Originally posted on the My Brand Of Happy Facebook page. Click here to follow along. It’s an alternative newsfeed to provide some relief to the usual chaotic clutter of the internet. It’s fun, you’ll like it 🙂
Stay at home mom. Stay at HOME?! You’re so lucky. You get to hang around the house all day in pajamas. You can watch tv and eat snacks and do whatever you want. Nap when the baby naps. Prepare fresh meals. Keep the house clean. Find time for your own hobbies and self-care. Shower. Read. What a dream!
Ha! First I’ll say, yes, I am so lucky that I get to stay home. I feel grateful every day. Because it’s something I want to do and I get to do it. Remembering there are lots of stay at home parents who don’t have the choice. Lots of other parents who wish they had the choice.
And more still who have the choice but would much rather go to work. There is no one right way to do this thing. Now, that being said, that
is NOT how the day of a stay at home parent goes down. Like, not at all. I mean the pajamas part is pretty accurate, but that gets old quick. And if you count snacking on leftover apple sauce and goldfish
crackers a win, then I’m the champ. But most days you just feel like a dog chasing its tail, using up lots of energy to get nowhere. Well,
what feels like nowhere. Forgetting that you’re raising a little person, who needs you to learn how to function. It can seem like nothing, but it’s really EVERYTHING.
Whether you stay at home or go to work, chances are you put your head down at the end of the night and your brain starts listing off everything you DIDN’T do. I know mine does. I can feel so exhausted and so unproductive all at once. How am I so tired if I didn’t DO anything all day?
But here’s the thing. We DO do things. ALL DAY. In those little micro pockets of time, we somehow cram our ways into them and get shit done. I don’t know how. But we do. We work and we love and we plan and we nurse and we soothe and we teach and we shop and we organize and we clean and we play.
And yet we feel like we’ve accomplished nothing.
I’ve come to accept that there will always be something on my to-do list that I won’t get to. I’ll forget to do it. I’ll push it off. I’ll miss the deadline. I’ll need to be reminded more than once. I’ll write it down in five different places and still forget. That’s just how it’s going to be right now.
I’m used to getting things done and being in control and being super dependable and punctual and “perfect”. These are things I’ve wrapped my identity around. And since having kids I am none of those things. BUT I’m a whole slew of other way better, more important things. And that matters.
I beat myself up every night that I didn’t do enough with my day. But when I look back on the last 18 months since having her, that’s just
not true. I’ve managed an entire home remodel, a move, family trips, school events, tantrums and attitudes, and growth spurts and teething. I’ve been with baby, nursing her and teaching her and loving her. I’ve managed to write an entire book somehow. I have no idea how or when that happened. But somewhere in between all the nothing I was doing, I wrote an entire book. That’s gotta count for something, right?
What I’m trying to say is, don’t forget those little moments throughout the day where you figure out how to get the things done. Maybe not all the things. But things nonetheless. And they matter. And you matter. And you wrote a whole book with a baby attached to you and that’s a feat in and of itself. Even if no one reads the damn thing. That’s something to be proud of. (Maybe that last part was directed just at me).
Let’s stop being so dang hard on ourselves. Drop the guilt. Drop the pressure. And just enjoy these little magical micro-moments. Live them. Breathe them in. Soak them up. Even when they feel super challenging. Try to keep that perspective in your back pocket to call upon when you need it. These moments are very temporary and we’re going to miss them. The moments where the baby wakes up early from her nap and you didn’t get to finish that post and you rock her on your shoulder as you finish it up and send it out. You’ll forget about that micro-moment. You’ll put your head down at the end of the day and you won’t think of it. You’ll only think of everything you missed. All the things you did wrong. The moment you lost your temper or the deadline you forgot or the school form you didn’t sign. Don’t forget the magical micro-moments where everything went right and you had everything to do with it.
Brain dump, over. Lauren, out.