2 reasons I hate the phrase “Just a Stay at Home Mom.”

(Today is a guest post from my wife Jenny!)

I’m done with the phrase “Just a stay at home mom.”

It’s officially time to retire it and I think there are two very good reasons:

1. It makes you feel like being a mom “doesn’t count.”

The phrase, “Just a stay at home mom” is incredibly belittling to anyone whose dream is to be a mom. I’ve written about this before, for some people, myself included, my whole dream is to be a mom. I have an undergrad in Photojournalism, I have a Master’s from Georgia Tech in Construction Management, but I always knew that raising my kids full time was my full time dream. When you tell someone they are “Just a stay at home mom” it makes us moms feel like we’re not doing enough or being enough.

2. It makes moms who want to chase dreams feel inadequate.

I love that there are moms starting businesses, writing books, recording albums and doing a million other creative things. But sometimes, when they step out, people will doubt them by saying, “Oh, she’s just a stay at home mom.” Maybe you’ve never heard this phrase, I hope you haven’t, but moms all over the country do. How do I know? Because they read Jon’s books and then email him. A few weeks ago, one emailed Jon and said she had been told she didn’t have any leadership capabilities because she was “Just a stay at home mom.”

For such a simple, short phrase, it sure does hurt both approaches to being a mom, doesn’t it?

If you’re a stay at home mom it makes you feel like that doesn’t count and you should be doing more.

If you dare to do more, it makes you feel like you’re unqualified.

It’s a circle that keeps too many moms stuck.

It’s time to get rid of that phrase, because it only does damage.

If you want to be a stay at home mom, who doesn’t start a business, great!

If you want to be a stay at home mom, who starts a business, great!

If your whole dream is to be a stay at home mom, great!

If your dream includes being a stay at home mom and writing a book, great!

I think you can do both approaches. (And it goes without saying, you can be awesome without being a mom. Don’t read this post as a criticism of women who aren’t moms, that would be silly.)

Sometimes, people ask me if Jon’s new book Do Over applies to moms.

I think it does, but then I’m biased.

You know who isn’t?

Parents Magazine.

They named Do Over their “Mom Must-Read” for April.

Here’s what they had to say for us moms and our dreams.

“Quippy and filled with aha moments, Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work and Never Get Stuck helps you make positive changes at work and at home. Best-selling author Jon Acuff makes the obvious points that relationships, skills, character and hustle will help you with every kind of career change. But even better, he explains how you can make moves right away. Want to network with someone important? Be a first responder – answer e-mails and pick up the phone right away. Need to know what skills you even have? Complete the in-book note-card exercise and increase your confidence ASAP. So how do you fix your character? Two ways (out of many): Be generous and turn your phone so the screen is down when you’re talking in person. Hustling sound hard? It is. But Acuff breaks it down into pieces like getting the grittiest, least likeable aspects of your job down first. Though the focus is on careers, the advice applies to a busy person’s (ahem, like parents?) entire life. Whether you want to change jobs, get back into the workforce, or just be a better person, this book delivers the goods you need to succeed.”


I think you’ll love Do Over and should buy a copy, but again I’m biased.

What I’m not biased about is the power of us moms.

Never accept the criticism that you’re “just a stay at home mom.”


Good things come to those who finish.

Recently, my youngest daughter told me that I’m not good at finishing things.

I told her, “I finished writing 5 books.” (Including the new one Do Over!)

She said, “Yeah, but it took 5 years.”

Tough crowd at the Acuff house, but there’s a chance my youngest daughter has a high expectation of what it means to finish because of what her older sister just did with a rainbow loom.

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5 ways to be motivational on the Internets.

A lot of times, people ask me, “Jon, how in the world are you so motivational?”

People don’t really ask me that, but sometimes when you need an idea for a blog you start it with, “people ask me” and then you make up a question you want to answer.

But if they did ask me that, do you know what I’d tell them? This:

5 ways to be motivational on the Internets

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That thing authors never talk about.

If that headline intrigued you and you thought, “I bet it’s goshawks, authors never talk about goshawks,” you’re wrong. I talk about goshawks constantly. I’d go so far as to say “Goshawks are the queso of birds of prey.”

No, what authors never talk about is why someone pre-ordering your book is so important.

It’s actually pretty simple though, because when you pre-order a book, you tell booksellers that they should order more of that book.

Stores, especially online, can’t afford to carry a ton of copies of every book ever written. Can you imagine how big the shelves would be? (My estimate is that you would need a goshawk to retrieve books from the upper shelves.)

It doesn’t matter if you’ve hit the New York Times list before, have cool spiky hair that went out of style in 2009 or live in Nashville, stores will only order a few copies of your book. Then when your book comes out and your seven friends order a copy, the book is instantly out of stock. As a reader, you think, “How amazing, that book is already out of stock! I bet that author is crying tears of joy and wiping away the tears with hundred dollar bills.”

We’re not, we’re just crying. We only sold seven copies. Plus, nothing kills a book launch like the phrase, “Out of stock, available in 3-4 weeks.”

One of my good friends watched the status of his book online change from “pre-release” to “out of stock” at midnight on the release day.

When you pre-order though, retailers take note and think, “Wait a second, people pre-ordered this book. We better stock up!” That means the book gets on more shelves and is able to help more people, in more places launch Do Over moments.

If you were thinking of buying Do Over later, I would strongly encourage you to pre-order it today. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written and whether you want to make a bad job good, a good job great or a great job awesome, the toolkit inside it will really help you!

As I mentioned, not only will I send you 5 great pre-order bonuses if you buy early (including a preview edition of the whole book), but more than that, I will be forever indebted to your help.

So here’s to pre-orders! Here’s to goshawks! Here’s to stores that carry your book! Here’s to helping people around the world have a Do Over!

Click one of these links to pre-order Do Over today.
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
Family Christian


How to build your own library with a tweet.

It bothers me that I don’t own my own private library that has a ladder with wheels.

Whipping around on a ladder with wheels, possibly singing “Seize the Day” from Newsies, is one of my biggest dreams.

Unfortunately, our public library gets all weird when you bring your own ladder from home to use on their bookshelves.

It’s time to start building our own libraries.

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Realizing you don’t fit into the system is a scary thing. At first.

Realizing you don’t fit into the system is a scary thing.

Career books for instance are not funny.

They are serious tomes of serious thinking. They must be boring, dry and dull to have any impact.

Laughter is the best medicine, but not when it comes to your job. Work is no place for laughter, joy or happiness.

And so I wrote a serious first draft of my latest book Do Over. My wife read it and said, “Where are you in this?”

I told her, “I’m fitting in the system now. I wear belts and use big, difficult to pronounce words. I’m a serious guy who does serious things.”

“But you’re funny. That’s who you are. That’s what’s natural to you. That’s what in an unbridled, nobody is watching moment you care about the most. You don’t fit in the system.” Jenny said to me.

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