38 weeks pregnant with my third son, swollen, and bothered, I acted to rid my neighborhood of an eyesore and hazard. Opportunity never waits for convenience. This cause was no different.
Hey, stay-at-home Mom. Did anyone tell you today that you are critical, that your work is terrifically important, and that you are the strong foundation holding up your family?
Well, that’s okay. You don’t require compliments to do your job. Encouragement isn’t typical to the SAHM day. You don’t do this for the praise or for bonuses. You do it because it’s needed.
Some days are cry-in-the-closet frustrating. You often face problems that have no answers.
- Why does my son get headaches?
- How can I get my kids to eat more vegetables? Finish their plate? Eat faster?
- Are my kids getting enough sleep? Reading practice? Time outside?
- Why do I have to yell to get them to listen?
- Am I doing enough for my kids? Too much?
You’re the best person to know and despite being most present, you are unsure. Welcome to the ‘hood (parenthood)! The land of uncertainty, self-doubt, and guilt. You are not alone.
The work of a SAHM is 24/7. While your spouse’s work day may end at his arrival home, your job is endless. You change diapers and sheets in the middle of the night. You make and clean breakfast, lunch, and dinner and do it all again and again and again. Laundry is always waiting. The house is a wreck. The cycle is relentless. Stand tall, you’re a soldier. Your stamina is made of steel (and pumpkin lattes).
You worry your household contribution isn’t worthwhile because it isn’t financial. Irrational guilt undercuts you -you know that- but it still stings. When you feel low, remember that any working parent can’t work without full confidence that the children are safe and well-cared for. You are critical to that equation. You make a career possible which is just as important as the work itself.
You’re a mother, cook, friend, confidante, teacher, chauffeur, shoulder, coach, umpire, miracle-worker, smile-maker, juggler, cheerleader, both good and bad cop. And that’s just by noon.
Everyone does their part and each part is equally important. You may not feel it all the time (or ever) but you are amazing!
Originally published on HVFH on November 22, 2017.
One encouraging comment on the post includes "1,000 times YES to all of this."
It’s November and the season to give thanks. I'm a mom and I'm thankful for so many things, even what some would consider a curse rather than a blessing. The daily grind can be tough but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Thank you, dirty diapers.
Yes, stinky, soaked and enormous, leave-the-church-pew-because-it's-turning-heads, dirty diapers. I have a baby and he's only going to be little for so long. For now, he's my sweet, smiling infant who needs me to care for all his basic needs. He'll never remember but I always make sure he is clean and dry. This is one way I show my love.
It's never a convenient time. I scoop him up and he fights me. He wants to keep playing. He was right in the middle of fun! I lay him on the changing table and it's our time now. I look him in the eyes and talk to him. I tell him about the day to distract and calm him. We imitate animal noises. We laugh. Sometimes it's a wrestle to put his clothes back on. But it's an intimate pause in the day for just the two of us. I hold him and kiss him before sending him back off to whatever he was doing.
I know this baby time is expiring. Someday he will be trained and I'll never ever change him again. So I'm thankful to do it now because it means he's still my little baby.
Thank you, fever.
I would never ever wish for a fever. In fact, if I could be sick for him I would. I hate to see him weak and miserable. But every cold and virus he gets now makes him stronger and more resilient for the next time. Every fever he gets now is maybe one less he'll get later. His immunity is building.
Being sick is a good lesson. He learns to carry on even when he doesn't feel great. He learns to stop and take care of himself too. Rest when you need it. Build strength and come back stronger. It's okay to be make time to heal. You can't cherish being healthy unless you've been sick before.
Sickness will come like a thief in the night. It ruins plans and holidays. A fever reminds us not to take the ordinary, regular day for granted. So I'm thankful for fevers because more often than not, they're gone as quick as they came.
Thank you, dirty pile of dinner dishes.
There's an overflowing stack of pots, dishes, bowls, and glasses waiting in my kitchen sink and they aren't going to clean themselves. Knives hazardously jut out from glasses and between plates and at any minute the unstable pile could crash down. It's a precarious situation.
But I love it because it means my children are fed and we had dinner together tonight! Those dishes are the evidence of our family time. It's time to share about our days and ask each other questions. We are a close family because we eat together. It's a daily routine I cherish. One day my kids will move out or may live far away and I will miss our dinners. These soiled dishes are fine with me because it's means I fed my kids and more importantly they were right here with me.
Article originally published on HVFH blog on November 19, 2017.
Each pregnancy I couldn't imagine how a new baby would change my life. My seer skills failed me at what my expected new baby would look like and would be like. My lack of imagination is no indication of what can and cannot be. Children are God's way of expressing that the world should go on. Will I make a decision today that my future self will regret?