Never in my 12 years of being a mother have I ever had the desire to be a stay at home mom. Nothing against it, but for me personally, I have always enjoyed working. Since I was 14 years old I have had at least one job (at times two) while also finishing high school and college (on top of becoming a mother at 15) . After college, I opened my own health care practice while continuing to grow my family.
If I wasn’t juggling at least 6 different things at the same time, I didn’t know what to do with myself. The thing about that though, was that no matter how much more I continued to take on I still didn’t feel good enough. I didn’t feel fulfilled or accomplished. I thought that must mean I still wasn’t doing enough.
When will I ever be enough?!
I have mentioned in previous posts what my idea of “success” looked like, but for a quick review, here were my expectations:
- I would make more than enough money to live comfortably.
- My practice would be prominent and thriving.
- My marriage would be impeccable.
- My children would be joyful, well mannered, perfect little beings.
- My home would be immaculate and organized.
- I would meal plan and prep weekly.
- I would get enough sleep, meditate, exercise and eat right daily.
- I would be the most cheerful Mary Poppins mother fucker you’ve ever known…
Do you know how many of those things actually happened? Exactly Zero.
Why? Why wasn’t I good enough? Why was I constantly failing? How come all those mom’s on Pinterest and Facebook have their shit together and I am over here drowning in my own tears of guilt and shame. I couldn’t seem to get my head above water long enough to take a deep breath before I would grab one more thing that sank me closer to the bottom. Every so often a loved one would try to throw me a life preserver and I would scoff at their attempt to make me show weakness. I don’t need saving – I GOT THIS!
Yeah….soooo I didn’t have it. I didn’t have any of it.
I feel like God called a meeting with all of my guardians and spirit guides, and I imagine this is how it went down:
God: “Hey guys, let’s bring it in. We gotta debrief this situation…”
Guides and Guardians: “Listen Boss, we’ve tried everything. I don’t know if we’ve got a bad connection or what, but this girl just isn’t gettin’ it.”
God: “Let’s talk options, where are we at?”
G&G: “We’ve tried family trauma, threw up road blocks in her career, intervened with marriage issues….I’m telling you, she’s disconnected. She muted the volume or something, we just aren’t getting through.”
God: “Alright, Hope, looks like you’re up…”
And so I was left with no choice but to let it all go. Everything. All of it. I dropped the juggling act and for the first time in a long time, I looked around. I saw the life I had created. It wasn’t a bad life by any means – but it truly was a detached one. A battered, broken, ragged one.
I was completely depleted in all areas – I had no fucks left to give, my health was poor, I wouldn’t sleep for days at a time, I NEVER took any time for self care, my children were sad on the inside, my house was pure chaos, and I was sooooo not Mary Poppins!
My husband and I had a very real conversation – this life isn’t working for us. We decided that what our family really needed was a happy, healthy mommy. And so, for the first time I became a stay at home mom.
Uuuhhh…..why the fuck have I been working this whole time?! My work uniform consists of yoga pants and a messy bun, bra and showering optional – Hell to the yes!
Now let me break it down – MOMMIN’ AIN’T EASY!
All day long I am breaking up fights, wiping butts and boogers, cleaning, prepping, cooking…and at the end of the day I am exhausted and it looks like I’ve done nothing. But the weird thing is, I’ve learned the difference between being exhausted and being depleted.
Yes I am tired! But I feel complete. I feel fulfilled. I feel like I am doing something that really matters.
One of the best things about staying home is that I have seen a tremendous change in my children. I can see that they feel safe and loved. The most significant change has been with my middle child, Rysan. He has always been the most emotional and sensitive of my 3 boys. He is on the Autism spectrum, which makes him highly sensitive to pretty much EVERYTHING – food, noises, environments, emotions, you name it. Since being home and taking care of myself, I have never seen Rysan so calm and content.
All of my children are empaths (just like their parents). I have always known that their behavior is a reflection of how we (mom and dad) are feeling on the inside, but it has never been so obvious to me, the direct effect our emotional state has on their behavior. We can pretend to have it all together, but our babies know. They feel it, and they act out what we are too afraid to admit.
I have been given the opportunity, once again, to completely re-evaluate my life and I think I am finally getting the hang of it!
I sleep at night now! I eat. I do yoga every Monday with my ladies. My house is organized-ish, and fairly clutter free (as much as it can be with 3 boys anyways). I am home to greet my amazing husband with a smile on my face when he gets home from work. I realized those expectations I had of myself were completely ridiculous. For me, it was not physically possible to accomplish all of those things, and run our household the way I wanted, while working outside of the home. We had to decide what the most important things to our family were.
- Happy kids.
- Happy mom and dad.
- Happy home.
What was it going to take to make that happen? We’ve had to make a lot of changes – like choosing to be broke for example. At first I was terrified of the idea of only having one income. Then my beautiful soul sister Tasha’s words echoed in my head, “You’ll be surprised at how much less you need when you have less to work with.” It is so true! We have made sacrifices, altered our budget, changed our meals, and I have definitely become a bad ass deal finder! Like using Thrive Market for a lot of our organic goods, buying more in bulk, and DIYing as much as possible.
Even with “giving up” so much, I am the most satisfied I have ever been. I really don’t even like using the words “gave up”. Better words would be; I let go. I let go of fear. I let go of judgement. I let go of ego. I let go of the story I had been telling myself all these years. Not to say any of this is easy. It’s an internal battle every day. But every day I am choosing to let go instead of holding on to those limiting beliefs.
At first it was definitely a difficult transition. I felt guilt for not being there for my clients, and when I would run into them at the store they’d tell me how much they missed seeing me.
It’s difficult when I think about the pressure my husband must feel about being the sole provider for our family. I worry that he will have resentments.
I have days where I pick fights with him because he must think I am lazy for not working, even though every day when he comes home he tells me how beautiful I am, and what a great job I am doing with the house and the kids…(seriously, I don’t know how this guy puts up with me sometimes. I can only imagine the conversations that go on inside his head…)
It has gotten easier and I’ve manged to tone down my ego a bit (I like to refer to her as Big Bertha)…and when I do have moments of doubt, I remember that there is no one in the world that needs me more than my children. There is nothing more important to our family than happiness, health, and finding value in the connections we make and the energy that we put into this world.
This may not be everyone’s ideal life, but Mamma, if you’re struggling, just know that you ARE enough. You are doing the best you can. If you have fallen off your path, life will redirect you – you can be sure of that. And if everything feels like it’s going to shit – take a step back, breathe, and re-evaluate. Ask yourself, “What is the most important to our family and how can we make that happen?”
Love to you all!