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SAHM or CAREER Mom: My Expectations vs My Realities

SAHM or CAREER Mom: My Expectations vs My Realities

My entire life, all I ever wanted was to be a mom. I imagined staying at home with my baby(ies), and giving up any ambitions of a “career” outside of the home. I wanted the title of Stay at Home Mom more than anything. I dreamt about it. I envisioned what it would look like. Feel like. Sound like. I built it up in my mind and heart to be this wonderful, blissful, chaotic, beautiful mess.

And for the most part, that is what is has been. But, it has also been extremely hard.

I suppose I had the vision of me being this “Mary Poppins” sort of mom. One who would have all of the activities ready on the go and was always put together, and not just in the physical appearance sort of way either. Full of energy, into all the crafty things, very limited screen time, if any. Play dates with my girlfriends and their little ones weekly, if not daily. The list goes on and on…..

Then there was this thing called reality, and it snapped me right into place.

SAHM or CAREER Mom: My Expectations vs My Realities

A Unicorn Moment
Park Day + I “showered” (If you count baby wipes and throwing on a hat as “showering”)

I rarely know what day it is, much less how to come up with new and creative things to do on the daily. I’m lucky if I get a shower, and out of my pj’s. And if I do put on “real clothes” I am always throwing on the closest pair of yoga pants in hopes that they are not full of spit-up and snot. I’ve had my share of the baby blues and postpartum depression, and thanks to a marvelous little blue pill (can we say thank you Zoloft!?) 

I finally feel together mentally. I’m forever exhausted. The mere thought of Pinterest, and all the things like it, give me anxiety and a rash. I am looking forward to when the TV can hold my girls attention for more than two minutes at a time. Oh, and playdates…well that would require me getting all of my mess together and into something besides my pj’s and well……you just read how I’m doing with that! So basically, they are as rare as unicorns right now.

An attempt to go back to my career

As I’ve journeyed through this whole mommahood thing, I decided I needed to start working again. I wanted to be able to keep some of my identity, and have daily adult conversation. So, about five months after having our twirls (twin girls), I asked my employer if I could come back on a temporary contracted basis–ya know, to see how it would feel without a huge commitment on either of our ends. Yes, I know this isn’t par for the course, and probably seems pretty lucky, but it was one of the wisest decisions for all of us, and I am absolutely grateful for it. To have a start and end date, and an expectation of what it would be like was HUGE. Then, at the end of the contract, we would reevaluate.

I absolutely loved getting ready for the day. To get dressed in “normal” clothes, going to a job I had always loved, and spending a few hours with adults. That I could challenge and be challenged. That I was actually using my brain for something other than focusing on the twirls. To feel like I had a purpose other than “momma,” and that I was valued for my ideas. It was life giving!

But good grief y’all, it was hard. Harder than I imagined!

I missed my babies something fierce. Like, I wondered every minute what they were doing. How they were doing. Praying that I wouldn’t miss any milestones-big or small. That they would miss me as much as I missed them. That their schedules would still be (somewhat) intact. That I hadn’t missed out on too much.

Y’all. I never imagined having those sorts of feelings. EVER.

I figured that when I went back to work that I would miss them of course, but I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be without them all day. It was mentally and physically painful at times. It still makes me shake my head just thinking about it! The amount of respect I have for working parents increased tenfold during this time. (Seriously- all the praises and high fives and wine and just everything-I stand in AWE of all that you guys juggle!) I thought I could do it. That I wanted to do it. That I needed to do it for me. I just never realized how wrong I could be about myself.

Needless to say, after my contract was up, I decided staying home with my babes was where I was meant to be.

IT IS MY PURPOSE

It is hard, and demanding, and exhausting, and not super pretty or as blissful as I had envisioned. YET, it’s the most beautiful, chaotic, wonderful mess I ever wanted and then some. And while there are still days that I daydream and yearn to get back into the career world, I know that that time is not now. I love my babies something fierce. And I’m honestly overwhelmed by the fact that I am able to stay home with them. I’m beyond blessed that I get to witness every little milestone, meltdown, and moment. It is what I prayed for for so long. I definitely don’t take it for granted. And I don’t wish it away–well, most days anyway! I’m incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to try out both sides of mommahood–being a SAHM, and a career focused mom–and being able to choose what was best for me, for us. Maybe one day, once the kiddos are a bit older, I will venture back into the career force. Until then, I’ll keep taking small moments of “me time” and soak them up, while thinking about how the twirls are doing, and if they miss me as much as I’m missing them…..

 

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