For the SAHM
I used to feel guilty if I needed a nap or was dying for a pedicure. No no no, internally wrestling my desires. Stop being so selfish, Jen.
I felt shame that I needed a break..if I didn't have the dishes done and the floors vacuumed, I had completely failed. This was my job, right? To do it ALL. I am a stay-at-home mom, after all. I need to prove I am good at adulting, that I can stay sane and beautiful. This is my J-O-B. Keeping the house clean, loving on the babes, cooking, washing, running, building, crying, fighting, shopping,repeat. I wanted to do it all with grace and bad-assity. I mean, I wasn't even making money, I had to show my worth somehow. I belonged to the dishes, the laundry and the sleepless nights. They owned me outright, I sold them my soul and was throwing a fit over the transaction.
This obnoxious way of running around crazy, doing ALL and being ALL, will undoubtedly lead you towards a slow, miserable, bitter death. This life will leave you depressed, angry and freaking exhausted, I promise.
Somewhere between the birth of kid two and common sense, I kicked this perfectionist, mom-shaming life to the curb. Enough is enough, I wanted to start living my life somehow. I decided I didn't have to prove myself to anyone anymore. I had enough of whipping my back and being my own slave in my own home. I decided to set myself free. I consciously decided that being a stay-at-home mom was not only one of the most important jobs in the world, but its also one of the most challenging jobs EVER. It was time to own my motherhood, all the parts. I chose to do my best to find the good and be grateful; instead of fighting it tooth and nail with all I had. I always enjoyed babies and kids but every day? All day long? It's hard most of the time. But guess what? You can set yourself free. It's actually up to you. I decided to tell the truth and be gracious with myself.
I chose to be proud of my role. I spoke up louder when people asked me what I did, instead of feeling shame. I'm a stay-at-home mom, I said with a confident smile. Knowing my occupation is molding me and challenging me and I have accepted the role. My situation didn't change, the dishes still needed to be done, but my heart and mind were open.
I'm proud of being a stay at home mom, not because it makes me better than anyone else. I'm proud because I'm doing my best here with what I have been given; and that right there, my friends, is success. I'm proud because I'm telling the truth about my life. I'm saying no when I can't and hell yes when I can. I'm asking for help and taking better care of myself than I ever have before. I'm taking care of ME. Motherhood and self-care can coexist. I'm forgiving myself when I yell and humbly asking for forgiveness from my watery eyed girl. I'm self scanning and figuring out what I need. How much can I handle? What do I love, enjoy, I'm figuring out who I am. These babies are a HUGE part of my world; I would give up my life in an instant for either of them..However, If I lose myself, its a major loss for everyone. I have much to offer the world AND them. I have gifts, desires, loves that must be explored if I want to live my life, if I want to live in freedom and love.
I wonder if we can set ourselves free by owning motherhood. That we can say loud and proud that we stay home with our children and we can be honest that it's hard but it's SO important. I wonder if we can stop comparing our lives and see our lives, see ourselves.
You see, I think I have the best gig in town. The easiest? no. The most glamorous? I'm laughing now. This is hard work but it's also the good stuff.
Mama friends, know you are doing right. Your mess ups, your bad and good days, your cheerios for dinner, your messy floors. You deserve a crown, a cape and your favorite latte handed to you each morning; maybe a lil macaron with sprinkles and a fancy glass of champagne at 4pm because you are doing it. You are doing the hard work and I am SO PROUD of you.
Cheers to you and me,