I wish there was a way to tell new stay-at-home-mommies that the weight of the world feeling wears off eventually. All moms, really.
Ok, so yeah, I just said it. I just wish there was a less cliche way to express that thought.
Last night, as I lay in bed, I thought about my, now, three year journey into motherhood.
I realized how much I’ve changed.
My initial thought was how motherhood has changed me, but a conversation I had with my friend Monica* this morning made me think I needed to narrow the focus to staying home, specifically. Our elder kids are six months apart and the births of our second babies were about a week apart. She, however, made the decision to stay home while expecting her second baby and, only now, struggles with the exact same feelings I struggled with three and a half years ago when I took the leap into… well, the muck.
I’m joking a little, but staying home with kids is definitely messy business. There’s a pretty stark contrast between a life of balancing work and family and a life fully immersed in kids all day, every day. Both are challenging in such different ways, it’s ridiculous to even try to compare, so I’m not. I’ve done both and, in my opinion, there’s no such thing as “easier”.
When I made the decision to quit my job after having Dylan, it took me a solid two years (maybe even three) before I felt pretty good about my abilities as a homemaker mommy. I mean to the extent that I didn’t spend all day every day questioning whether or not I was really cut out for this.
Honestly, now that I’m thinking about my motives, I see what my desire to return to work really amounted to: I didn’t completely trust myself . I thought,
I’m just not the right type. I’m not naturally good at this.
That’s just poop.
I don’t think any person, man or woman, is just born with the natural ability to keep a home. It’s work, just like anything else. Yes, some people are naturally better at it, but I really believe we can all do it. For me, it was a matter of faith in myself and in a power greater than me that eventually freed me.
I guess I just want to say: don’t sell yourself short. Do what you feel in your heart and don’t let fear control the decisions you make.
I found this quote in my bible and I just love it:
Worry… compromises your joy, cramps your peace, and confines your freedom
Motherhood is both the most challenging thing and the most rewarding thing I have ever done. There are no short cuts for anything and much of what I do goes unnoticed, especially by my kids, but there’s just nothing that compares. Just being a mom who tries to do what’s best is super enough. None of us are perfect.
*I don’t write about every conversation I have with friends. She encouraged me to write this and I wanted to give credit where it’s due.