HONEST. If I’m being really honest, I never wanted to be a stay at home Mom.
GASP! Can you believe I said that out loud? I have thought it a thousand times, but never said it out loud for fear of what other people might think. In my mind, people will assume it means I don’t love my kids. Or that I’m unhappy about being home with them. When in fact, just the opposite is true.
FANCY. I am an extreme extrovert, and being tethered to my house and three small kids isn’t exactly how I pictured my life. I pictured strolling into work with my hair did, Starbucks in hand, and saying something like “good morning Becky, do I have any messages?” I would have a standing monthly hair appointment, beautifully manicured nails, and a barista would know my order before I walked in the door. My high heel shoes would make a satisfying click clack click clack on hardwood floors, and I’d keep a lint roller in my purse.
LIFE. But that’s not the life I have. Instead I have pony tails, yoga pants, and a purse full of crumbs and raisins. I spend my days negotiating, teaching, dressing, diapering, and playing car concierge. I talk endlessly about Rescue Bots, pooping on the potty, explaining why farting isn’t good manners, and why we leave our pants on in the grocery store.
TRAPPED. I’ll admit that for about 2 years, I felt trapped. I would frump through each day with the attitude of “I’ll stay home with my kids because that’s what I’m SUPPOSED to want”. I felt this obligation to be happy about staying home. Other Moms would happily post pictures of their crafts, hiking outings, driveway chalk pictures, and their entire home preschool curriculum. And I’d be all….”here’s a picture of my kids in their pajamas for the 9th day in a row.”
DESPAIR. I remember crying to my BF about how lonely I was and how much I missed being part of the “adult world”. I would sulk and complain to my husband about how I wished we could trade places. I grew more and more resentful towards my kids. My days seemed to run together, and I wondered if I would ever truly feel happy again.
TEST. It was as if the universe was dog-piling the stress on top of me to see how much load I could bear. My oldest daughter moved in with her grandma, my family was dealing with crushing financial burden, and each day with my kids seemed to get harder. Then suddenly we sold the gym, and my world almost fell apart. Because even though I wasn’t at the gym, I always felt I had that option. There was always the hope that “some day” I would get to coach and run the gym full time instead of being home with the kids.
GONE. Selling the gym was my turning point. Knowing that it wasn’t there anymore helped me fully devote myself to my family. By removing what I believed to be the best part of my life, it allowed me to see what was really important…what was truly the best part of my life. Through the fog of resentment, anger, and sadness, I emerged a warrior. I was going to fight for myself. For my kids. I was going to find a way to be happy and fulfilled no matter what it took.
LOVE. I bought every book on being a Stay at Home Mom that I could get my hands on. I found peace and fulfillment in the tasks I used to find mundane and thankless. What I really learned, was that I had to choose happiness. There are plenty of times throughout my day that I would rather scream and yell, but I choose to love and endure.
HAPPY. And so now, here I am. A Mom Warrior. A furniture builder. A play date organizer. A bringer of food to sick friends. I chose happiness and found new ways to get what I need out of my life, instead of just waiting for it to happen. I have also learned to ask for help when I need it. In the splendid chaos of my life, I am happy. So, so happy.