Monday, August 30, 2010

Happily? a SAHM

Ok, so I almost hate to admit it and feel a little weird talking about it, but it's good to get your feelings out, right?! I am a stay at home mom, but that wasn't the plan. It's a long story, but basically I was planing on taking the usual 3 months maternity leave and then going back to my job as a mental health social worker, leaving my daughter in the care of my neighbor (who is the mother of Emma's little boyfriend). She's now 18 months (wow, still can't believe it!) old and I'm still at home with her. I even take care of my one-year-old nephew at our home a few days/week also!
I went to state college for five years, yes, five, don't laugh! There's a good reason, I promise. I switched majors after sophomore year and to a double major, that's why it took so long. Then I worked as a preschool teacher for a year and decided that I really wanted to do something in the psychology field, so I went to graduate school for an MA in counseling psychology. So, about $50,000 of debt, two degrees and a teaching certificate later: what am I doing? Changing diapers, doing laundry, playing w/play-doh and watching Yo Gabba Gabba, of course! Isn't that what every MA does? Seriously, though lately I've been really struggling to define just who I am and just what my true purpose is.
I love my daughter more than anything in the world and absolutely love being the one who gets to teach her how to eat, walk, sleep, share, love, play....just exist. There is nothing in the world that compares to being a mom. It's the most amazing feeling knowing that my body grew and birthed an actual human being, if you think about it, it's quite mind blowing. Praise God!! All that being said, there are still some people who use phrases such as: "you're JUST a mom.", "oh, so you don't work then" and other ones that devalue motherhood. This drives me nuts and, even though I don't like to admit it, makes me (just a teeny, tiny bit) question how important being a stay at home mom really is.
I really am the biggest advocate for staying at home with your child(ren) that there is, but I don't judge or look down upon women who work outside of the home. After all, it was my plan all along. Each woman and family has to do what is best for her/them. I'm just not quite sure what the best thing for my family is. I really, really try to not be resentful, but sometimes find myself frustrated with our situation.
Going from a two income, abruptly down to a one income family was tough and we're still adjusting! I worry that stressing over money will affect my daughter. Maybe she'd be happier is I was working and we didn't have to be so frugal. Then again, it's probably not the best thing for a child to have everything in the world that they want. See...this is the mental ping-pong that goes on in my mind daily.
So, for the moment, I've given up looking for work and fully devoted myself to being the best mom I can. I do still have days when I miss the working world and having extra money to be able to go out to dinner and movies. But, nothing can compare to seeing my daughter's beautiful, smiling face and hear her laughter every day!
I would love to hear from you other moms. Am I the only one who feels this way????


Owen's Mom said...

I am also an unexpected SAHM. I always thought I would have my career & family after college. Six years later I stayed at home because my first son (and later my daughter) was diagnosed with a rare metabolic disorder. It just made since... though not necessarily cense... to stay home with them.

I do love it and feel lucky to have such a big role in their lives. I do have to agree with the occasional question of purpose. Some days I really wonder what it is I am doing with my life. I just have to remind myself that I am a renaissance Mom. I cook, I bake, I cloth diaper, Oh, my!

Cheers! Thanks for the great post.

Leah said...

No, you are not the only one. Every stay at home mom deals with the exact same frustration. It's exhausting, and anyone who has done it knows that it really is the hardest (when you do it right, which you are) job. We've all worked, we are all smart and intelligent people capable of doing great things with our education (my old boss told me he had no doubt I would be a millionaire someday if I kept with my career). So it's hard not to feel dumbed down when you are answering the question, "what's that?" all day long and fighting eating and sleeping battles. I've heard the phrase, "I love my kids, but hate being a parent". I think any parent (especially the ones that stay at home) know exactly how that feels. The bottom line is, it's a hard job = that is sucks sometimes. And when all these brightside betsy's are out there talking about how much they LOVE being a SAHM, it makes us people living in reality feel ashamed of sometimes wishing WE could go away for 8 hours and interact with adults. Just remember, that NOBODY loves your kid and wants the best for them the way you and your husband do. Your job is so important in shaping the little miracle you created. And when your daughter is older, she will never wish that you were at work 40 hours a week instead of home with her (I know how grateful I am that my mom stayed home, which is why I never questioned whether I would be a SAHM). I don't judge others who want to work either, but I truly believe I am using my talents the best way I can. You are an awesome Mom, Tamara. Believe IT! Sorry for the book.

Belly Charms said...

I am now a WAHM and I never ever thought I would give up my career. Just remind yourself that she will only be this little once and you will be there for everything she does.

One of my friends little boys just took his first daycare. You won't miss a thing. Unless you are lucky enough to get a shower. I am following you back and look forward to reading your blog.