Welcome! Today is my third week with a neighbor guest posting at my place for “Won’t You Be My Neighbor“. This week I am honored to host Amber from Making the Moments Count. I’ve so enjoyed reading Amber’s blog for the past few months for her stunning writing, introspective topics, and absolute honesty in all she puts forth. She comes from a background very different than mine, yet, I feel we have so much in common. I’m not sure how she does it with 2 babies under 2 and a husband in school, but she does. And she does it beautifully. I promise you’ll love her as much as I do!
Hello, I’m Amber and I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom
When my husband and I were first married, I was set on waiting to have children. Oh, yes I was. I waited a whole month before I finally realized I was fighting a losing battle. I knew a baby was waiting for me.
Our decision, my decision, to bring a baby into this world at such a precarious time did not sit well for some members of our family. They inevitably asked me if I was going to finish school. This irritated me. If they knew me–knew my determination–they would not have asked such a ridiculous question. Of course I was going to finish school.
I worked hard. I was sicker than a dog. I had an emergency appendectomy. But, I continued my education.
Even when the Queen graced us with her presence, I was unfazed. I knew I would finish.
I went part-time for that first semester, than switched to full-time the next. I took the Queen to almost all my classes (my school was very accommodating).
It was tough. I had to get up even when the Queen was up all night. I had to write papers, attend class, take exams, write more papers, work on group assignments, all while taking care of the Queen. (Yes, my husband helped as much as he could between his own full load of pre-med classes and working.)
Amazingly, I did very well. I am proud to admit that I kicked trash in my classes. I will also confess that I was enthralled by it all. The stress. The deadlines. Studying. Preparing. The learning. Yes, the learning. I delighted in expanding my limited knowledge. I basked in the academic setting. I relished being a top student.
At the same time, I was engrossed in “the grass looks greener” syndrome. I envied my friends that were finished with school and at home with their children. I wanted that.
The time came for me to graduate (when I was 7 months pregnant with Manly, mind you). I was thrilled. I looked forward to my new occupation, that of being a stay-at-home mom.
It was great, for the first few weeks. Soon my job seemed insignificant. I missed the academic world, the contact with professors, the exchange of ideas. I yearned for something more. My job as a stay-at-home mom did not–does not–satisfy my desire to learn. My writing is not given the accolades I once received in school. What I do at home surely is not as significant as what I could have done had I continued my educational career.
These new, bitter thoughts have consumed my pleasant life. Why can I not be satiated with the role I am in at the moment?
Cue the light bulb moment.
Being satisfied is my choice. For instance, when I am in the throes of pregnancy hell I often choose to be happy. It can be sickening how gleeful I become. I know that it will eventually end with a beautiful new baby boy or girl. Why, then, can I not bring this positive aspect into my new mothering career?
Because I feel that mothering is not fulfilling. Let me correct that. I think that mothering cannot be fulfilling.
The problem, you see, is that I choose to not let mothering be fulfilling. Why do I do this? Because I have allowed myself to listen and believe criminal thoughts.
I am making a resolution. I will stop moaning and groaning about being a stay-at-home mom.** I will embrace the glory of teaching my children, of wiping runny noses, of kissing away tears. I am raising the leaders of the next generation and, by golly, I will rear them in the best possible way (within my own limitations). This may be a “thankless” job at the moment (okay, my husband thanks me like every day so that isn’t entirely true), but the rewards are endless.
Care to join me?
**This does not apply to sleepless nights, colicky babies, or other day-to-day motherhood activities. It applies to comparing this job to other jobs with all its accompanying emotional backlash. Because, let’s be real, I like to complain. What the heck would I talk about otherwise?