When I made the decision to quit my job to stay at home with my firstborn, I had a naive assumption that all of the motivation and energy I put into my job as a professional and organized administrative assistant would transfer directly to homemaking.
Home*making is: the creation and management of a home, especially as a pleasant place in which to live.
I truly believed that the reason I struggled to plan meals and stay on top of my laundry and dishes and (insert household responsibility) was that I had always worked full time and was too busy and tired when I got home to take care of those things. I mean, I was SO organized at work. It would be so easy now.
I could totally create and manage the most PLEASANT place to live ever at all times, right?
I struggled to manage all of those things because those things SUCK.
Newsflash: no one is passionate about doing dishes or laundry. Some people are just better disciplined than others.
They say adulting is hard for a reason. Well, they’re right.
I quickly realized after my first week home alone with my new baby that the expectation of me turning into Mary Poppins around our home while cooking gourmet meals daily and delighting my child in the boutique nursery I was going to design for her was FAR from reality.
It’s okay, you can laugh!
I just thought when I quit working things at home would be perfect. I know now how silly that is. But I also know after talking to so many other women that have gone through the same adjustment period that I am not alone.
Now, I love being a stay at home mom. Meaning, spending quality time with my kiddo every day is a joy to me and I have plenty of motivation to be present in the moment with her.
Learning activities? I am all over that. Snack time? Bring it on. Snuggles? Um, YES, please! I feel confident in the decision I made daily and I know I will never regret it.
If only I had a magic wand I could wave for everything else to take care of itself…
Some days are really, REALLY hard.
The expectation to be a perfect mother alone is already too much. We don’t need to add any more crap expectations to that pile of B.S.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in self-discipline and growing as a person. My goal, like most mama’s I’m sure, is to thrive and discover the best systems and routines that work for my family and I. And I am getting there! It’s been almost one year that I’ve been home, and I’ve figured a lot out.
(I do finally have a super simple weekly cleaning schedule now and it is helping me a ton.)
But I just hate the expectation I feel as a woman to be perfect. So this last year instead, I’ve focused on giving myself a lot of grace. Because I am still brand new to the whole parenting thing, after all!
And you want to hear something crazy? Perfection doesn’t exist.
And I think deep down we all know that. And yet sometimes the fear of others finding out that I’m not is still crippling.
Have you ever had a panic attack when a friend knocked on your door unexpectedly because you were mortified that they were going to see what your house looks like, ya know, on a normal day?
This is a pretty lonely and isolating thought process.
Don’t allow yourself to believe the lie that you have to be “on” all the time to be loved and accepted. You truly are enough right now.
I wish I could show up at your house this minute to sit down for a cup of coffee with you and chat about the crazy of our lives together. I wish we could just hang out and realize how much we have in common.
(And if that thought makes you look around and start freaking out immediately I get you. But trust me, there is no condition of your home that can shock me or make me not want to be your friend. Really! Like, I guarantee it would be fine.)
A friend and I got to talking last night and ended up having an honest conversation about our expectations versus the reality of being a stay at home parent. And we ended up laughing so hard our sides hurt.
It was so refreshing to share with someone who completely got where I was at.
I think we all need to do that more often – share our stories. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It truly is powerful to share with one another.
So, if you are a stay at home Mom and love being with your kids but still get overwhelmed trying to keep the household ship afloat, I’m there too! You’re not alone. It’s okay.
You’re doing a great job!
You are enough.