Yesterday I read a great blog post about being a stay-at-home mom and the expectations that come with the job. Perhaps you have placed those expectations upon yourself or your husband has. It is easy to feel that, because we stay home with our kiddos, we are expected to be super women at all times and without fail. We need to hear occasionally that it’s ok to fall short and that, when we do, it doesn’t change our worth.
Reading that post reassured me that I am not a wasteful stay-at-home mom if I manage to get the laundry done but didn’t clean the bathrooms. Each day is a constant struggle. And I don’t care what anyone says – it doesn’t get easier with age! My daughter is turning five soon and she is still very dependent, needy and full of the same curiosity she had when she was two. I don’t have to worry about watching her 24/7 to make sure she doesn’t pick up that or put this in her mouth, but I have to stimulate her practically every minute so she doesn’t get bored. When she gets bored I get hit with 100 questions and then I really can’t get any work done.
I stay at home and also have a part-time contracting job from home. I need to work about 3-4 hours every other day, so during the week I have to plant my butt down and force myself to work in between the “mommy I’m hungry”, the “mommy can you do this”, the “mommy did you know”, and, perhaps my favorite, the “mommy I really have nothing to say and I know you are working but…”. I try to help her understand that mommy has things to do which include my job, the house work and taking care of her.
So what I am getting at is sometimes I just cant. I just cant do everything I’m expected to do or that I expect myself to do. And guess what? That’s ok. I used to stress myself out to the point of feeling really depressed and like I was failing. That downward-spiraled into me having zero energy for anything because I was so upset all the time. I felt useless and wasteful. My husband would come home from working and guilt/shame would fall all over me. I was a mess. For the first two years of my daughter’s life it was a struggle to find a balance. Here I was doing everything I could think of for her, my husband, the house and not doing a thing for myself. Sleep was all I wanted to do most days. Now I have this thing down pat and I just don’t beat myself up anymore.
There may be women out there who can do it all. They have twins, cook everyday and their base boards are clean. God bless them, they are amazing! But they don’t represent all of us and we don’t all have to be like them. I’m glad I figured out how to juggle and prioritize my time. There are certain things I do everyday: dishes/kitchen, picking up around the house, dinner, cleaning my daughter’s room (with her). I pick days to do the bigger tasks (laundry on Wednesdays).
We want to satisfy everyone when we stay at home. It’s a blessing that I’m so thankful for, but it’s not easy. So next time you feel that you aren’t super woman remember that I’m not either and there are plenty of women out there who feel the same. The blog post I read yesterday helped me to, once more, realize that I do a lot. I take care of another human being 24/7. My job never ends. I’m thankful I have a husband who helps me and understands how much work it can all be and, after his own long day, comes home and makes things easier on me as well. I’m grateful for him and I know he’s grateful for me!
PS: Working moms GOD BLESS YOU! 😉