It seems like when it comes to stay-at-home moms, everyone
has an opinion. And while some kind-hearted folks are still of the antiquated
mindset that staying at home with young kids is equivalent to watching soaps
and eating bon-bons, I think for the most part, the general population agrees
that it's an important and challenging gig.
But on the days when I am home with my kids, fully aware
that it's a privilege and a gift and all that karmic goodness stuff, I also
have to ask myself one simple question:
Why is staying at
home so darn hard?
And then I came across a sentiment from a fellow
stay-at-home mom that perfectly summarized the answer to that question.
She mentioned that while she loves having the opportunity to
stay at home and cherishes the time with her children, the plain and honest
truth is that sometimes, it's just hard to have our entire life revolve around
I realized that she was right.
Every part of my day, from the time I get up in the morning
to the time I can go to sleep, revolves around somebody else.
As a stay-at-home mom, nothing about my day is mine.
I don't simply wake up in the morning — I have to strategize
my wake-up approach. Do I want to try to get up before the baby and contend
with leaking boobs in whatever activity I then try to embark on? Or do I want
to sleep until the last possible second until the baby wakes up screaming and
then spend the rest of the morning rushing to catch up?
I don't just eat when I'm hungry — haha, oh, no — I have to make
sure all the kids are fed first, cleaned up first and then happily engaged
while I try to find something that is semi-healthy for myself and then I have
to do the baby-bounce while I hold her and try to shovel in food standing at
I don't just work when I have work to get done; getting any
type of work done is akin to creating a plan of war. I have to first consult my
husband's schedule, make sure he has nothing going on, then double-check there's
nothing going on with the kids who are in school, then decide if it's work I
can do at home with the kids or if I need to pay a babysitter, then I have to
try to get the sitter — and then if all goes well, I have to fit all of my daily
work into the two hours before the sitter comes and then hope that nobody gets
sick. Which they inevitably will, you just know it.
As a stay-at-home
mom, nothing about my day is mine.
Even my body is not mine alone — that ship sailed six years
ago when I peed on a stick, apparently. I've shared my body in every possible
way for the past six years of my life and it shows. When I sip my coffee in the
morning, I do it with a prayer that I will actually get to finish the cup
before somebody poops their paints or has a temper tantrum or demands I cook for
It may sound selfish, but think about it — how many people
base their entire lives serving other people? I can think of a few (Mother
Theresa comes to mind and oh, wait, she's a saint).
I think it's only natural to feel some frustration in the
role that staying at home places us in. Most of us have grown up living for
ourselves up to this point, for good reason, and then to suddenly do a complete
180 and have our entire lives revolve around another person or persons is hard.
So I don't know about you, but when I thought about all of
the days that I've wondered why I found staying at home so hard when it should
be an incredible gift and realized that it's not just me — it actually is
legitimately hard, it made me feel a whole lot better.
Also, props to Mother Theresa. I bet she didn't even get to
drink lukewarm coffee.