I've written before - well over a year ago - about the struggle I sometimes feel with where I am in life right now. There are times when staying at home with three young kids is the best possible job in the world.
And there are days when it just isn't.
Yet I've come to realize that most of my insecurities with being a stay-at-home-mom come from within. On bad days I start to doubt my purpose. Occasionally I let comments made by others - at times they might even be well-intentioned comments - affect how I view myself.
And that's crappy.
That's on me.
There are going to be people who don't know me well or those with limited life experience who judge my decision to stay at home. Or ask what I could possibly do all day. Or roll their eyes when I say I've had a rough week.
But I get to choose how I see myself, not outsiders.
And honestly, a few years ago I too would have seen only the up-sides of being a SAHM. Because staying home, raising your own kids, is a blessing right?
And it is.
But it's not for everybody.
Some days it's not even for me.
Because just like every other mom in the world - working outside the home or not - some days just suck.
Lately though, our days are better. I feel less stressed than a few months ago.
I don't regret my decision to stay at home with my kids these last two years.
I get to do some extras that I wouldn't if I were gone during the day, like tucking Graham in for his nap and having plenty of time to hit the library with all three kids.
I've met some friends that I probably wouldn't have had contact with otherwise.
I've had the opportunity to take better care of my health - both with eating and exercising - that I know I probably wouldn't make time for if I were working.
So I'm cutting myself some slack, not being so hard on myself.
Or maybe I'm getting more perspective as I age. (30 is so old and wise, ya know.)
Or maybe I just give less of a shit about what other people think.
I read something on a random blog a while back that said mothers are
"the keepers of the details in their families' lives."
I like that.
Not only are we keeping the details straight about doctor appointments and tee-ball practices, but the laundry gets done, the dirty bathrooms get cleaned, and supper gets cooked. Working mom or stay-at-home mom. We're all still moms.
So yeah, there ya have it. My job description:
I keep the train on its track.
We all contribute differently to our kids' lives.
I cultivate details through records of our lives: baby books, photo albums, journals I write for the kids, this blog even. That's my little extra that I add in.
Jared is a hands-on guy. He is out in the kitchen cooking and baking with the kids, letting them each sniff the cinnamon and the cumin, watching them take turns stirring batter. In the spring they'll help him pot the plants they grew together from seeds.
Other parents plan massive birthday party blow-outs that put the Solko Family's to shame.
Others are great with arts and crafts and anything Pinterest can dream up.
Some have a nightly routine filled with blankets and books that I envy.
We're all different. And it's okay.
I didn't exactly envision staying at home full-time. And that's okay too.
But I need to enjoy more and worry less.
To everything there is a season, right?