I’m in the car and the kids are quiet. I’ve got the windows rolled down because it’s finally cool enough outside not to melt my arms if I stick them out the window.
The sun is dappling down through the full tree branches and I can feel the quiet infusing my soul. It’s a beautiful feeling to be grateful, to stop within the whirlwind chaos that is life and feel the sun on my skin.
And then I’m plunged back into the clamor. Traffic roars up around me, Benji chucks his pacey in a sudden baby rage, Ellie starts to scream because Benji is screaming. They’ve both got snot running down their noses because they’re sick and I have the tell-tale tickle of a sore throat starting myself.
But for one minute there, I had a beautiful, quiet moment to sip hot tea, feel the sun, expand my lungs freely and RECEIVE nourishment.
All the givers out there, you know what I’m talking about. You give, all day. You put everyone else first, because only when everyone else is happy and satisfied can you then turn to yourself freely, finally, guilt-free. At the end of the day, on a lunch break if you work, or during nap-time.
I know it isn't much but every time there is quiet I lean into it. I am aware and grateful and I soak it up like a sponge in water. Because it IS like water to me. A quiet moment is as life-sustaining to me as water, air, and food. It nourishes my soul like a hot cup of tea on a cold morning. Like a sudden snuggle from Ellie or Ben, those rare quiet moments are a welcome surprise and they keep my heart going from struggle to struggle to snuggle.
I know I bring value to my family by not working outside the home right now. Admittedly, it is a much more relaxed atmosphere when one parent’s main focus is home and kids.
Groceries get done, suppers get made, kids are taken care of with no stressful complications like sick days or transportation to and from their care centers. There are loads of lovely people out there who will love on your kids but none as much as you. The value of one on one stimulation and attention they get from a stay at home parent is incalculable.
If I stay home much longer I’m going to go completely BONKERS, people! There are plenty of reasons for me to stay at home, so much so that I’m going to be looking for something part time instead of full time.
If I could just be fulfilled and happy instead of merely surviving they would be better off with me staying home full time. I mean, my sanity IS slowly returning but my PEP is gone. My ZEST. My mojo. Call it what you want - my-get-up-and-go is get-up-and-gone. I can’t help it.
I feel guilty even thinking this let alone writing it but changing diapers and cleaning noses, navigating sibling aggression and being on CONSTANT DEATH WATCH because Benji is on a one man mission to self destruct…ALL DAY…does not excite me. Sure I want to be there for the big moments, walking, talking, eating cake for the first time.
I want to be the kind of mom who wakes up every day and plans fun things to do with her kids because she CAN’T WAIT to spend the whole day with them and do it all again. Who doesn’t need or want anything else to give her life purpose and meaning. I really want to be that.
But I’m not. I am just…enduring. Between the big awesome moments I’m grateful to be there for, between the snuggles and quiet, so 89% of my day is spent just…struggling. Just trying to make it through to the next minute.
I think a happy mom would serve them better than a ‘putting on a brave face’ mom. Even if it means I won’t be spending every single minute of every single day within 3 feet of them.
In fact, it would serve them better to have someone watch them regularly who doesn’t give in to their every whim and desire because she’s too beat down to fight about it.
So, I raise my glass to all those moms who toughed it out staying at home full time, and all those moms who love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
To you, I bid adieu. And look out (employers)! This momma’s out to get her mojo back. Well, SOON, anyway.