Boring, boring, boring, I found myself saying as I got the stacking cups out to play another game.
This confirmed the fact that I needed to return to work. ASAP.
I had always thought I would want to be a stay at home Mom (SAHM). It is what I used to dream of on the toughest work days, or during my very long commute.
I’d built a successful career right into my late thirties when we eventually fell pregnant. It took us two years to conceive, so my baby feels like the most precious gift on the planet.
Having a family was so important to me that I thought being a SAHM, at least for the first few years, would be all I wanted to do. I thought it would be a nice break from work. I thought I could be the perfect wife and Mother.
I was wrong.
11 months in to my baby’s life and being only a Mom and wife 24/7 isn’t enough for me. Yet, at the same time it is all too much for me. Wifedom has definitely taken a back seat, and being a Mom is all I do.
Being at home with the baby is one of the toughest, all-consuming jobs I’ve ever had. It has exhausted me, and challenged me emotionally and physically. There have been times where I’ve felt I’m losing my mind, my confidence; myself. I never expected to feel this way.
I got sucked under. Sucked in to the relentless; the repetitive; the routine.
The relentlessness — no one can describe to you; you have to experience it.
A repetitiveness that is such hard work, yet so mind numbing, that you find yourself walking into a room and forgetting what you went in for. Putting mugs in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard. Preparing bottles and endless meals like a zombie. Stacking the freaking cups. You know the drill.
I worked so hard to create a routine. Without it, I would lose my mind. Routine at least gives me some form of plan and order to my day, even if it is literally providing meals, changing diapers and entertaining the baby. Again, and again, and again. If there were no nap times, I would have a meltdown. It gives me a moment to take a deep breath; and a moment to write again.
While my baby is truly my greatest achievement, I need more.
Being just a Mom doesn’t fulfill me intellectually. I never thought I would utter those words!
It doesn’t let me have or do anything for me and me alone; nor does it let me use my other talents. My “self” has been subsumed to the point that I am only a Mom, unable to find the person I was before.
I had to do something different to make this situation better.
I truly believe being a Mom comes first and is the most important job I can do, however, I know I can’t be the best mom I can be without balance.
God knows my husband would like his wife back! And I’d like to get my sense of humor back. I miss me.
I’m taking action.
I’m seeking out part-time child care, so I can get some time back and work effectively. Trying to start up a business during naptime was a beautifully noble idea, but totally unachievable! Although it tears my heartstrings to leave my daughter in someone else’s care, I need to do it.
Without balance, I can’t find happiness. I don’t want to be a miserable mother who feels hot with resentment while stacking cups. Finding childcare benefits both of us. My daughter will get to play with other kids her own age a couple of days a week, and I can build a business part-time. I’m sure our whole family will be happier.
There is no reason for me to feel guilty about not meeting my SAHM expectations; being a SAHM isn’t for everyone. My expectations about motherhood cannot be all about my child’s needs and wants – there has to be some room left for who I am and the things I want to do.
I can’t be a Mom every minute of the day.
But if I can stack cups on a part-time basis, I know I’ll do it not only with a smile on my face, but with all the joy and love I had once imagined.
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This post was written by Lucy Griffin Stiff exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.