For many years, I did not question my value, my decision, or my life as a stay-at-home mom.
I was busy. I was sleep-deprived. I was there for every waking moment.
I had purpose and I was fulfilled.
Even when my kids started school, they would come home for lunch the first couple of years, and with dogs to walk, groceries to get, laundry to do, workouts to fit in, floors to clean (over and over—I have giant Mastiffs), I was constantly on the run.
Despite the dreaded question, often asked of me, “What do you do all day?” I did not second guess my life.
It wasn’t until both of my children started to stay for lunch two years ago that suddenly I had time. Six full hours to myself, Monday to Friday. I still kept busy, not that a break was not justified, but I suddenly started to feel guilt if I slowed down at all.
The same guilt that often plagues us who stay home. I knew I was fortunate, and I never wanted to take that for granted. I knew many stressed-out working moms, and I truly wondered how they did it—I still do. I pushed back this guilt, realizing it was not fair or justified. I kept going—during the hours of school, it was laundry, floors, workout, walk dogs, groceries, repeat.
But something still didn’t feel right; I wasn’t happy and I was no longer fulfilled. That feeling in itself created even more guilt. I’m so lucky to be able to stay home while my husband works long, exhausting hours, barely able to keep his eyes open when he walks in the door—why aren’t I happier?
I have close friends who stayed home with their kids as well, but who had passions and careers they began pursuing on the side; one running her own salon, one starting her own interior design company, one creating a page on Etsy to showcase her incredible artistic skills, one who dove into her passion for baking and is killing it. To name a few!
I found myself jealous of these women, while at the same time being completely proud and inspired by them. I envied that they were doing something they loved and were great at, while still being there for their children. I wanted that so badly.
Writing has always been a dream of mine. I have said since my kids were born that I wanted to write a children’s book, yet it took me until a mere two weeks ago to finally put down the laundry basket and open my laptop. I created this website. I started telling my stories and I haven’t looked back. I will get to that book, I promise!
I can’t be a great mom if I’m not happy. I needed more. I needed something to soothe my soul, to showcase that I have more to offer. And I finally came to terms with the fact that I deserve that.
If you are home with your children and have no desire for more—keep going, Mama! You’re doing the most important job.
But if you are like me and you are feeling sad, useless, and uninspired, I really encourage you to find your passion—and run with it. If you like playing the piano, don’t put that on the backburner. If you want to run a marathon, get training. And if you are an artist, paint, dammit!
Life is so short, and the world deserves to see what you have to offer. If not the world, at the very least, you do.
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