Becoming a stay at home mom was a difficult transition for me, I felt lost and unorganized. My days blended together as I was trapped in my house with two little people (and one on the way) who needed things from me that I didn’t feel I could give them. I thought I would love being a stay at home mom but I wasn’t and I didn’t want to admit it. I had looked forward to this time for years; I had assumed so many emotions and pre-planned so many activities that I was very disappointed in my honest response to it all. Every week that I was home there was a growing list of things I missed about working.
I missed the quiet drive to work listening to my music or even just the silence.
I missed the sense of purpose I had in being given a job and completing a task.
I missed bringing home my own money and feeling like I was contributing to our family.
I missed having conversations with people about life and current events.
There were too many times that I recalled on the days event to my husband based on the Nick Jr. line up. “It must have been around 10:30 that the UPS man came by, we were on our second episode of Bubble Guppies….” There were a few times when someone would kindly ask me how we were all doing and I would fall apart; tears would begin to fall as I felt ashamed because my first response wasn’t to say I was happy. I wish I could say that those feelings only lasted a short while and we all adjusted to our new schedule but it didn’t. It took a year and it was a very long transition. I had this expectation that a stay at home mom keeps a clean house, organizes arts and crafts, visits the library and has time to focus on her husband when he gets home. Reality was I was losing my shit all day long; I was beating myself up over silly little setbacks and I didn’t give a damn if the kids ate graham crackers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. First, I had to admit that my expectations of a stay at home mom were pretty screwed up and unrealistic….at least for this momma. Second, I had to accept that I needed some personal time whether it was going to the grocery store alone or taking 20 minutes to go for a walk.
I do love the non-routine I have and would genuinely miss all of it if I got a job tomorrow but I am a little jealous of my husband when he gets to walk out the door for work around the same time my kids are begging to help in the kitchen. Understanding that having time to myself was what I was missing is what led me to being on the farm more. I milk the cows every night and two mornings a week and those couple of hours a day that I get out of the house and work in the silence of the barn are golden.
I realize now that it is so important to keep a part of yourself alive when you are a stay at home mom. If you try to be everything for everyone you just keep chipping away at the person you are, piece by piece you begin to empty and you cannot run on empty. I, cannot run on empty. Parents give so much of themselves for their children that it is necessary to recharge our own batteries once in a while. So,
If you are a SAHM, keep up the good work, this job…this moment in life won’t last forever.
If you are struggling as a SAHM, keep your chin up because I believe you will find your balance. It might take a few months (or a year) but give it some time.
With Love, Nicole