I recently saw that someone quit their job to be a stay at home mom. It caused me to rehash all my feelings, three years after I quit my own job to take on this cumbersome one. Do I like being a stay at home mom? Why do I do it? Is it gratifying in a way that a career could not be? Am I stimulated? All these concerns and thoughts came rushing back.
Do I like being a stay at home mom? Who likes combating three temper tantrums before 9am? Certainly not I. And it’s not like I would be able to avoid temper tantrums if I worked outside the home. I would just have some outlet besides my kids to escape to after combating those temper tantrums. I would have some other entity or people that have expectations of me or something else that causes extra stress in my life besides the stress that these three kids bring me. Instead, I had the opportunity to rock my baby to sleep at 11:30 in the day. That was a job I paid a steep price for someone else to do for me. I PAID another person to have the job of rocking my baby so that I could have more responsibilities and expectations from a third party rather than all I have at this house! Um, when you put it that way…I love being a stay at home mom.
Why do I do it? Sometimes I worry that I stay at home for the sole purpose of going to the gym. I love the gym. I love having a couple hours away. I love the challenge of the exercise. I love the socialization with other people. I love how I feel about myself after. I love the gym. Going to the gym should not be the reason that I don’t want to work (because I couldn’t fit it in like this).
So why do I stay home? This year I was able to participate in Drew’s classroom. I got to know the teacher very well, I got to know all the kids in the class and I made friends with the moms. Doing that has made me feel more comfortable in our community, has given me confidence in sending my kid on a play date to another’s house and it has also engaged me in my children’s education. Having the opportunity to rock my baby to sleep in the middle of the day happens to be the cherry on top of the ice cream.
Is it gratifying? Most days…no. I feel like my kids would be better off being managed in a center because my kids seem to thrive with the structure and discipline at school. When they are home with me there’s a whole lot of media overload, fighting, and sibling rivalry. At times it’s hard to accept that I chose to stay home and battle with them day in and day out. I am overwhelmed with guilt over wanting to pawn off a child at every chance, and devastated by my inadequacies to properly engage with all three at once. There are moments, probably more like seconds, where things just make sense and work and then I’m gratified. It is few and far between but I’m hopeful.
Am I stimulated? I could use to be a little less stimulated!!! If juggling three children – different needs, different abilities, and different interests isn’t stimulating than I promise nothing will be. So don’t even give me that excuse for why being a stay at home mom doesn’t work!
The truth is that there isn’t a day that I am not grateful for this chance. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think that this is ridiculously hard with some nice kickbacks, like the gym. I would not change a thing, even the blood, sweat and tears…well maybe a few less tears, at least my own 🙂