Once a year on Mother’s Day, we celebrate the women who have raised us and/or made the biggest impact in our lives.
For my sons, right now, that woman is me.
The boys are currently at an age where they still need me for pretty much everything. At the same time, they also want to do most things on their own. In order to nurture their flourishing and independent personalities, I have to exhibit a ginormous amount of patience. That does not come easy for me.
As I reflect on this last year, the times when motherhood was especially tough do come to mind. Having two strong-willed, free-spirited, sometimes straight-up defiant, children at home is a challenging task for my compliant and meek personality. There are moments I have lost my temper and moments I have shut down. There have also been moments when instead of greeting my husband with a “Hello!” when he got home from work, I have simply said, “I’m tapping out.”.
Moments like these, in motherhood, are inevitable.
Many nights I go to bed wondering where our days have gone. It feels like all I accomplished was keeping the kids alive and then getting them to sleep. Not an easy feat, but too often it feels like it’s not enough. Once the kids are asleep, I mull over the moments when I could have and should have done things differently and then I check off my three small wins. One daily win is documenting something funny that one and/or both of the kids said or did. Doing this guarantees I go to bed smiling. I know the chaos that is sure to follow will wipe most of these tidbits from my memory. So I take the time to save them.
This last month has been especially chaotic because I was told I would be losing my job. As I waited for my work-from-home career to come to an end, I was frequently asked what I planned on doing next. Having just turned 30 and told I would soon be out of a job, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to go after what I really want to do with my life. To find the one thing that gives me joy and purpose and then pursue it. When I thought about what I want and where I see my future going, all I could see were my kids. They are where I find the most joy.
They are my happy place.
More often than not, our home is delightfully chaotic. It is filled with noise and covered in toys. My days consist of never-ending giggles, what I swear are the loudest footsteps in the world, incoherent sibling chatter, and almost deafening dinosaur roars. I am regularly showered with cuddles and kisses and more “I love you”s than I ever thought I could hear in my life. It is fantastic, and as I mentioned, it is also quite chaotic.
But if I’m honest with you, I wish the chaos of motherhood was all I had to worry about. What goes wrong on our worst days is almost always me needing to do something else besides be their mom. While I was worried about the financial aspect of losing my job, deep down I was excited to focus on nothing but the kids for a bit. As it turns out, I am not losing my job. (Yet.) It is a good thing and I am grateful, but thinking I was going to opened my eyes to where my whole heart is.
The answer is simply, my family.
When I realized what my dream job would be, I felt dumb telling people that I truly want nothing more than to be a mom. I am not saying I am not thankful for the job I have now. What I am saying is that when I hear the phrase, “Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” I think about how much I love being a stay-at-home mom.
My mind immediately goes to the the hours I have spent listening to the “Moana” soundtrack on Spotify. It took me nearly a month to convince the kids there were more than three songs worth listening to. Somehow I still haven’t gotten sick of dancing and singing along with them either. And those original three songs? They are now my favorite songs too. I can only imagine how ridiculous we look and sound, but the kids love it. And I love it because it makes them so stinking happy.
Things like that are what make me dream of doing nothing but staying at home with kids.
But that isn’t my reality and while I could let it get me down and frustrated, I am not going to. This Mother’s Day I am focusing on the fact that I do still get to stay home. I get to be present 97% of the time and for that I am oh so grateful.
This Mother’s Day, I am celebrating how incredibly blessed I feel to be a stay-at-home-while-working-from-home-full-time mom.
Here’s to another year of motherhood!