To the stay at home mom who was once a 'someone'
Phew. This is a topic super close to my heart, as it is often so poorly understood by everyone who has never experienced it for themselves. This is a little piece of my heart to all the stay at home moms, who was once someone else, who once had a career, and who are now home with their kids-as a choice, but perhaps also as circumstances moulded or forced it
This is not to disregard the awesome working moms at all, that is another topic that I would also love to address at another day, but today I want to honour the stay at homies.
We all know that to be home and spend 24 hours a day with our kids is a blessing, a great honour and we are not allowed to ever complain. We also know that we CHOSE to have kids.
Haha. hahahahaha. Firstly, before having kids, one genuinely just has no idea what you are in for. Not even by far. We all know we will have kids, and that they will obviously just fit into your life's plans as you already set it out. Right?
I mean, I had it all figured out.
I would have kids and work obviously,even specialise. Spend time with them after work and weekends,pump breastmilk at work, easy peasy.
Never did I consider seperation anxiety (not from my babies, but from me). Never did I consider postpartum depression which was probably sleep deprivation induced. Never did I consider breastfeeding anxiety and producing "just" enough milk with plenty of effort, and not allowing yourself the grace to be okay with something else than breastmilk, and the amount of stress it created. Never did I consider the amount of silence I needed in between mothering to not lose my mind. Never did I consider how small little household tasks that seemed to never end could overwhelm a sleep deprived brain.
I was however still working, and the hours I spent at work were amazing. I got to dress properly, get out, get a coffee, be unattached, use my brain, have meaningful conversations, manage emergencies and feel important. I came home refreshed for a few minutes, only to be met by such extreme guilt about leaving my children at work or at our nanny that it was enauseating, and then the worst fatigue imaginable followed. It was simply just not working, not for me, or for our family.
I do realise that some of this type of mom guilt is not normal and may actually prove my control issues, but that was unfortunately my reality, as I know it is for many other moms! My heart's desire was still to work, to provide an income, to be stimulated, to use my brain and to do the work that I have been called for, but the timing was just not right. My desire was and is still is to specialise, but the reality dawned that I wasn't strong enough to do it all together. It was and still is a bitter pill to swallow but I know and have faith that God has the perfect plan for us all and that His timing is always perfect without fail.
So at this moment I work a tiny bit in a GP practice (well, that is basically non existent during our Covid-19 pandemic), so I am mostly a stay at home mom.
Plenty of my doctor friends are on the forefronts, saving lives, risking theirs, and, well, I am at home. It mostly worked out this way- trust you me that I tried to volunteer everywhere I could to help but no one seems to want me as a doctor, but I also know it might be God's hands in everything.
It is hard. Job guilt is just as real as mom guilt, but I do have to be honest that it is not as debilitating. At least in a job, anyone could take your place...but in a home, not so much.
It is really hard going through groundhog day over and over again with no stimulation,no sense of importance or self worth even. Scrubbing toilets and doing laundry when you know you could be performing procedures you actually enjoy, get praised for it AND get payed for it. It is hard having to budget even more carefully with one salary. Seeing your friends succeed in life and build their CV's.
I do believe that when Jesus said 'Take up your cross and follow me', that this was one of my tiny sacrifices, one I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. All these mundane days, no recognition, feeling invisible, feeling like I don't matter, and feeling as if I am becoming more unintelligent by the day-I have full faith that this is His perfect will for my life currently and what is more- His perfect will is perfect. Exactly what I need.
Not to harm, but to be a safe place, under His wing, being fully present as a wife and a mother and trusting His timing and tiny voice to compel me when it is the correct time again to go full speed ahead in the working world. That day will come, it is part of me, ingrained in me, and something that I can not part from. And it will surely come with its very tough challenges, even more than the ones I think I have now.
So I breathe deeply, and know-and I hope it means something to everyone reading this. Whether you are at home with your kids, loving it or hating it, or at work away from your kids- thankful for it or detesting every minute as you don't have a choice.
God has a plan for you and Your children that is infathomable, indescribable and insurmountable.
God has a specific plan why you should be at home now which is not only of benefit to your kids, but to you as well. And if you do have a desire to work again or further your career, He will make it happen at the perfect time and perfect fashion if you just abide in Him. Perhaps the desire will grow with time, perhaps it might even die a slow death, but either way you will be in His hand, in His will, under His wing, which is the safest, most fulfilling and free place one could be.
For now, I do have my days (most days, I have to admit) where I long to work, to work out medical puzzles, to use my brain, be stimulated and be someone else than just a mom.
But then I see my son running to me with open arms shouting 'mama' and giving me an open mouth kiss or my daughter taking my hand and saying 'mommy, you are my best friend' and I look at the home that I get to create,the time I get to spend with my husband, the books I get to read in the evenings, the garden I get to tend to, the time I have to invest in friendships and obviously, the (very large) amount of time I get to spend with my children, and I know, it is so, so worth it. Not even only worth it.