Society gives us really mixed reviews for being stay at home moms. There’s the side that says we’re the best kind of moms. Then there’s the side that calls us lazy.

Good thing there’s a large middle ground that just calls us moms. But that doesn’t keep stay at home moms from talking down about what they do a little.

There’s that little tendency to describe oneself as “just” a stay at home mom, as though it’s nothing special. Even when you respect moms who work outside the home, you have to admit there’s a lot special about moms who stay home with their kids.

Don’t belittle the work you do every day. Sure, moms who work outside the home have to deal with cooking, housework and all the stuff their kids need too, but you have to deal with it all day. That means more cooking, more housework and more of the kids’ needs. Quite likely it all comes on a tighter budget too.

Even if many of the people in your life don’t always understand why you choose to be a stay at home mom, do your best to celebrate what you have. There are plenty of mothers and fathers who would gladly trade places with you.

You probably know how very little free time you have. It varies quite a bit with how old the kids are, but it’s easy to end up rushing all over the place trying to get everything done. Free time can be spending a few minutes at the computer before one of the kids needs you urgently again. It can be watching a favorite show and hoping the toddler takes a longer nap this time. It can be crashing on the couch to enjoy a little quality time with your husband after getting the kids in bed.

But even the busy times of a stay at home mom should be enjoyed as much as possible. I don’t mean try to be a perfect mom. That’s not going to happen. But even the chaos can be fun if you relax as best you can about it.

Don’t lose yourself to your identity as a stay at home mom. No matter how much time you spend caring for your family, there’s more to you than motherhood. You have other interests. Keep them up.

It can be hard to compare what you do as a stay at home mom to the career accomplishments of friends and family who work outside the home. But don’t say you’re “just” a stay at home mom. Say you’re privileged to be a stay at home mom. Delighted to be a stay at home mom. Something positive about being a stay at home mom.

It won’t change how everyone thinks of your decision to be a stay at home mom, but it can help you to remember how positive a decision it is for you.