You know how before you have kids your one type of parent. Then you become a parent and a lot of adjusting happens? Before the stick turned pink for me I thought I’d be a working mom. Once I was on the other side of the pink line, based on my situation at the time I decided to become a stay at home mom. Five years later I love it, but it’s not without dark moments.
The beginning I struggled a lot.
I struggled with identity, switching from being ME to being MOM. I felt like my old self had disappeared and this new “mom” identity had taken her place.
I struggled with the frustrations that come with dealing with tiny beasts who can’t communicate. I was angry and overwhelmed at times.
I struggled with mom guilt. All. The. Time. Was I doing this right? Should I be working more, or out of the home? Should I be working less? Am I a bad mom/wife/daughter/sister?
I used to obsess about naps and dread the day Reece and Kat stopped napping. Then I realized I was chained to the naps. My entire life felt like it was revolving around naps. If they go down easy you’re thinking about when they’ll wake up. On the flip side, if it takes forever to make the nap happen it’s hardly relaxing once they finally do go down because you’re all worked up, at least that’s how I was when my kids still napped. I had a love/hate relationship with naps.
Five years and two babies later, I’m in my mom groove. I still have struggles with making and maintaining friendships for myself and my kids. I still struggle with guilt, and frustrations. I even had extra challenges thrown at me with chronic migraines after having Kat and thyroid cancer.
BUT. I’m much more experienced with the SAHM gig. With that comes comfort. I have a routine, and while I’m not the perfect mom, I can be a pretty bad ass mom. I mean, I had a 10 month long migraine which did not make me the most pleasant person to be around. Somehow, my kids are alive and still love me! I’ll take a slow clap for that.
I know a lot of parents talk about how they hate kid activities. I actually love them! I find it so fun to see how they progress from one class to the next. Learning to swim, or going from scribbles to pictures that tell real stories that I can see without asking for an explanation. I also feel very relaxed when I’m at a kid activity even though they can be chaotic. Maybe I’m weird.
I also love Reece and Kat’s creativity and engineering collide. The tracks and magnetic tile creations are complex wonders that I could never have imagined. If it was completely impractical, I would totally let these mini worlds stay around and just buy more supplies so we could build other things later.
The sibling squabbles are a pain in the tush. Sibling bonds are so special. Even with the fighting. Who else can you fight with but still love and be there for, regardless of how much of a meanie they are? My brothers, sister, and I have this amazing, flexible, happy, tumultuous bond. As a mom, seeing it from a different perspective, from the outside, I get the opportunity to step back and be proud.
Now the thought of going back to work makes me a little sad, which I never would have thought would happen to me. Even on days when the kids are hitting my nerves, I still want to be a SAHM. I would miss seeing milestones and knowing them better than anyone else.
I still have days where I hate being a SAHM and question why I do it. The hard days are always so much lower vs. highs of the great days. Somehow, I would miss this craziness. For now, being a stay at home mom is where I’m supposed to be, which, most days, is above mediocre.