“What do you do for a living?” Oh, I just stay home with the kids. Just stay home with the kids? I had made the conscious decision to stay home for my boys. I had no idea the unconscious sacrifices I would be making to do just so. It’s hard. The things that were important while being a working mother seemed so far away now. And the things that seemed unimportant are now monumental and newsworthy.
It was a Wednesday at 2 pm and I was calling my husband to report proudly that all of the floors had been both swept and mopped. Five minutes after the conversation, I felt insignificant and small. He was meeting with clients, collaborating with coworkers, making important business decisions and I was busy scrubbing up a gooey popsicle puddle.
They are safe, happy, and healthy at home with the person who loves them most in this world—their mom.
But big girls don’t cry. Instead, they push forward as all strong mothers do. I stared at the baby monitor that was watching over my two napping boys. They are safe, happy, and healthy at home with the person who loves them most in this world—their mom. That’s why I’m pausing my career. That’s why we're living paycheck to paycheck. That’s why I’ve traded in my trousers for t-shirts.
I have found that it’s easy to fall into the old adage, the grass is always greener on the other side, or in my case, the kitchen tile is always less sticky on the other side. Reminiscing about my previous professional life had me missing things like adult conversations and built-in breaks. I had caught myself remembering just the green grass and forgetting all about the stickiness of that past life. How hard it was leaving the kids every day and how badly I missed them.
I remind myself that this life is temporary and to enjoy the green grass moments now.
You won’t be a stay-at-home mom forever. Someday, you will be in your trousers running out the door with your messy coffee in one hand and your cup of noodles for lunch in the other. You’ll be at work, collaborating with coworkers instead of making castles in the sandbox. You’ll be busy, meeting with clients instead of snuggling the kids on the couch watching Lilo and Stitch for the hundredth time. You’ll be focused on a big business decision, instead of reading the kids a story while they race for your lap.
The most important job is being a mother.
I don’t particularly like giving advice to other mothers, because what I have learned is that my best “mom moments” have come from within. A mother’s instinct is a real gift and an incredibly powerful tool. However, sometimes advice can be comforting. So please let this read as a kind of comforter for your mama soul. The most important job is being a mother. Being at home with them means you are placing the importance of that job at the top of your priority list. When someone asks you what you do, reply proudly with “I care for my children.” When you have a moment of feeling small, know that what you are doing for your kids is big.
Related: Being a SAHM is real work
If you are a stay-at-home parent reading this, know there are more of us out there than you think. We do exist. We are essential. We got this!
If you are thinking of becoming a stay-at-home parent, know that it comes with struggles like all occupations, but it also comes with rewards like no other occupation.
If you are a working parent reading this, wanting to be home, but unable to make that a reality, please know that you’re being the working role model those children and my children need to witness and understand how our world turns.