Being a stay at home mom is such an emotional and physical roller coaster ride! One minute you are pregnant and dreaming of holding your first child. You can’t help but ask yourself,
“How much longer do I have to wait before I can hold this sweet child in my arms?”
The next minute, your world is turned upside down, your days and nights are filled with these “sweet” minions and you can’t help but ask yourself,
“How much longer till bedtime?!”
How to be a stay at home mom AND live to tell the tale, might also be re-worded, “How to be a stay at home….and not eat your young!” People tell me all the time how cute my kids are. My response is always the same.
“Thanks! That’s how they stay ALIVE!”
I always dreamed of being a stay at home mom from the time I was old enough to play with dolls. When my first child was born, I felt heaven had come to live in our home. By the time I had 3, I still felt that way, but life felt more like hell at times more than anything else. I only had 2 hands, and 3 children! What was I thinking?? Having 3 was my hardest time in life so far. They weren’t even super close in age. No, that plaque was reserved for the women who could claim having 3 under the age of 3 or even 3 under the age of 2! (I’m sure there is a special place reserved in heaven for them, god bless their souls!)
I remember one particular Sunday when sitting on a pew with our 3 crazy kids was enough to send me over the edge. I left the kids with my husband for the rest of the meetings and came home early. When I walked in the door, I couldn’t hold back the tears and fell to my knees and sobbed. Then I got really angry and raised my fists to heaven.
“You tricked me!” I yelled. “Motherhood is a JOKE! I CANNOT do this!”
Have YOU ever felt that way? Like you’ve been tricked into a life that you never expected would be so hard? Like you’re trapped in a tower like Rapunzel waiting for your prince to come home and rescue you at the end of the day? Except, if my prince charming had the audacity to holler at me to let down my long hair, I would probably yell back,
“No! But I’ll throw the kids at you!”
(humor intended here folks, no need to call CPS!)
When I had my fourth child (yes, we were crazy enough to jump off that cliff again) I went through a rough postpartum period. I had just had a c section, a double breast infection, and my back had gone out completely making it hard for me to even walk. I remember going to the OB for my 6 week check up just praying that I would be able to hold back the tears. When he asked how things were going, the flood gates opened. He acted like this was an everyday occurrence (probably was for him) and with a quirky smile said,
“Hey! It’s ok! This is perfectly normal. You are completely overwhelmed! You just had major surgery, you are basically getting no sleep, AND trying to take care of 4 kids and run a household. Tell your family to cut you some slack!”
Then he patted me on the back and sent me out the door.
My thoughts were, “Ok DOC! Sure thing! Because I just KNOW that my very understanding and loving crew of minions back at home will totally be willing to cut me some slack!
Nope! The only thing on their minds was who was going to cook their chicken nuggets, wipe their bum, and find the remote so they could watch Netflix!
All joking aside, motherhood is just hard. Really, really hard! If you think it’s just you, think again! I guarantee you that your picture perfect neighbor who claims their child can read at the ripe old age of 2 or the mom next to you in the carpool lane that is already dolled up for the day (at 7 am) are struggling too! Outside our homes, we pull it together and try to put on a happy face regardless of how hard life can sometimes be INSIDE the home.
I will tell you something else! INSIDE the home, as tough as it may get, is also where your greatest joys will come. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? It’s the satisfaction that comes from reading to your child before bed or hanging that ridiculous scribble on your fridge that they are immensely proud of! It’s the satisfaction from knowing you are there to comfort them when they are hurt, or being there for their first steps, their first day of school, braces or whatever else may come! And then there is checking on them before you go to bed and seeing their sweet faces as they sleep. Regardless of the monster they were during the day, you love them, don’t you? You love them with all your heart, mind and SOUL! You would do just about anything for that little human that absolutely turns your life upside down each day….and THAT is why Motherhood is so hard. Not because it is a horrible career, not because we have been ‘tricked’ into a lesser life. We do what we do because we LOVE, because we CARE. We LIVE outside of ourselves each and every day, even though the little children we care for are oblivious of our service or the sleepless nights.
It is during the hard times that I have learned my greatest lessons and grown myself. Children don’t come with user manuals and there is no MAGIC parenting tool that will magically transform your kid. I believe it it because God wanted us to learn and to grow together WITH our kids! Are your kids IN the way, or are they THE WAY to greater happiness?So, take courage and keep on going Mom! I promise that life really does get better! Children grow up and so will you. (I’m still in the process of growing up!) In the words of one of my favorite people, Thomas S. Monson,
“There are, of course, those times when we experience disappointments, heartaches, and even tragedies in our lives. However, if we will put our trust in the Lord, He will help us through our difficulties, whatever they may be. The Psalmist provided this assurance: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” “
God has blesses you with your children because he knew you were the perfect one for them! Don’t give up! May your mornings be bright (even with no sleep) and your heart be full! Keep up the good work MOM!