Original post 2/4/2014
This isn't the post I originally intended to write. I started a major rant yesterday. It was a whine-fest but it was real. I was in tears several times yesterday. I felt horrible about myself. I felt like a crappy wife and mom. I felt like I wasn't valuable. Don't get me wrong. I love being a stay at home mom. But there's a side to being an at home mommy that is dark. It's depressing. I'm not talking the no socialization part of it. Hell, I'd love to be alone for a change. Plus, I talk to myself and stalk Facebook enough that my social cup is full. I'm talking about a feeling about being valuable. I get hung up on it. It consumes me sometimes. I'm guessing I'm not alone. Our day yesterday started with a toddler who was up too early. He doesn't do well on not enough sleep. Even short by 30 minutes he turns into a bear cat. He was up and he was whining. I knew nap time would come early which it did but it only lasted an hour. What?! You've got to be kidding me. After we completed our chores for the day, I took him outside. We walked around the yard and eventually ended up in the shop. I have been working on some furniture refinishing and wanted to get another coat of paint on the dresser. I thought I could work quick enough with him there that I could get it done. However he was under foot and I was angry. These pieces have been a challenge for me to complete to begin with and now that I am so close to being done I did not want him ruining them. So I yelled. I mean really yelled. He knew he was in trouble. He immediately welled up, pouted, and came over to hug me. Of course I felt awful, but not for making him feel bad. I was actually glad I saw this side of him. I've been battling the stop-throwing-food-stop-pushing-your-chair-back-stop-playing-by-the-toilet-stop-wiggling-while-i-change-your-poopy-diaper toddler for a good week now. Longer on the poopy diaper one even. I give a great mom glare that "means business". That look only produces laughter. Straight up, i'm-a-little-shit laughter. I've almost stopped attempting to correct any behavior because he freaking laughs at me however I know that's not going to do us any good so I trudge on. But this yell got the results I wanted. Finally. So why did I feel awful?
I felt awful about myself. I felt I didn't get the normal break I usually get over the weekend and it was catching up to me. I felt that all I wanted was to complete this project without hassle and that wasn't happening. I felt that "my job" wasn't important. I felt that I am not a valuable contributor to our family because I don't produce anything financially. Well, not like I used to anyway. I felt like I never have alone time unless I stay up until midnight. I felt like I couldn't get blogging or Shaklee work done unless I plopped my kid in front of a television for hours. It was just a dark, depressing feeling.
I didn't start mommyhood as a stay at home parent. I was a professional in corporate America for nine years before deciding to hang up that hat. This mom thing was getting in my way of being successful and dedicated. So after five months of being back at work, my husband and I decided it was time to for me stay home. My husband wanted us to wait another year. I didn't want to miss another year of my baby. It was time to try it. But this awful feeling that bubbled up yesterday stems back to my desire to be successful. How do you measure a successful stay at home mom? By the cleanliness of the home, the deliciousness of her food, or the smarts of her child(ren)? Those things are not only ridiculous measurements they are impossible to track. Besides, who is the judge? The husband? Ha! He wishes... But seriously, when you've transitioned from a world where your work is measured and that is how success is determined, it's holy hell hard not to always want to strive for more.
I struggle with this feeling because I see so many opportunities right in front of me. I have so many irons in the fire that I want to complete them all! Right now! I want to take my blogging to the next level. I want to take Shaklee to the next level. I want to take my household to the next level. Really, the sky is the limit for me! I know the life I want is at my fingertips. I can see it. I can feel it. I know I can do it.
So as I sobbed to my husband last night about not being valuable, he reminded me that I am raising our son. My job is hard. It is valuable. This is what we planned to do. This is how we mapped our life. Our child is only little once. Any time and dedication that I can put towards those other things, that's a bonus. That's a perk. That's extra. Besides, those moments of darkness and despair, they are always temporary. In the moment, they always feel like the world is going to end. It feels like, "This is it. This is the day mommy loses her shit." But I am reminded that the days are always filled with hugs and giggles too. It's filled with no alarm clocks and warm snuggly blankets. It's filled with reading as many books as possible, which was 40 yesterday by the way. It's filled with Mickey Mouse and Doc McStuffins theme songs. It's filled with laundry, cooking, and cleaning but with help from a little boy who loves to learn. There's watching my son tip toe, climb on furniture, and dump cereal all over the carpet floor. That's why I am doing this. I just need to be gently reminded sometimes that this is how I am measured. That those moments are my value.