Never will I say this life is not rewarding. I also won’t lie and say it isn’t a grind.
I was reading a post recently that talked about the struggle we have as parents when it comes to balance. That post resonated with me in a big way. For a while now I’ve wanted to share what being a SAHM has been like for me. I tend to share the happier side of things, for sure. That’s just my personality. I ALWAYS look for the silver lining in everything. Focusing on the positive is a way of life for me. I truly believe that what you focus on grows. I choose silver linings, y’all.
Just because I chose to look for rainbows doesn’t mean I don’t live through a storm or two. When I started this journey of being home about a few years ago, I had friends who were concerned. All of them were concerned. Being a worker bee is who I am. I had never known anything else. That hasn’t changed. Since I’ve been home I’ve been building this business.
The other huge factor staring at me is that many SAHM’s start this journey with baby number one. Here I was, jumping in with both feet with two kids. Two children who had been in a great day care where they had a curriculum and were thriving. They were engaged and learning all the time. Now this engagement and learning would be coming from me. It was a big shift for them as well as me.
I dug in and stocked our house with more learning materials, joined learning centers and did what I could to make sure they kept thriving. Their
schedule life was suddenly very different. Luckily kids are resilient and they settled in after a while. The struggle has been with me. I knew it would be hard to make this shift. I didn’t know how hard.
Being a working mom was tough. I never felt like I had enough time with my babies. I felt like we are always rushing through life. Rushing to get dinner on the table, rushing to pick kids up from day care, rushing to get them to day care, rushing to get to work. Then there was the leaving work because someone is sick. Staying home extra days to care for them. Working from home while taking care of a sick child because you still have deadlines. Juggling it all was exhausting.
Enter my new life. It’s a different kind of exhaustion. This work is heart work. This is “I can’t fail my children work”. If I made a mistake at work, we’d eventually move past it. If I make a mistake with these two babies, I take that far more to heart.
Before, I didn’t have to worry so much about whether my daughter was learning all she needed to know. She was getting that at day care. Then I became her full time teacher. We’d take classes during the week but the main teacher was me. Now that she’s in preschool, it’s easier. My son only needs me to supplement what he’s learning since he’s in school. I’m able to fill in with what he needs work on and what I think he needs more of.
Making sure they both get what they need from me is a different kind of juggling act. It’s more of a tight rope. While I shuttle them to classes and activities and make sure we’re learning at home, it’s not lost on me that I’m totally responsible for every need of three people all day – every day. Them and me. My husband and I have always been responsible for them. The difference is that when I worked, I’d let go of a bit of that responsibility once they were at day care. I was able to mainly worry about myself. I was able to just be an adult and talk about adult things. Even if that meant talking about my kids all day at work.
From the moment they wake up until I tuck them in at night, I’m responsible. My husband has a part in this too but he’s gone about 12 hours a day. While he comes home early when he can, many times they are already in the bed when he pulls into the garage. That makes me one exhausted mama. I am jealous of the moms whose husband is home everyday for dinner. That’s a major relief to have help for dinner and bedtime. I’m jealous of the moms who have family nearby to watch one child while you chaperone the field trip of another. We don’t have any family here. I always say the only family we have here is the one we created. The support of family would be awesome right now.
I say all of that to say, while this is a grind, I can’t tell you how rewarding it is! My kids are thriving! My daughter learned so much with me as her teacher. I stayed focused on getting her what she needed and then some and it paid off. She was more than prepared for preschool. My son is doing awesome in school and really growing into a big kid. I didn’t know how much it would make my heart jump when my daughter says something that she clearly learned from me working with her. I didn’t know how blessed I’d feel to be the one to be able to take my son to Tae Kwon Do classes during the week and cheer him on as he learns. That’s the big thing for me: I’m here. The connection I have with my kids has grown in a beautiful way. I love being able to watch their relationship with each other grow. I have a front row seat to watching that bond strengthen. They are each others best friend.
While my husband and I could definitely use some alone time, this time with the kids is truly priceless. We’ll still work on that couples vacay and I’ll still schedule my mommy’s day away here and there but we’re making this work.
That’s where I am in this mommyhood ride. What’s your biggest mommyhood struggle?