This is a post I have been wanting to write for a long time and what better time than just in time for Mother's Day, since it pertains to being a mother.
I am a stay at home mom of three children. I always wanted to be a mom. I never had a set number of children in mind but I knew I wanted more than one. I can't remember a time I ever didn't want kids. In fact when Matt and I were dating I asked if he wanted kids. When his answer was yes, my reply to him was, "Good, otherwise our relationship couldn't go any further." I waited for 5 yearsafter Matt and I got married before I had Gabriel. For me it was a long wait. For Matt, he could have waited longer. I worked as a teacher before, during and after my pregancy with Gabriel. With Abby I worked through my pregancy and then quit work to be a full time mom. I love being a stay at home mom. But I struggle with finding time for myself, my kids, my husband, and maintaining my house. I enrolled Gabriel in a Mother's Day Out Program for two days a week when he was 2. I did this inorder to find a little time for myself and to socialize him with kids his age. Abby was still an infant so I was able to run errands and pick up the house while Gabriel was in school. This worked really well. At that time though I did not have a good support network of friends. Most of my friends did not have children of their own so to call them about problems with my children was not really an option. This is not to say they would not listen but they just didn't understand what I was going through. I later started developing new friendships with several moms in Gabriel's Mother's Day Out Program and this helped tremendously. Then we moved to Indiana. There I didn't find a Mother's Day Out Program I found preschools instead. I did manage to find a preschool that would take walking ones. And this was something I really felt I needed. I didn't have any family to fall back on here and I knew no one. Matt was and is working full time and in school for his MBA. I felt that I needed to run errands, pick up the house and just have some time for myself without the kids. I later joined a MOPs group and this proved to be the biggest help of all. My MOPs group doesn't only provide a meeting for the mom's but provides a meeting for the kids as well and then there are off weeks inbetween that allow the moms to drop their child off and then run errands, get together with friends, go shopping or go home and catch up on all the things that fall to the wayside. I also met other women and moms just like me. I was able to discuss topics that all of us were going through, gain insight and suggestions from them as well. This was a dream come true for me. Later I became a Steering Team member and this gave me back something I lost when I left work, a job other than being a mother and a purpose. The kids' preschool also gave me a break as well and just recently also provided me with a purpose and a job. I have taken on both of these positions and love the purpose they give me. But I still struggle. I struggle with balancing housework, taking care of the children and having fun. I really want to be a spontanious, fun, and energetic. But the shrewn toys, clothes and left over dishes beccon me to take care of them as well. I get tired of those clothes, toys and dishes. There are times that I feel like running from the house and never coming back. And then the kids are also calling to me to feed, bathe, play, and help them. And want to do all those things as well but I would love to have the energy to do it. I don't want to feel like I should be doing other things like running a load of clothes or getting the dishes washed, but that is often how I feel. I love my kids and I love being at home with them but I wish I didn't struggle so much with all the faucts of my job. I can't imagine going back to work. I think I would feel like I miss out on so much. I remember thinking that I would miss the first time Gabriel rolled over and worring that his caregiver would see it first. It's hard being a stay at home mom but also so rewarding as well. I wouldn't change it for anything but wish I could make my struggle a little less. Having people over this past week without having cleaned beforehand was new for me. I usually drive everyone nuts with cleaning before I will invite anyone into our house, but I felt this was a need and I went with my gut. It was nice not worrying so much about what my house looked like but enjoying the fact that the kids and I were having such a great time. I think that moms have many different struggles to deal with on a daily basis. I also think that we will have to deal with those to the best of our abilities. We have to rely on our strenghts and our families and then move on from there. Everyone has different strenghts and weaknesses. As a mom in MOPs just recently put it, "I don't have the strength of orginazation but I can play and imagine with my kids with ease. If we could combine both of those what a great mom we would be. We need to look to each other to help us out and to provide us with advice that we can use. And sometimes we just need to accept who we are and move on from there." I am a mom and I am doing the best I can with what I have. I will struggle with making everyone happy because that is part of my personality. I will also struggle with the need to keep the house pickd up and clean and that is a learned behavior, that I am trying to over come and be more relaxed about. But most important I will struggle to make life fun, interesting, exciting, and educational for my kids on a daily basis. This is something I will continue to work on and try to find a happy medium. Motherhood is not an easy job and neither is fatherhood. But it is one that most of us embrace and enjoy. I wouldn't change this for aything.