Motherhood is not a simple walk in the park. It's a terrible, wonderful, crazy thing. There are so many facets to being a mom that I never really paid a whole lot of attention to before I had these two little bambinos. It is really quite amazing when you sit and think of everything that a mom does during the course of a day.
First, you know, there's getting the child(ren) up and ready for the day. Some little ones, like mine, wake up at what seems like the butt crack of dawn and come in smiles blazing wanting to watch Mickey Mouse before the first drops of coffee have passed a mom's lips (and any mom that doesn't drink coffee deserves some kind of medal, because I couldn't get through the diaper changes without it). Getting them up and ready usually consists of changing diapers, or sitting on the potty, getting clothes on and feeding them. Some days all those things happen, others--not so much. There have been many a morning that I've changed the diaper and said forget the clothes and just left them in their pajamas simply because I lacked the give-a-*#&! to care. Feeding the child(ren) takes on a whole new life of it's own some mornings too......depending on the attitudes of said child(ren) when their feet hit the floor.
Then of course there's laundry, cleaning, running errands, grocery shopping, putting the groceries away, taking out the garbage, laundry, bathing the child(ren), naps, lunches, making dinner, cleaning up the dinner mess (am I the only one who eats???), picking up the toys and putting things away so that when you hear a funny noise in the middle of the night, you don't step on that lone Lego that always seems to find its way under your foot in the dark.
At some point, the dogs need fed/let out, the chickens need tended to, the cat box needs scooped, the fish bowl needs cleaned.....it's a never ending process of making sure that the house is semi presentable just in case some unexpected company (like the annoying landlord) stops by. And of course....when the unexpected company does come by and ring the doorbell, it's usually when the kids are down for a nap. So, at that point, life becomes about getting the dogs to quiet down and get away from the door while you're trying to open the door and get the unexpected company to come in QUIETLY and get out of the hallway so that they don't wake up the kids even though the barking has probably already woken them up.
Once all the normal day to day stuff is done, then there's the bathing (cuz you know, the kid(s) need to smell decent if they are going to be seen anywhere in public), whatever other night time rituals, and then getting the child(ren) to stay in their beds. After 87 hugs, kisses, drinks of water, going pottys, and being covered up, then Mama MIGHT get to sit down and relax. However, if they are anything like me, there's 1000 other things that need to be done before Mama can sit and relax and go to bed.
That's been a typical day in my life since we had our foster kids and onto now that we've had our kids. Here lately though, we've had to throw in the mix Mama going to work. Now I only work 22 hours a MONTH, so it's not like I have a full time job.
I have LOVED staying at home with my kids. It gives me a sense of purpose, but at the same time, I feel like I've lost some of myself too. It's lonely. No way around it, no sugar-coating....it's lonely. The only adult contact that I've had during any given day is from Hubby, and some days...it's questionable whether that would really be considered adult. :P I love the man, but there are some days that I question my sanity......lol
It used to be, way back when, that staying home is exactly what a mom did. She took care of her hubby and kids, and did so willingly and without complaint....or mostly without complaint. If she didn't stay home, it was somewhat frowned upon by society. It's just what moms did. Times were much simpler then....and the economy wasn't as difficult to survive in as it is now. Anymore, you pretty much HAVE to have a two-person income just to survive. The cost of living and having kids are drastically increased, and so it's causing parents to reevaluate if one of them staying home is even feasible.
Hubby and I have had many long conversations about me going back to work, and while it's something that I've struggled with, it is something that I just need to do....for many reasons. I am a very social being...I always have been. Having friends and an outlet to get me out of the house is SO important to who I am, and I've been seriously lacking in that department. Moving far away from my friends was a hard decision, but living closer to my parents was more important. I've been really blessed to find a Bible Study and a MOPS group that help get me out of the house and around other women that have kids and know what it's like....and it's helping. Like I said before, I've been working about 22 hours a month, and so that's helping too. It gets me out and around other adults, and so I'm able to kind of get my identity away from strictly Mama. It's nice to feel more like my old self, and laugh at jokes, and not constantly be saying "Stop that!" "Don't hit your brother!" "Get off the entertainment center, Cookie!" "Get over here so I can change your diaper!"
Finding a balance between being Mama and being a working adult who still has to do all the normal things at home in addition to the things outside of home is a difficult thing to do. Luckily for me, I have a wonderful support system around me, helping me every step along the way. Knowing that I have that support allows me to go into each day with confidence and pride.
Until next time my friends ~ Light, love and Snickers ice cream.