September Stay At Home Mom

When I was a little girl, I always envisioned myself as a stay at home mom. I saw my mom as a stay at home mom, and it made sense to me at an early age that that’s what I would do too. I wanted other things from time to time, but it’s what I always came back to. I knew as I grew older that most women juggled careers and family life—I knew staying at home was not the norm— but when I envisioned myself in the future, I was home with my kids. It’s just what I always wanted. If you ask me why that is, I couldn’t tell you. Was it a lack of ambition? A lack of belief in myself? Or—on the contrary— maybe it was just a true unfiltered understanding of myself. 

Now, that future is a reality. I am nearing thirty and I am thoroughly in the swing of life. I have two little boys and I stay home with them. I am quite literally living the life I once dreamed about. It is such a privilege to be able to do this. When the boys are whiny or they’ve been driving me batty more than usual, I have to remind myself of this. I have to remind myself to have gratitude.

But sometimes I get the nagging feeling like it’s not enough. Even knowing that it has been a dream of mine, that staying at home is indeed a privilege, inadequacy bubbles to the surface. Is this normal? Does everyone feel this way about their chosen life path? I personally feel so very insecure about not having a ‘real job’ and I don’t know if that insecurity will ever not be there. But although I live with that insecurity, I know I don’t actually want a ‘real job’. I know staying home with kids is valuable and worthwhile and it’s what I want. Yet the insecurity bobs its head from time to time.

Mothering takes up so much of my energy. In theory, I want to be able to be one of those women who ‘does it all!’ (because goodness gracious there are sooo many women who really do!)  but I recognize a real lack of capacity within myself. It’s not self-doubt or self-deprecation. It’s really not. It’s more of just a realistic understanding of my very real limits.

 I have a writing degree! I’m not using it. I went out and became a certified birth doula just because I wanted to! And I’m not using it. It turns out mothering takes all of me, and there’s just not a lot left to give anywhere else. There’s just not.

I wish I could write more—I long to write more—but my brain just feels flatlined lately. Creative energy? Gone. My creative gifts seem to have withered away from diaper changing and dinosaurs. Will I ever write another book?

 I could make more time to write—I do recognize that there are things I could do in my life to make more space and more time—but I’ve come into the stunning realization that I don’t really want to. I could carve out time to write! I could! But I don’t because I just don’t want to write another book right now. I don’t make the time because I ultimately don’t want to. And I feel uncertain about that realization. It makes me feel…what’s the word? Guilty? Guilty that something once so important to me has taken a back seat. Maybe I need to tell myself that writing has taken a back seat for now. Not forever. I know in my gut it’s not forever. And that it’s okay.

I wish I could take on births as a doula—I have an itch to be in the birth world—but the hassle of on-call childcare just seems like too much. But if I really wanted to make it work, I could, couldn’t I? I would figure it out. People figure things like that out. But I don’t even try. So maybe I just don’t want to do it as badly as I thought. It’s not a priority. I love the birth world and birth is a passion and interest…but it has found the backseat as well. I feel uncertain about this realization too. Possibly because I know it’s in the backseat forever. And that’s okay.

I’m a low-threshold, low-stress, low-capacity kind of person. Maybe that’s the Bipolar part of me (Stress=episode), or maybe it’s just my personality. Either way, I do not do well when there are a lot of things on my plate. I do not thrive when I feel like I am juggling a lot of things. And what that means for me, I think anyway, is that I really can only focus on one thing at time.

Right now, that thing is my mothering. I’ve chosen to stay at home with my kids and I’m sticking to it.

And I can honestly say—I’m happy! I’m enjoying my quiet life. It’s not exciting, but it is sweet. Some days are really really hard and some days are a breeze and some days are somewhere in between. I am happy with this as my sole focus. There’s joy in recognizing my limitations and putting my energy where I can.

I know with just one thing on my plate, I can do it well. I can do my best. It’s not always perfect. Okay, it’s never perfect. But it’s the most important thing to me right now, so I’m giving it my all.

I feel like I need to ask permission from someone for that to be okay. (Why??) Really, the only one who can give permission is, of course, me.

I need to give myself permission to not do it all.

I need to give myself permission to be a low capacity person. To be okay with that.

I need to give myself permission to lean into the stay at home thing, because that is what I’ve chosen and because, wouldn’t you believe, I like it.

***

I hope to keep blogging! If you like reading my blog, please consider subscribing by email! You get it straight to your inbox and then don’t have to rely on social media to alert you of a new post. And if you haven’t read my book, you can buy it here.

One thought on “September Stay At Home Mom

  1. I just found these beautiful blogs – so honest and full of wisdom.
    I’m sure they have reached out to many people who needed to hear what you have to say.
    What a blessing.
    Your fifth grade teacher, “Mrs. Williams”

    Like

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