Saturday, August 2, 2014
I am writing this because someone asked me to explain how being a stay at home mom could be boring or fun...
Let me tell you a little bit about my journey as such...when I found out I was pregnant in March of 2008 I wasn't even sure about staying home. I'd picked out a daycare even. We really needed both paychecks that we had coming in. When I was five months pregnant I made the decision to stay home with my baby boy when he arrived.
I knew I'd made an amazing choice when he was born and as he began to grow and explore his small world. I NEVER missed a single milestone. We met with friends and went to story time weekly, sometimes twice a week. We lived five minutes from the park, which in turn had me buy a jogging stroller from a neighbor's sister. In that I found my love for running. Running brought me a sort of peace. Why would I need peace? you ask...well, things weren't easy...Raul worked long hours, most weekends, and my amazing little boy never slept for more than an hour. I was severely sleep deprived and it showed. At a year he should have been sleeping through the night...all my friends babies were sleeping and eating just fine. Mine, never slept unless I held him and eating could take forever. So, we decided to bring him to our bed. I never once thought co-sleeping would be an option, but I was desperate and that night and every night after that he slept for over eight hours straight.
When he was 14 months old we closed on our land here in Elgin. We wanted to build a house and thought we could easily do that while living on the land, so when he was 16 months old we sold our home in Kyle and moved to the farm. Things didn't always go as planned. We found out we were pregnant again in May of 2010. We were thrilled, but now the building a house would have to wait. We ended up purchasing a manufactured home and it was set up on the land in September. A few short months later Matthew arrived.
These two boys are my life and I always had so much pride in what I did for them from cooking to cleaning up after, and making sure they ate mostly home cooked meals. I spent every waking moment and most nights as well with them.
While they were both still very young I was able to get them both down for a nap and then I would go outside and clean up the toys we'd played with, the balls, and any tools that had been left around. I'd jump onto the lawn mower and mow the lawn. I carried the monitor with me everywhere I went in the yard in case one should wake up. I kept the yard well maintained. I had to...this was where I played with the boys.
We spent the past two summers hitting as many parks and splash pads as we could manage. We started Geocaching, which is an amazing way to get outdoors with the kids. We did art projects all of the time. I baked and cleaned. I read to them most of the day. I felt a great deal of joy in being home with them, but then there were the ones that would start to tear at that joy by saying I was just a mom who stayed home with her kids. I had no idea how hard it was to work full time and manage a home. All of the sudden the joy of being the best mom I could be was no longer good-enough...I was no longer good-enough. It didn't matter that my boys were both super healthy, my home was clean and well maintained, that I inspired my boys creativity, played doctor to their wounds, the chef that made green scrambled eggs, and tie dyed toast. No one noticed that I had to make sure we stayed on budget at all times. I was just a mom, not a working mom.
I went out and found a daycare and a job. I now worked full-time and still ran my house. I liked my job...I really liked it...but something else was happening. My boys were sick more than ever, 104 degree fevers out of the blue, ear infections, sinus infections, pink eye, and strep throat. I started to miss work more often to care for them. I stopped doing crafts with them as often. I was tired and I was starting to get sick more often. My kids no longer had home cooked meals, it was fast food grabbed on my way home from work. Instead of reading all day to them, they had a story or two at night before rushing them to bed.
Now, I didn't want to give up on my job. I was really good at it. I worked well with my co-worker and partner-in-crime, but my family needed my full attention. So, I turned in my resignation to be home with them again.
Here I am back home with my boys. Am I just a mom? If you think that, maybe you should look at yourself in the mirror and ask what you do.
My oldest will be starting Kindergarten in three weeks. I get to go on field trips, join the PTA, volunteer in his Kindergarten class. I get to make home cooked meals, teach Matthew all his stuff and work on his speech, work on getting my family back on track Spiritually, the crafts get to come back. In the Summer we will go and explore all the pools, museums, and nature trails we can find. I will once again focus on my running. I would like to build up to a marathon soon.
So, you see, I'm not just a mom? I am a creative person that has to juggle so much and keep things balanced. I am the most important thing to my children and I can not get back any time lost by being away from them.
For other moms that stay home...you truly have the hardest job out there. It's not a matter of whether or not you get a break...it's that you are putting your time and effort into the future. You didn't just have your children to claim the title of mom...you knew the work what that would go into it.
For the moms working outside the home...YES...you have a hard job as well. I've been there. I've done both...I don't really favor either one, but I am sympathetic to the mom at home. Why? Because the moms that work and tend to beat down the ones that stay home aren't the single mothers, they are the ones that have the family support system or have never stayed home with their kids longer than a day or two when they were sick.
We are all working moms...I don't believe that one works harder than the other. It all just has to do with what your family situation is. Mine is different than most. I tend to take on more than I should so that when my husband comes home from work he doesn't need to do much of anything with the farm and can focus what short time he has with the boys before they head off to bed.
My goal this time around is to not let the "just a mom" comments bog down my happiness in being with my boys. I will find and hold onto every ounce of joy we create in our walks to the park, the story times, the crafts, the adventures in cooking. I will make this time the best time of my life. I will be the best mom to my two little boys and I will prove that I can be just as happy as anyone else.
Because I AM MORE THAN JUST A MOM!!!