There are seasons of this SAHM life that can get pretty tough. The trouble I’ve had is, it’s hard to explain why. It’s hard to put words around why this beautiful thing, this sweet precious time spent in togethernesses can feel heavy and hard.
In our current culture, I’ve found that it’s easy to be and feel misunderstood as a stay at home parent. Honestly, before I started to walk this road I had zero appreciation for the magnitude of the job of full time parenting could be. Other jobs it’s easy to list the deadlines, to-do lists, schedule demands and pressures that may leaving you feeling stressed. It’s really difficult to quantify why a day can feel endless. Why you are left feeling tense in frustrated. Maybe it’s the crying? the interruptions? the mental to-do list? loneliness?
Mom life is generally sensationalized or loathed in our culture. Either you hear Mom’s grudgingly describe their offspring with disdain or you have the portrait of the Pinterest perfect mother in which child rearing appears to be a dream come true.
In my experience, full time mothering is a mixed bag of tricks. Usually moving from joy to complete and utter frustration within an hours or even mintutes.
Some days, weeks even months can be joyous. Full of life and love. No yelling Mom. No rebellious kids. Just time together.
Other seasons can make you feel like you’ve been ran over with a Mac truck. The changing nature of the gig makes it hard to keep things steady. To stay above the load.
When I get to the end of myself, I’m usually completely baffled as to how I got there. Why am I stressed? Anxious? Depressed? When I in fact, love my life.
The answer lies in the details. The ones missed by even me. The ones so hard to articulate to those not living in this season doing this job each day.
Some of the answer lies in feeling unseen. Often people I talk to that aren’t full time Mom’s no longer know how address me. If they can’t talk about work, what is there to discuss? Add homeschooling to the mix and I’m a complete enigma. Hard to understand and easy to overlook.
Some days, I just don’t get to talk to any other adults. By the time my husband gets home I’m feeling so many emotions and have had no outlet… I nearly explode on him. This is a lot of pressure for Him.
The “should’s and should not’s” of mothering, add a weight that is hard to let go of. I should feed my kids organic food, avoid plastic, let them play outside (but not around strangers), socialize them, never loose my temper, always be present, listen to them attentively, make sure I don’t spoil them, treat their sicknesses (but not too much)… and the list goes on.. It’s so hard to feel a sense of accomplishment. Just more to get done.
Sometimes, it’s just the crying and the needing that makes it hard to stay upbeat. The sweet but endless answering of “Mommy can you help me’s.” It’s the should they cry it out or be consoled?? night after night… It’s the 7:30 AM wake up call until 9:30 PM you fall asleep on top of my head days, all in a row. The moments are magical but the days are exhausting.
I want to hope for grace. Grace to know something bigger than me covers the moments I missed because I’m stretched and stressed. To say it’s okay, when midnight coughs scare me half to death. Understanding, when I say I’m not feeling up to the task. When I break down and loose my cool. Grace, I so often withhold from myself, even though I’d preach it to you.
This job, being a full time Mom, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. That being said, it comes with hard seasons. It comes with worry, fear, disappointment, loneliness, boredom and an endless to-do list. A set of demands that is like no other job.
So if you see a Mom, in this mode, do what you can to see her. Listen. Don’t comment on the good or the bad of her now. Just give her a ear to be heard. Maybe she’s in a season of plenty. Or maybe she’s struggling to get through the day. Where ever she is, she wants to be seen. Take the time to see her.