Thursday, May 14, 2015

Just a mom?

A good friend of mine called me up the other day to ask if I'd be interested in joining her multi-level marketing business.  She was so excited about the potential income she could make while working from home.  While I politely declined to join, I listened to the excitement in her voice as she explained her new business venture. What caught my attention the most however, is when she said "I wanted something that would allow me to stay home with the kids while earning money so I can still feel like I am contributing, and not just be a mom".  The minute she said this, it was all I could think about.  Still, days later I'm pondering this statement.  So many mom's share this same sentiment, myself included.  Why do we think that raising our children isn't enough?  When did it become socially unacceptable to "just" be a mom?

I've been a stay at home mom for over two years now and periodically I still feel guilty for not contributing monetarily.  My husband and I have pretty traditional roles.  Sometimes I think we live in the 1940's.  He handles the outside chores, and I handle the inside.  He brings home the bacon and I cook it.  This is what works for us and we wouldn't have it any other way.  I have the best job in the world, and might I say, the hardest job I've ever had.  Raising kids isn't always a walk in the park.  Sometimes it's a full on sprint while trying to pull up your toddlers pants at the same time.  But it's SO rewarding!  I'm doing what I've always wanted to do, and what is the best for our family.  I'm a mom and a wife.  But why do I, and so many other stay at home mom's, still feel like sometimes it isn't enough? 

I'm not going to lie.  Before I became one, I was seriously delusional about what stay at home mom's do all day.  In my head, a typical day of my future life went something like this:

Wake up and feed the baby.  Sit and watch "The Price is Right" while I leisurely feed myself.  Take a shower and get myself primped while the baby is sleeping.  Clean the house.  Go grocery shopping.  Get in a workout.  Prepare dinner and have it on the table by the time the hubs comes home from work.  Clean up dinner and do dishes while husband plays with the baby.  Give the baby a bath and put her to bed.  Have several hours of "me" time to work on arts and crafts. 

See!?!  I was DELUSIONAL!! I thought all of that was possible to accomplish in one day! As do most people who haven't had the opportunity of being "just a mom".  The expectations we set for ourselves are ridiculous.   In reality, a day where both my child and myself are dressed in something other than pajamas, or an outfit resembling a hobo, is a win!  A day where I get a shower, is a win!  A day where I go to the bathroom by myself at least once, is a win! A day where we make it to the grocery store and dinner consists of something other than nuggets or hot dogs, is a win!

The truth is, every minute of every day is consumed by the tiny person tugging at our legs saying "mama, mama, mama"! After feeding, bathing, the war of wearing clothing, the war of brushing teeth, calming the meltdown about the Cheerio that fell on the floor, the battle of wills about nap time, the boo-boo kissing, searching for their missing favorite stuffed animal of the week, the snuggling, and maybe even a little learning time, there's no time, and no energy left.  Our days are spent taking care of this tiny person and molding them into a caring, smart, empathetic, and sincere member of society.  This is our job as mothers.  And it's the most important job there is.  My heart aches for people who don't have the luxury of being "just a mom".  So many women yearn for this opportunity but it's just not possible.  And on the flip side, many mom's recognize that they don't want to be a stay at home mom, and that's okay too.  Whatever our choice or situation is, we all have one thing in common.  We are moms.  And we shouldn't feel guilty for being "just" that. It IS important!  What we do IS important!  And I will never apologize to my children for "just" being their mom.

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