" comments when I throw a cute party or take cute pics and it always is strange to me. These are not the things that make me a good mom. These are more for my own enjoyment and ego most of the time than they are for my daughter. We aren't good moms because of the silly Pinterest crafts and hair do's and cute clothes...we are good moms because we love our children and they know that we love them.

  3. I want to know what the name of the book was! I'm so interested to read it!

  4. I'm glad you're learning not to be too hard on yourself! You should be very proud of your girls.

    Have you found out where you're going to be yet?


"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley