Mom's Identity Crisis
Mom's Identity Crisis
Do you ever wonder what the rest of the world is doing while you are up to your ears in laundry, dishes, and toys?
That can be a daunting thought, even on your best of days or especially on those days when you know you won't be leaving the house except to get the mail. Sometimes it can be hard to remember getting up every morning, showering in peace, having a nice, hot cup of coffee, putting on pretty clothes that have no spit-up (or worse) on the shoulder, and leaving the house to go to a job where a raise is expected if you do your best. Remember lunches out with the girls? They didn't wear bibs or use sippy cups, did they?! Remember being waited on by a friendly server (who also bears no spit-up on his shirt?) Can you recall not asking for crayons to go with the place mat? How about carrying that handsome briefcase into a meeting during which you can nod approvingly at intelligent comments and grin at corporate humor that only an adult can understand? Or think back to shaking hands with a customer even if you are unable to agree on an issue, rather than threatening to spank your customer if he doesn't promptly remove the Jell-O from his nose. Now there's a stroll down Memory Lane, huh?!
As time wears on, however, this reckoning with the more intellectual world gets easier to confront. We know we have brains in our heads. Heck, a successful company, educational institution, or medical/legal practice hired us once, right? And don't you forget it! There is a lot to be offered, as well as gained, by those who are no longer in the corporate world. We've all heard the expression, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." We believe there is a lot of truth to that. The world needs mothers who are willing and able to be at home, sacrificing material things so that their children will be able to take a strong place in the world one day with good morals, strong values, spiritual backbone, and the ability to contribute to the lives of those who are not as well equipped.
Sometimes it might feel like you have given up a lot of yourself in order to provide your children with these substances. However, when you give some real thought to what your children gain by your uncompromised presence, you will know that you are giving them everything you can to ready them for the world. In turn, you reap the benefits of being the one to witness the serendipitous wonders of the first wobbly steps, hearing the first magical words, and seeing the first toothless grins! More importantly, when those questions come up that youÂ’ve been waiting years to answer to a child, such as "Where is God?" and "How come reindeer can fly?" you have got your chance. It beats hearing second-hand what another care-giver might tell the child in response to those inquiries.
Combatting LonelinessFortunately for us, there are many ways to combat those lonely feelings, however. Personally, I have found e-mail to be a saving grace for those quiet times during naps when I need to communicate with the outside world. As silly as it sounds, you can feasibly feel more in touch with those with whom you would normally speak on only a monthly basis, by sending quick e-mails any time you want! But there are even more interactive ways, such as playgroups, to have a network of friends who understand the needs of a stay-at-home mom.
A routine can be as regimented or unrestrained as is best for you. In planning one, be sure to allocate plenty of play time just for you and your kids. You're home for them, after all. And they will learn in time that Mommy needs time to do other things, too. Some people find it helpful to do laundry on one or two particular days a week, and cleaning on one or two others. If this can be achieved, you will always have a feel for what kind of time you have available to spend outside the house with family or friends. Plan on some time for your own hobbies, too. The key is to stay balanced, and avoid feeling like you are always facing another day of "chores," so you can always be fresh and in a positive frame of mind for your children.
Without a routine, it can become drudgery just to get through a day. This can be said for newly retired people, those who are forced to be home while they heal from an injury or illness, or those who maintain jobs or businesses at home. At times, we all need to feel motivated by something in addition to our own impulses. So sit down, and map out a plan for your day if you have not already done so, even if it's as simple as a "to do" list. You might be surprised how much more you can accomplish with your time!
About the Author:
Mia Cronan is a married full-time mother of three girls, ages 5, 3, and 1, living in Pennsylvania. She owns and edits http://MainStreetMom.com, the magazine for modern mothers with traditional values. Mia can be reached at email@example.com.