I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How do You Measure Your Worth?

Several years ago, when I was pursuing a different career, I unexpectedly (yes, I know how babies happen…but still, work with me here) became pregnant with our absolutely amazing, wonderful, bright, beautiful son. He was a HA-UGE surprise. He was so VERY much welcomed into our lives. I knew the second I was a Momma, I wanted to be a Work at Home Momma. (I say “work”, because the term “stay at home” seems to imply we do nothing but merely “stay” at home.) Anyhow, that’s what I did. That’s what I do. And I’m going to take this opportunity to speak out for other Mommas who do the same. Because quite honestly, I don’t hear many other people doing this. And brutally honestly, I think I need to hear it myself, as I’ve been wrestling with my own problems of feeling de-valued.

There have been countless articles, I’m sure you’ve seen them, that break down all the things a WAHM does. They’re always true, mentioning all we do, and then break it down into a paycheck, mentioning what a WAHM is TRULY worth. I will not post these articles. I will not give you a chart, breaking down all you do into financial terms. I have an ENORMOUS problem with this. Because for some reason, we have this bassackwards thought that to be “worth” something, we have to break it down financially…..much like we do to a pure-bred animal, placing a price tag above her cage. Get the point? Listen, folks, we’re not cattle. We’re not top of the line horses, being viewed by the highest bidder. We’re not up for auction.

Dear, sweet WAHM….. Your worth is NOT in a paycheck. (Neither is anybody else’s worth in what they make at their job(s)!!) If what we bring, or don’t bring, into our bank accounts is how we measure our value, then our faith is absolutely EMPTY. Jesus would’ve been an absolute FAILURE if we measured Him according to our standards of success in today’s world.

It’s so very often about language. I can’t even begin to count out the times I’ve been asked, usually after we’ve talked about what my husband does, “So, do you work?”….or, “So, what do you do, or do you just stay at home?”. Yes, I just stay at home. Yes, so many women I respect just stay at home. They sit there, on the couch. The entire workings of the home take care of themselves, schedules take care of themselves, husbands take care of themselves, children take care of themselves, things run smoothly on their own. We, however, just stay.
We WAHM’s knew the second we chose to do this, we wouldn’t get all the appreciation, pay raises, plaques, words of acknowledgment, etc. We knew we wouldn’t always be talked about. We knew we wouldn’t even have a lot of grown-up human interaction throughout our days. We knew what we were signing up for. However, we never, not ONCE signed up to be put down and demeaned. We never signed up to be ignored. We never signed up to be called “just a stay at home mom”.

If we truly want to talk about “girl power”…..let’s do it. Girl power doesn’t have to mean joining the corporate face of America. It doesn’t mean we have to hold countless degrees, sell books, teach lectures, become CEO’s, own businesses….etc. It doesn’t mean we have to join alongside every man we know and do what they do. (Many women do, and that is SO VERY good for them, they are doing what they love, and I absolutely support that!! And one day, I just may do that as well!) But for now, for me, THIS is what I’m doing. This is what I LOVE. This is what I talk about, think about, dream about, what I do day in, and day out. And many other women do the same. We wanted to do this, THIS IS OUR EMPOWERMENT. And it’s even better if your husband absolutely supports you in your dreams, just as you do in his!!! Girl Power.

So no, I don’t have a TV show. I don’t hold countless degrees. I don’t own a business. I don’t bring home six figures a year. I don’t sell books.
I work here, at home. I invest my time, my energy, my days, my very soul, into all I do here for my family….which in turn affects others around us. Hopefully for the good. (Just as many other women invest themselves in other things, which is absolutely great that they’re doing what they love, as well!!) This is what I chose to do. I guess this is my way, in my little corner of the world, standing on a chair, raising up my fist and shouting, “SOLIDARITY, SISTER!!!”. Just as we support our spouses, wholeheartedly….just as we support our friends who do the complete opposite of what we do….we, too, need support. We need encouragement. We need to be reminded that we are valuable. This is me, for what it’s worth, reminding you of that. You ARE valuable. And I won’t demean you by putting a price tag on all you do. Because I’ve been learning, just as my parents always told me, “Money isn’t everything…..sure it’s nice, but it’s not everything.” It’s not. There’s so much more to life. Keep doing what you love, WAHM’s!!! I notice you!! I acknowledge you!! Spread the word…….Girl Power!! (Which for me, by the way, means not only empowering girls, but guys as well….after all, I’m married to a great guy, and Momma to an amazing son.)

***Disclaimer, please don’t read what I’m NOT saying. I have had many other jobs while being a “work at home” Momma. Also, My Momma worked outside the home her whole life. Very obviously, she is my Hero. So please don’t see my writing as diminishing others….I’m not, in any way, shape, or form. I think we’re all on the same side!! One of my closest friends works outside her home. I’m just wanting to remind you sweet girls that you are valuable, just as each person is. Sometimes we need to hear it.


Jennifer C. Valerie said...

Thanks for those words. God's view of us is truly what is most important. Hope all is well with you.

jesnicole said...

Thanks, Jennifer. Appreciate the readers! Hope you're doing well!

Jennifer C. Valerie said...

You're very welcome. We are doing well praise the Lord. Ministry is keeping us very much occupied right now but it's all good. I love serving the Lord. Enjoy your week!