If you’ve stumbled upon my site you’ve likely read the “About” section, so you know some basic information about me. I’m a mom, housewife, I like yarn, and blah blah blah. There’s a big picture of me in a crown, too, if you go for that sort of thing. My kids got it for me as a birthday present last year, and I’m really here for it. (That’s lingo for I liked it a lot, in case my slang is out of style. Which it is, according to some of my younger, more “hip” family members. Whatever.)
I recently have come to terms… No, wait, that’s a lie. Recently I made the decision to stay home with my kids rather than finish my education for what seems like the 16th time. It’s really not that many, but I have gone to school and stopped for the kids about 4-5 different times now. It’s not that I’m incapable of finishing, I had a 4.0; I would also say I don’t like to brag but that’s a boldfaced lie. I’m very proud when I accomplish things. Probably because my accomplishments aren’t often celebrated. I can unpack that later for you, though. Back to the main point, I’ve once again put any kind of personal professional development on hold for my tiny humans.
There are a lot of strong, amazing women who are so under-appreciated for their roles. I’m honestly not sure if I fall into that category, but I can say that I didn’t exactly aspire to be one of them. I always envisioned a career when I grew up, preferably one where I was important – I’m drawn to jobs that sound flashy and really exercise my problem-solving skills and need for intense mental stimulation. I have always been ambitious and competitive, and that was a personality trait that was cultivated and praised while I was growing up. As a stay-at-home-mother, I don’t encounter situations where that’s a good trait to have. It’s not good to compare yourself to other moms and you shouldn’t “compete” with them or promote the same comparison among your kids. I struggle as a stay-at-home-mother with no outlet for those very dominant personality traits.
Which brings me back to this blog. I’ve been on-and-off with school for a while, not as a way to keep busy but eventually hoping to have a job and feel fulfilled professionally. No. Dice. See, my husband’s job has crap hours; he is never home, and I find myself always being thrust into the role of primary parent/homemaker. The enormous task of caring for, managing, cleaning-up after, feeding, and – let’s face it – wrangling a family of five is an undertaking that I don’t usually enjoy. In fact, sometimes I resent it. The thing is, I know I’m not the only one out there sharing a lot of these valid feelings. And it’s taken years for me to accept that these feelings are valid, but in the same vein are my responsibility to learn to manage in a healthy, productive way. I’m not perfect, but I’m learning, and I’m trying to set a better example at healthy emotional management for my kids.
Motherhood, and being a stay-at-home-parent, seems as though it’s accepted more today than it was when I was growing up. For me, I’m always told I’m “lucky” that my husband makes enough money so I can stay home. The thing is, I’m an intelligent and driven woman, and my whole life I was taught that I should get a job and not freeload off anyone else. Work ethic was a trait that I had that was encouraged and carefully tended while I matured into a young woman. But for me personally, and this is likely an “unpopular opinion”, staying at home and caring for my family isn’t the same as a job with a paycheck. It’s a thankless, under-praised job where I get walked all over, I’m on call 24/7 with no help, no tangible reward to show for my efforts, and more work at the end of the day than I started with when I awoke that morning. Oftentimes, I find it to be mind-numbing and pull-my-hair-out-of-my-head frustrating in a way that can only be understood if you’ve sat with a toddler or three screaming “MOMMY!!!” in your ear for hours every day.
I’m able to find the blessings and the joys in my life – before the internet springs me with the hate comments about how ungrateful I am. I love my children and my family more dearly than anything in this world. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here writing this blog, surrounded by toddlers yelling “Don’t touch me!” (Oh, a sentiment I feel deep in my bones, #2, as you and your brothers are constantly touching me). But I also feel I was meant for something different. This blog explores the what-ifs, kid activities, projects, and hobbies I’ve engaged in while I am home with my children in the hopes of filling my personal life with joy and accomplishment in the same way I might have done if I’d kept to a professional track and reached my dream of working in the medical field.
This blog will share all my passions, shortcomings, ideas, and hopefully you can follow me on the road to learning to be happy with the life I have instead of what I’d been envisioning when I first got married. Maybe you’ll read this and scoff, thinking how wonderful my life is if only I would see it, or maybe you’ll read this and it will resonate – you had bigger goals for your professional life but saw the same value in raising your children yourself that I ultimately did when I quit school for the 4th or 5th time. You see the potential to teach your children and turn them into competent, independent and compassionate individuals that the world needs more of, and realized it was more important than your original dreams, even if those are sometimes hard to let go of. Whatever you get from this, I hope you find your beacon through the darkness, you come out on the other side doing what needs to be done to choose happiness.
“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave, live.” – Buffy Summers