Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mothering Is In My Bones

Today, being a homemaker, a stay at home wife and mother is not a luxury  most experience. But in and of itself it is also a sacrifice of sorts. It is a blessing as well to stay home and raise children, to take care of the home, and to devote one's life in such ways. 

A woman must sacrifice an income, an entire career in most cases, in order to stay home with her children. This too has an impact on the entire family. She has to be secure enough in her decision not to doubt herself. She has to trust that being a stay at home mother is not going to negatively impact the lives of her husband and children. When she is unsure, well she has to build herself back up or risk falling due to her own undoing.

A woman who can choose to stay home with her children also puts an enormous amount of pressure on herself to do her very best. Anything less than her best would be an insult and a waste of being at home, she will perceive it this way. She is unquestionably hard on herself and feeling under the weather often leads to feelings of worthlessness . It is hard for her to accept that some days she will be less than her best albeit still her best in that moment and under those circumstances. Oh the circumstances there will be. She will devote more of herself to being her best than she will even realize.
When urged to do something for herself away from home she won't have any idea what that could be because everything she loves is under one roof. The people she loves to be with the activities she enjoys the most. Even the quiet corners of her home are more desirable than any coffee shop or library. When she wants to go to the library she will want to take the ones she loves. She wants them to enjoy the opportunity it offers. When she wants to go out for coffee she will want to do so with her husband. When the time comes that she wants to set out alone and do something for herself, she won't need to be encouraged to do so and God help you if you try to stop her, she will just need an able bodied partner to kiss goodbye as she walks out the door.

At the end of the day she knows that doing anything else no matter how worldly, luxurious, or desirable would change the life that she has built. She would not be the same and neither would her children. She would have different memories, different goals, and different relationships. Perhaps that would be ok too. Perhaps it would be an equally wonderful life. But this is the life she has and wants; this stay at home wife and mother life is what she was called to do. She knows this with every beat of her heart and dream in her soul.

This is my truth anyway. Some days I feel inadequate for the task I'm so obviously blessed to have. Some days I feel like I am doing my family an injustice by not providing more financial security and opportunity. Some days also turn into weeks at times when I don't remember to build myself back up or confess my fears and worries with someone who cares about me. When I don't surround myself with the kind of support that I need from my husband, trusted friends, or through spiritual outlets I easily fall into a void. When I sit down with my thoughts and feelings I find that I'm doing my very best. I'm doing what is in my heart to do; mothering is in my bones. Maybe I'll go to work one day the future is unpredictable. I have passions that inspire me, my life is not all housework and raising children.  Well, some days it is and that's great too. I know that this time is fleeting and this is not the time for me personally to pursue anything else but I don't want to do anything else. Forcing myself to pursue dreams that I haven't even had yet would equate with "keeping up with the Joneses" and would be for the wrong reasons. I would not be able to live with that kind of regret. I will never regret spending these years with my children. But I know I would regret the alternative.

This is not a competition, I have so much respect for working parents, for work at home parents, for stay at home parents both mothers and fathers, anyone who is doing the best that they can to have a great life. This is not me thinking my choices are better, I would never claim that. This is me being true to myself and sharing so that maybe someone else can gain something from my words and realizations. If I can spare one mother just one day of unnecessary guilt for her choices that are also her truth by sharing this, well then I've made my point.

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