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Here I am sitting in café writing. I never do this-ever! I’m feeling really crunched for time lately. I’m here at the café writing because we live thirty minutes from our daughters’ school/dance classes and it seems silly to drive all the way home and then turn around and drive another half hour back when I’m already commuting a minimum of two hours a day. I’m trying to be more disciplined, organized, and efficient with my time. You’d think I’d have lots of extra time since I’m a stay-at-home mom and my kids are in 1st and 4th grade, but I don’t.
Life is busy and being a stay-at-home mom is busier than it may seem. There are so many things to do every day (I’m not sitting around doing nothing). Sometimes the work that I do seems invisible because it’s repetitive. Like making sure all the laundry is clean, cooking home-made meals every night, making egg-free lunches every day, washing dishes, cleaning the house, driving the kids to and from school and after school activities, helping with homework, volunteering at their school, quality family time, etc. The list goes on forever.
I’ve thought a lot lately about how working moms do it. I feel inadequate when I think about it. Sometimes I feel like maybe I should do more…Then I think about everything I do and I circle back to—I am doing a lot. I’m productive; I’m not lazy. How do working moms do it all!?!
Something has to give, right?
My husband and I made the decision for me to be a stay-at-home mom even before we had our daughters. We each were contributing in the way we thought fit our family best.
I love it. There have been challenging times for sure, but I don’t regret a minute of it–not even one second. Not even the times when I wanted to rip my hair out because of frustration or exhaustion.
But here is the deal: when both kids are in school full-time, things get a little muddled. Even though I’m not taking care of them 24/7, I am still doing a lot. Is being a stay-at-home mom “enough” once the kids are in school? Is it still an important job? I think so. I really do.
Then I think about the working moms again…Why can’t I do it all?
Does “doing it all” even exist?
I think it probably comes down to sacrifice for both the working moms and the stay-at-home moms. Both moms have to give some things up, right? I think in both cases there is guilt involved too, but maybe I’m wrong. I feel guilty that I don’t work out of the house and maybe working moms feel guilty about their time away or maybe not. I don’t know. Maybe they can do it all. I don’t have a clue really. That’s just what I’m guessing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging the working moms or the stay-at-home moms out there—not even for a millisecond. I think you are ALL amazing. We’re all working our butts off to do what we need to do to make a happy home. I’m not saying one way is better than the other either. I’m simply saying—I feel busy and I love being a stay-at-home mom, but sometimes I feel guilty that I’m not bringing home the bacon–I’m just frying it up!
I AM NOT SUPER WOMAN.
I wanted to be the Bionic Woman or Wonder Woman when I was growing up, but that’s not going to happen. Come to think of it—those women didn’t have children to raise.
I’m told this is a typical transition period for all stay-at-home moms—when all the kids are in school and stay-at-home moms try to feel their way through the mind field of what exactly that means for them. How different is it now that the kids are in school, really? Does that mean my stay-at-home job is over? I don’t think so. I think it’s only changed a little really.
Should I feel guilty or ashamed about not doing more? Deep down, I know that what I’m doing has significant value. It means something deeply important to me, my husband, and our kids. But still…
Whether you are working full-time, part-time, or as a stay-at-home mom—how do you do it? How do you feel about your role? What are you giving up by being on the path you are on? What are you gaining for you and your family? How do you feel your contribution to the family is working for you and your family unit? Do you wish you were working? Do you wish you were a stay-at-home mom? Why? Do you feel confused about your role in your family at times?