{Work at Home Mommy- a new series}

I was not cut out to be a Stay at Home Mommy.
It took me a year to figure that out.
It’s taken me four to be OK with it.

It’s always been our plan, since we were married that once we had children, I would stay home with them. And I was totally on board. I had worked outside the home some, but my heart was always in caring for our home, volunteering, and playing a supportive role in our army life. And that’s exactly what I continued to do after our daughter was born. Kinda. See, what nobody told me, was that being a Stay at Home mommy was its own full time job. And yea, I realize how ridiculous that sounds, I mean, how could I not know that right? While I knew that being a mommy was a enormous job, what I failed to realize back then was just how all encompassing it really was. Rookie mistake, I know.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my babies. I adore them. I love seeing their sticky, grinning faces. I love washing their tiny little limbs.  I love to close my eyes and listen to their sweet innocent conversations. I love their artwork that completely covers our fridge, bulleting boards, walls and anywhere else our four year old can find six inches of space. I love snuggling them, and teaching them, and holding them while they sleep. I love hearing their little fat feet splattering through the house. I love them more than life.
But somewhere in between the cuddles and the giggles it starts to happen. At first its just an Elmo song on your IPod. A cheerio in your Coach purse. A Barbie app on your phone. Rubber duckies in your whirlpool tub. And you start to realize, these little creatures that you love more than life are taking over yours. The line between motherhood and individuality becomes completely blurred.

Obviously, life changes when you have children. It has to. It’s supposed to. And I would honestly say that we are all the better for it. But what I’ve struggled with for the past four years, what I hear so many moms say they’ve struggled with too, is the notion that we can still have a life outside motherhood. The idea that we can still use our brain for something other than nursery rhymes and board books, have other interests outside of our children and still have career goals and aspirations. The notion that we don’t have to eat last, shower last, put ourselves last just to prove to the rest of the world that we are a good mother.

I knew two years ago that I couldn’t go on being a Stay at Home Mommy. Something had to change. And I can tell you, just to admit that now, makes me feel like the worst mother in the world. Completely ridiculous, yes, but true all the same. And while I was missing my pre-mommy life and goals and ideas, I could not stomach the thought of missing out on my little ones days. It was completely gut wrenching and I was struggling in a big way.

My answer to all this, to keeping my sanity and my autonomy and still not missing those sweet little milestones was that I would work from home.

And it’s a fabulous concept.

It’s also the hardest thing I have ever done in. my. life.

Putting down the vacuum when I need to be working and there’s cheerios all over the floor is a true test of my self control. Taking my little one to preschool and going into my studio to work, instead of tackling the mountain of laundry- almost incomprehensible. Almost.  It’s a daily battle, to choose work over chores- even when I would much rather be working. And I remind myself daily that my children don’t care if  they can see their reflection in our toilets, they do, however, care about having a happy mommy. And in our home, a working mommy is a happy mommy.

For me, a born people pleaser, this entire realization is still a work in progress. Right now, as I type this, I’m sitting at a local coffee shop while a babysitter is home with our kids and the hubby is at work on a Sunday. And l can’t shake the feeling that I’m doing something wrong. After all, this little voice in my head whispers, it’s Sunday, you should be home playing with your kids. But I ignore her, because I know by working today, tomorrow we’re free to have a play date with a school friend, something my four year old has been looking forward to for weeks. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m playing hooky from my real job– being a mom.

And let me also say, that I am so amazingly lucky. Through it all, my hubby has supported my decision, whether it was to return to work or stay at home, and once i decided on the Work at Home plan, he has been my biggest cheerleader- even when that sometimes means he has to pick up the slack. Which leads me to my next point- Work at Home Mommy basically just means you now have two full time jobs. And nobody can do two full time jobs. That means that I’ve had to learn to let things go, delegate to others, hire a sitter when I have a deadline and sometimes just trust that it’s ok that the kids eat lunchables for dinner.

I also have to remind myself that all that perfection crap floating around in blog land and on Pinterest with perfect houses, perfect crafts, perfect photos, perfect costumes, perfect playrooms, perfect mommy’s who have perfect hair, nails, bodies and children, is just that- CRAP!It’s not that I don’t enjoy all those things, but no one can can possibly have it all together, all the time.  And with every passing day, I grow more ok with that concept. My goal this past year, in leading up to a milestone birthday was to make peace with turning 30. I had been missing my twenties, my freedom, my independence, my own thoughts and ideas- or so I thought. But what I have come to realize, is that I wasn’t missing my twenties, I was missing Me.

I mean honestly, I don’t really want to my twenties over again- the bad hairstyles alone are enough to make me shudder. And when I think back through all the things I had to try just to figure out who I didn’t want to be, I am so, so glad to be where I am now- A {30 year-old} Work at Home Mommy, with a growing business, beautiful babies, a gorgeous, supportive husband, {who I lived through my 20’s with} with a concept of who she is and who she wants to be.

It’s not always easy, or pretty and it’s certainly not perfect but it’s mine.

Work at Home Mommy Button

And I know I’m not alone out there, so let me hear from you-
 Do you work from home? 
Want to work from home? Have experiences you’d like to share or need advice from fellow mommies?
I’ll answer what I can, and promise to find answers from other WAHM when I can’t. 

After all, it takes a village, right?

Send me an email and lets do this together!

2 thoughts on “{Work at Home Mommy- a new series}

  1. Jude says:

    Thanks for this! I work from home and feel like no one can differentiate Mommy on Facebook from Mommy on the work website. So hard to balance it and to work when I want to be making dinner or playing Chutes & Ladders…..but I would go bonkers if I wasn't working. I lasted just over 3 years.

    Thank you!!

    Like

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