It’s Okay to “Just” be a Mother

Emily Wieranga honestly

I showered before 10 am today because I was taking my kids on a play date. I pulled on jeans instead of sweats, slid some lip gloss across my lips, combed my hair and put on some perfume and then remembered, I didn’t have a vehicle.

My husband got in a car accident a few months ago and since then we’ve been a one-car family and it works except for days like today when it doesn’t. When he’s taken students to a badminton tournament and I’m stuck here in my lip gloss and jeans. My sons slouching on the couch, looking for some friends.

And I’m just about to head downstairs and pull on some sweats and wipe the gloss from my lips when I remember:

It’s okay to dress up even when I sit at home. Because this life as a mother is a celebration, and it’s good to make this every-day life special too, even if it means sitting on the couch and holding my babies, playing Go Fish in the morning sun on a carpet stained with chocolate milk and stale cheerios, under the coffee table.

I know I’m not just a mom. I know that being a mom is one of the most revolutionary and life-changing roles a woman can play, I know it’s the hardest job of sacrificing every minute of your sanity and emotions, I know.

But why do we have to justify ourselves to the world?

People might say, “Oh, you’re just a mom,” and it’s okay to stand up for yourself–but, I’m wondering… does it take away from the uniqueness of motherhood in the first place? From the sacredness of the call?

Does fighting to be seen and noticed steal from the beautiful dignity and humility of this place in which we become the greatest by being the least? In which we wash one another’s feet?

When Jesus was accused, when he was put to the test about his character, when they asked him if he said who he said he was, he said nothing.

That often bothers me because we live in a culture in which you stand up for yourself, in which you claim your rights, and you get all of the credit you can.

The beauty, though, in being a mom is the quiet reward of it all. The way a child wraps his arms around your neck and whispers, “I luh you Mama,” and no one hears that, except you. But that’s okay. Because that is enough.

We’ve lost the ability to keep things personal and real.

The quieter something is to us, the louder it is to Jesus.

If we have to justify ourselves, that steals the secret glory. That takes away from the unseen beauty of the position and makes us another “title” clamoring up the rungs of a corporate ladder–motherhood, as a corporation.

No, motherhood is a ministry and I will do it with utmost pride and humility–I will do it with all of my heart and soul, and I will do it proudly and with lip gloss on my lips. I will wear jeans some days instead of sweats, I will do my hair even if I’m not leaving the house, and when someone says, “Oh, you’re just a stay at home mom?”

I’ll say, Yes.

Because I don’t need to say anything else.

Anything else would be making excuses for the greatest honor in the world.


Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.


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