The text came in and the words glared at me.
I saw who had sent it and I immediately smiled. I love that girl. I have a feeling she's an amazing mom, but I know her in a completely different sphere. I know her as a business woman, an online voice, a wise woman who makes beautiful things.
And the truth is, yes - I do. This is a question I've wrestled and wrestled and worked over a million different ways. When people ask what I do, I wonder if I should say, "I'm a wife and a mom" or if I should go into the whole shebang. "I"m a wife and a mom and a blogger and a shop owner and a network starter and I teach online classes and answer emails and design prints and think up crazy businesses and answer more emails".
Or do I say I'm just a mom?
I don't actually feel guilty, but I do feel insecure. And those are different things.
Hayley and I launched The Influence Network (along with our amazing team) on January 1st. Hayley had her fourth baby two weeks later on the 14th and I had my fourth baby two weeks after that on January 28th. It's kind of hilarious to launch a new business when your founders and CEOs are in the throws of late pregnancy and early postpartum. We really wouldn't have made it through those first weeks without Moriah, Lindsey, Rachael and Ashley and the Lord sustaining us. But now, we found ourselves in mid-March, with this really beautiful business that is thriving and growing faster than we can keep up, and our heads not really fully awake since we've been very much in babyland.
This past week we decided incredibly last minute that we needed to get away, for 24 hours, with our husbands and babies. We needed to make plans, we needed to dream, we needed to laugh, cuddle each others sons, pray, plan some more, and look our husbands full in the eye over meals. We met in Indianapolis, sat down with our laptops and did some almost nonstop working + praying + talking for 24 hours. The work we got down for the network was incredible, but the work the Lord did in my heart was out of this world.
As Nick and I drove home from Indianapolis with Cannon sitting quietly in the backseat, we talked about femininity and how God uses women and our marital roles and our kids and our businesses and I felt some frozen pieces of my heart thawing off. It's not a secret that I've been in a great big fog since having Cannon and suddenly, my vision was becoming clear again. I hadn't been with my other three kids for 24 hours, but I knew that those hours of flexing my creative, prophetic, and business muscles had made me a much more alive and capable mother. I walked back into my home refreshed, alive, and believing in God's call for me as a woman again - not burdened by it or feeling inadequate, just excited to be who He made me to be.
Skip back to the text.
I picked up my phone and I explained that
"Yes. I often feel guilty about not being just a mom, BUT..."
But I know that no one is just a mom. Everyone who is a mom is a mom plus. They're a mom plus a crafter. A mom plus a half marathon runner. A mom plus a fiction reader. A mom plus a decorator. A mom plus a natural living expert. A mom plus an expert on motherhood.
I'm a mom plus I'm an entrepreneur. I'm a mom plus I'm a creative business woman. I'm a mom plus this whole other thing that I know the Lord has called me to and it makes me a MUCH better mother, when I am balancing it right and my identity is in check. I'm not just a mom, but I'm really certain that as long as I carefully walk the line and stay loose and let the Lord guide me - being a mom plus something else does not make me less than in the area of motherhood.
But really, I'm just a daughter.
With her hands held open, asking her Dad what He wants her to be today.