Being a mom is hard.
I feel like it’s one of those cliche blog posts that all mommy bloggers write at one point or another. But we all have our own stories and reasons that it’s hard for us. Me, I work full time. I am running my own home based business on the side. I have two boys and a husband who need me. And I’m an introvert who enjoys a little bit of alone time, but doesn’t get much of it.
Running a business while working full time is busy and exhausting, as fulfilling as it is. But doing it while trying to raise two boys with my husband is even more exhausting. I try – I really try. But being their mom is hard. Boys love their moms, and it’s really the sweetest, most heart-melting moment when my little one hugs my legs and yells “yay!” when I walk in the door at the end of the work day. Or when my toddler hugs me – really hugs me – and says “I love you, mom.” Those are the moments I can’t get enough of.
But then there are the moments that make me want to pull my hair out. And I lose my patience, I say something a little too harshly, and I don’t feel like a loving mom AT ALL. And the mommy guilt takes over. I dwell on those moments a little too much for my own good. I beat myself up over it more than I should, I know.
One thing I’ve noticed is that when I tend to dwell on those bad moments, those slip ups of lost patience and harsh words, I have more of them. I’ve heard it said that you become that which you behold. So if I’m always looking at my faults and my mistakes as a mom and thinking about how I don’t feel good enough, that’s probably what I’ll be. I want to be better than that, though. So I’m going to try to focus on the good. Focus on the sweet, loving moments with my boys to make sure that I can enjoy more of them. Soak in the hugs and the “yay’s” and the “I love you’s” because these moments won’t be here forever and I don’t want to miss out on them.
That’s something about being a working mom. I only get so much time with my boys during the day. I don’t want to lose those moments that I have, because they aren’t that many. I always thought I would want to be a stay at home mom, and then when my first son was born and I was home with him for 8 weeks, I started to go stir crazy. So I assumed that maybe I wasn’t cut out for the stay at home thing, and I started saying that I’m just not the type of person that can stay home. “I like to work,” I said. And I do like to work. I like to keep my mind busy and I love to be challenged. So I was happy working for a couple of years. Sure, those first few days taking him to day care were really, really hard. But then we settled in and I enjoyed being at work again.
After my second son was born, it was a little different. A newborn and a toddler keep mom VERY busy – it felt like a constant game of whack-a-mole. Feed baby, then give baby tummy time while I feed toddler, then set toddler up with a toy or game while I get baby to nap, then spend a little time with toddler, and so on – all while remembering to feed myself and go to the bathroom once in a while. Oh, and don’t forget the coffee….wait, where is my coffee? Oh, in the microwave where I left it when I tried to heat it up 2 hours ago.
Going back to work that time was a mix of emotions. It was hard to leave my brand new baby, but this time I knew he would be ok. It was nice to get away from the crazy game of whack-a-mole, but I had also finally settled into a little bit of a groove with raising two kids instead of one. While I was home, there were sweet moments where big brother wanted to hold his new baby brother, and there were days we went to the park with other mom friends. And I thought, “this is what it’s like to stay home. This is nice. I wish I had this.”
I went back to work. And I continued to tell myself that I wouldn’t enjoy staying home. But deep down in my heart, something had changed. I wanted it more, and that hasn’t gone away; I want to be home with my babies. But then those thoughts come back and I think about how I lose my patience with them and how I feel like a bad mom, and I’ve realized that I’m afraid that I don’t know HOW to be a stay at home mom. The idea of it scares me a little, and I’ve realized I’m afraid of failing at it. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge and mastering something new. But the idea that I have two moldable little minds and hearts to shape and teach and nurture is scary enough sometimes that I sometimes think that maybe it’s just easier to take them to day care and let the professionals teach them, because I obviously don’t know how to do it. I get so paralyzed by the guilt of my mistakes that I think I can’t possibly know how to raise them well.
I’ve finally realized all of these things recently. I’ve been doing a lot of self examination with the idea of staying home, and I’ve learned a lot about myself through that reflection. I’m realizing that all of this may be some of the very reasons that I need to stay home. As I write that – it feels a little selfish….I should want to stay home for their good, not my own. But I think it’s both – I think I need to stay home for them, but also so that I can realize and understand that I AM a good mom and that I DO know how to raise them well. These children were given to me, not another mom, and I am equipped to raise them and raise them well. So I’ll lean in to Jesus and let him lead me. Like I said, who knows when I’ll be able to stay home with my boys – only the Lord does. But I’ll follow Him as he leads and maybe one day soon it will happen.
Keep on sparkling.
-sparkle and sage