Just be the mom you are and be happy.
When the link to an article about stay-at-home moms popped up in my email box the other day, I clicked on it immediately. The article's author was prompted to write it after reading a Clare Danes' interview in which she said that she would make a lousy stay-at-home mom. (She is pregnant.) Many stay-at-home moms took offence to her comment. I did not. The article went on to talk about the yo-yo'ing that stay-at-home moms do between going on about their "failings as a mom" one minute and then trying to one up other moms the next.
Being a stay-at-home mom has been waaaay harder than I ever thought it would be. While it is not mentally challenging in the way that my previous work has been, it has proven to be very physically challenging and mentally exhausting. During the girls first year, I was busy learning how to be a mom. I met lots of other new moms. We were all the same. As that first year ended, most of those moms prepared to head back to their careers. Babies went off to daycare or were going to be cared for by nannies. The way I felt last April-ish completely caught me off guard. While I had chosen to stay home with the girls indefinitely, part of me felt like I was missing out. I could start seeing clients again part-time? (I'm a nutritionist) I could start an entirely new business? The ideas started flying through my head and I felt panicked to get something going asap.
Parenthood is all-consuming. It never ends. There are rarely breaks. You all know this, of course! I feared losing myself completely in this. I feared waking up when the girls hit grade one, having no clue what to do with myself. Worst of all, I felt like being a mother wasn't enough for me. What took me several months to realize is that all of my feelings were being driven by everything thing and everyone out there (society). People who don't have children, think that my days are easy. For some reason, I felt insecure and felt like I needed to defend myself.
What I then realized was that while I was worrying about the thoughts of people I didn't even know, my two little girls were growing quickly right in front of me. They were taking their first steps, trying to say their first words, doing adorable twin things and giving me huge smiles, hugs and kisses. So many parents would kill to see (and sometimes video!) every single one of their child's 'firsts' like I have. I am lucky to have this opportunity. I would constantly have parents of older twins look at my with that smile telling me, "Ohhh I remember when mine were that age! Enjoy it!" I used to smile politely and move on, not even thinking about what they had just said. When someone said just this to me this morning, I gave her a genuine smile, looked at my sweet girls and soaked up the moment for all it was worth.
There will be time for work later. There won't be time to play with my 19-month old adorable, hilarious, intelligent and quirky twin girls. So, a few months ago, I made the decision to slow down and be happy with where I am right now. When I am hard on myself and think that I could be doing more or doing better at this mom thing, I try to stop my thoughts in their tracks. I remind myself that I'm doing a great job. Be kind to yourself, my mom would often tell me.
Forget about what others are doing. Don't sweat the small stuff. Just be the mom you are, and be happy.
Well said !ReplyDelete
It's all so much harder than that. If I could just convince myself. Right when I think...fuck it...the house can be a mess today. Who cares if we're in our jammies all day. That's when you get hit with the crunchies. The moms who feed their kids organic everything, cloth diaper, no TV, homeschool and breastfeed until they're 5.
Ok....so I'm sure there are moms like this out there. but you get what I'm saying. My kids eat PB&J for lunch and then toast for dinner and I'm beating myself up trying to convince myself that the peanut butter accounts for protein and the jelly for fruit.
I think it's not about trying to be happy but trying to make our children the best most possible well rounded bunch out there. and do you wanna know why. because that's our job. OUR WHOLE JOB ! If they fail we can't say...oh it was that daycare I sent him to. Or. the nanny let them watch way too much TV when they were young.
Once you work through whatever the hell I just spit out up there. Can you try and make some sense out of it and give me a nice answer. ;-)
I agree. At the end of the day, all I really want are two well-rounded, polite and happy little girls. I realized that I can pick the few things that are really important to me and let some of the other stuff slide. As a nutritionist, my kids do eat a lot of organic foods...but as I write this, they are parked on the couch watching a Baby Einstein video ;) I also believe in 'everything in moderation'...if I can get 15 minutes to sit and drink my coffee while they watch animals and listen to classical music (Baby Einstein), I'll do it.Delete
Regardless of our choices as parents, I think we are all doing the best we can, with what we have :)
Thank you - I needed this today!ReplyDelete
I'm glad it helped!Delete
I don't think that there's anything easy about being a stay-at-home-mom, but I think it's wonderful that you have the opportunity to do it, especially since you seem to want to be able to. (I don't think it's for everybody.) T&Q are wonderful and obviously thriving on all the love and attention they get from you, the rest of their family and friends.ReplyDelete
I agree and that's what I remind myself on the tough days - I'm fortunate to have this opportunity. While I miss working, I know that there will be an opportunity to find a healthy balance.Delete
Very well said & couldn't have come at a better time for me. I was talking with my Aunt the other night about some of the negative comments random people make regarding having triplets & how I couldnt be happier or love my boys more. I don't understand the need for people to spout out things like "I'd kill myself" or "better you than me" I thinks it's rude & don't understand how babies, no matter how many could make you want to kill yourself although I know they aren't literal (at least I hope not) about it. Anyways... So then my Aunt tells me I am not "normal" & she doesn't understand how I handle it, seem to enjoy it & act like it's no big deal. She struggled with my cousin, her only child & went nuts staying home with him. I laughed & said I might get bored too with just one baby, lol...ReplyDelete
So it is a very hard job, harder than anything I've ever done in my life!!! I couldn't be happier though & other than maybe having a little more personal time, I wouldn't want to be doing anything else!!!
P.S. I write this as my boys sit on the floor eating peanut butter on crackers (because they refuse to eat anything unless its crunchy) & watch Mickeys Clubhouse on tv in their cloth diapers & pj's, lol...