“Maybe, Just Maybe, You’re Not Lost At All”
I have always dreamed of being a stay at home mom!
Have you ever wished for something, got it? Then wondered what in the world you were asking wishing for this? This scenario was exactly me when it came to being a stay at home mom. I wanted it so badly. Every chapter of my life since the age of 15 has included work. High school, college, dating, marriage, and becoming a mom at 26…all those undertakings went hand in hand with me also working part/ full time. I always dreamed of being a stay at home mom. So when we found out we were expecting we were in awe! After 2 years of struggling with infertility, now pregnant, he gave me the green light to quit my job and stay at home. I was ecstatic to have this become my new reality. A new chapter. A new baby. Life was about to get that much sweeter.
Our sweet baby girl lady was born late September 2019 and my new journey began. My husband stayed home with us for 8 blissful days, we developed a “schedule” with getting my older son out the door to middle school, getting myself & the baby up and ready for the day, and we were working on getting to know the ins and outs of having a newborn in the house. On the night of day 8, however, panic set in. I experienced the impending doom all day just knowing that my husband was going back to his 60-70 hour work weeks and I would be solely responsible for this tiny human, a pre-teen, swim practice, meals, endless feedings & diaper changes, keeping up with the housework and laundry and not having my second set of hands anymore. I cried on and off all day, contemplating “how am I going to do this?”
“Motherhood is a beautiful, wonderful gift… except when it’s not.” — Rachel Hollis
Slowly each day one day at a time I lost who I was. This stay at home, mom and wife who couldn’t wait to be these things was waking up daily and not recognizing herself in the mirror. My personality changed. The emotional roller coaster was rolling. I developed a ton of resentment toward my husband because he got to leave home daily and interact with other adults. He got to put his talents to use and do things that mattered. He got to talk and laugh and converse with people. No one was hanging on him and needed him every second of the day. He didn’t have to listen to endless crying that wouldn’t stop even if all the needs were met. He wasn’t worrying about a bus stop pick up, interrupting much-needed nap time. I found myself becoming jealous of his life outside of the home. Then wanted to know the details of his day. I thrived on hearing what the outside world was like. In my mind I was convinced he presumed I had it easy because I was home all day, and resented him for that.
My days appeared like a hamster wheel. The same routine day in and day out. After the “newness” of a new baby wears off and people stop stopping by and stop checking in on you, you literally feel like you’re alone on an island. But, I asked for this. I prayed for this to be my life. And here I am, selfishly wanting it not to be? I couldn’t believe how I was feeling. This wasn’t me. I was not this sad, lonely, ungrateful person.
Having a baby in the fall means going through the cold & flu season followed by distressing Ohio winters. You limit visits from family and friends, you don’t go anywhere with the baby unless you have to, and like me you not so patiently wait for the weather to break and the baby to get a little bigger so you can start living life outside of the house again. Enter… coronavirus pandemic. Ser-i-ous-ly. I won’t even go down that rabbit hole because I KNOW that we all have some mentionable and unmentionable feelings about this aspect of 2020.
Trust only in God every moment! Tell him all your troubles and pour out your heart longings to him. Believe me when I tell you – he will help you!
I wish I had some astonishing “aha” moments to share with you for how I got through and got over my issues. The truth is, I prayed, I had full on conversations with God, both asking for help and for forgiveness for the way I was feeling. I started to open up to my husband. Then, starting to vent the feelings and the frustration bottled up, stuffed it down. I actually told myself to “get it together you’re being ridiculous”. It was not ridiculous. It was driving a wedge between me and my husband and stealing the joy from my life.
The reality is you will love being at home with your kids, given that undivided attention, not missing any “firsts” and are the person they come to for everything because you’re always there and available. You will love being in a position to create your own schedule, or have no schedule at all. You will love your new-found job description and everything that comes with it. BUT…you might miss your old job. Might miss your co-workers who were your friends and your family. I might miss the feeling of accomplishment you felt when doing your daily tasks. Maybe feel so alone, sometimes it completely doesn’t feel like you’ll ever not believe it. You might hate a cooking dinner nightly (and breakfast and lunch and a million snacks). You might want to cringe at the thought of cleaning the bathroom weekly or doing yet another load of laundry. And all of that is okay. Note, while I was feeling overwhelmed and observing everything from a negative view, my husband was struggling as well. Struggling with not being home. Not being in a position to hold the baby and snuggle all day. Not being the one to feed her and rock her to sleep while staring at her perfect infant features. Missing so many of her “firsts”. Many days not seeing her at all because she was still asleep when he left in the morning, and already in bed when he got home.
“Yes, it is lonely at times and you do feel quite isolated. But, so many other mothers are going through exactly what you are going through.”–Kate Middleton
Here we are almost 14 months later. We’re still living through the coronavirus pandemic, have been more home bound than I ever thought we would be, I have added a virtual school mom to my resume, and my little girl is fiery and brilliant and growing so quickly. And you know what? I know this is where I belong. My kids need me for everything. And there’s no one better suited to be that person for them than me. Are the days long? They are. Do I always handle it with grace? Absolutely not. BUT, I don’t as often sound like I’m alone. I don’t feel resentment or jealousy toward my husband for living a life outside of here, because I realize how much he misses out on while providing so that I can be home. I guess my message in all this is that going from full time working mom to full time mom is the best, worst, easiest, hardest thing I have ever done. And I’m thankful for the struggles that led me to grasp just how important it is…and that I was given these kids because I need them just as much as they need me.