Night & Day
I was only a stay-at-home (SAH) mom for three months. During those three months I did nothing a real SAH mom does. I know this because a) one of my best friends is a full-time SAH mom and b) my own mother was a SAH mom for a good portion of my formative years.
Well, okay – I did something SAH moms do: I changed diapers. A lot. Besides that, though, all I did was watch TV, sleep, email and update Facebook, and made frequent trips to Wal-Mart because I seriously needed adult interaction. (And yes, I am aware of the sadness of the height of my social life being a trip to Wal-Mart.) Occasionally I would meet a friend for coffee or cook some beans for supper, but usually when Husband came home I was nursing Little Miss in front of the television.
Looking back on my early childhood and watching my friend with her daughter, I realize how little I really did. SAH moms do it all: Up with the kids, breakfast, dishes, sweeping (especially under the high chair), playing with the kids, putting them down for naps, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, watering the yard/garden, getting the kids up from their naps, lunch, dishes, sweeping (especially under the high chair), vacuuming, playing with the kids, trip to the store or park or pool, home again, clean the kids up, start dinner, dinner, dishes, sweeping (especially under the high chair), baths, jammies, bedtime story, getting the kids to bed, cleaning up toys, then finally, bed, only to be woken up by a teething baby, a toddler who wants a drink, or a child scared of a nightmare.
Yeah…I wasn’t a real SAH mom…or maybe I was just a really bad one!
Every once in a while, though, I have moments when I feel super domestic. Not Martha Stewart Domestic, but perhaps somewhat close. These moments usually occur when I’ve been successful at juggling feeding the baby, errands, making a meal, and naptime, all by myself.
In those moments, I am inspired. I have all the energy in the world, and I know I could make it as a SAH mom. I love taking care of my husband and my daughter, and I love the feeling of accomplishment I get from keeping my house (mostly) in order.
So in spite of the fact that I have violated every single one of the three rules of motherhood I’ve had for myself ever since I can remember, I feel good about myself as a wife and mother because I know I CAN do it. Yes, I work full-time, and yes I have to let someone else help me raise my child on a regular basis. Things didn’t turn out the way I’ve always dreamed they would…but in reality – whose life ever does?