A Mother’s Worth

Are you enough if you’re JUST a wife and mother?

I ask myself this a lot lately. Along with other questions like, “What else should I do?” and “Shouldn’t I be focusing on something other than JUST my kids?” The JUST in these question is what makes people think that being either of those things isn’t enough.

There are days where I feel like I should have another job to do or have other responsibilities outside of my home, but then I remember the reason I stopped teaching in the first place…to focus on my family! I wanted to JUST have the job of taking care of my boys without feeling like I was sacrificing time with them for all the other things I was responsible for. So much of my time and energy was given to my full time job that I constantly felt like there wasn’t enough left when I got home.

I’ll always remember the moment when I decided I wanted to try to stop working and stay home. My little boy had woken up in the middle of the night. Now, when their baby wakes up in the middle of the night all parents usually go through a few moments of what I like to call “The 5 Stages of Sleep Grief.”

Denial- “What? Is that crying? It can’t be! There is no way he’s awake!”
Anger- “Ugh! He’s awake! WHY!? I just fell asleep!
Bargaining- This one is usually directed at your husband or significant other. “If you go in and get him back to sleep this time then I’ll go the next two times!”
Depression- *Insert tears* “But I’m just so tired. I knew I shouldn’t have stayed up watching Netflix until 1 AM.”
Acceptance- “Alright, fine. I’ll go get him.”

This is normal! But, back to the point…I was in my little boy’s room rocking him back to sleep and I remember being so mad about the sleep I was losing because I knew the next day at work was going to be busy. I was counting down the hours remaining until I had to get up for work and I realized that I was snugging the sweetest little boy in my arms in a quiet room, just the two of us, and I wasn’t focusing on that at all. Even though no one likes to get up in the middle of the night, snuggling a baby is pretty much the best reason around. I felt like I was missing out on really enjoying every moment and adventure with my family because I was preoccupied with work.

Are there tons of moms who work full time? Of course. And I know they are amazing. But for me, I was no longer able to emotionally split my time and energy between my own children and 32 others, every single day. It wasn’t fair to my future students for me to continue teaching if I wasn’t going to give it my all, and right now, my all is right where I want it…at home.

So don’t forget…

If you’re a stay at home mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re a working mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re a single mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re an expecting mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re a mom of grown children, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you don’t have any children, but love your cats or dogs or job, you are doing a great job and you are enough.

Really, as long as you’re happy, you are enough!

 

Momfessions

WAMMomfessions

No one is perfect and sometimes we need to hear the things other people do in order to feel better about ourselves.No, it’s not that we NEED to feel better about ourselves. It’s just that it’s nice to know we’re not alone! It’s nice to know that we’re normal!

I’ve asked other moms what their mom confession (momfession) would be. As you read them, I hope that maybe not only do they make you feel better about the things you do (or don’t do!) as a mom, but maybe you’ll read a few and realize that sometimes it’s OK to do these things by choice! They’re harmless and it makes life fun and interesting!

Here’s their momfessions…

Sometimes I skip bath time…for a couple of days!

Cookies or cake for breakfast if I’m especially lazy or they’re especially good…or whiny.

Bribing! You name it, I’ve bribed for it. Trying new food, going to bed, leaving the house, going potty, getting dressed, being quiet, the list goes on and on!

Letting my kids watch TV, just so I can shower…or read an entire book!

I throw away toys that they like but that I find really annoying!

I eat the good snacks after they go to bed. It’s like they taste even better.

I let my kids eat snacks in bed one night, just so they would stay there while I watched The Bachelor.

I let my kids climb in bed with me so I can sleep longer in the morning.

I don’t stop my children from using the doggy door to go in and out. It’s just easier!

I tell my kids that a monster will eat their toys if they’re left out at night. -Ya, that’s one of mine…Read about the Toy Eaters HERE if you missed that post. I’m telling you, it works!

If I’m too tired to clean up, I just clear a path in their room and leave it a mess.

I taught my toddler to rub my shoulders and make it sound like it’s a lot of fun for her. It’s really just because I know that’ll benefit me in the long run!

What would your harmless momfession be?  Leave a comment below!

Why I Became a Stay At Home Mom

I read this article, where Danielle, of the blog Today’s The Best Day, tells why she decided to stay home. The long version is a great read, and I’ll tell you my long version below, but the short version is simple…I became a stay at home mom because I couldn’t stand being away from my babies.

As Danielle says as well, a lot of women don’t WANT to stay home and that doesn’t mean they don’t love their children or don’t want to spend time with them. It just means that they have other reasons, their own reasons, for working outside the home. Maybe it’s financial, maybe its because they love what they do, it doesn’t matter why, it just matters that they’re doing what’s right for them. I know how hard it is to be a working mom and they are true superheroes.

I NEVER thought I’d stay home. I was the kid who had a life plan and I stuck to it. I had ALWAYS known I wanted to teach. I planned for that all through high school. I started college with a set plan in mind and I stuck to my plan. It looked like this: 4 years of college, no more, no less. Two years of general requirements. Then, being accepted into the College of Education and spending the next two years prepping for the profession I was born to do! Graduating with my degree in Elementary Education, passing the Arizona state teaching exams, getting a job in the SAME elementary school that I attended, teaching for 30 years, and retiring. I also got married, bought a house, and had an hour commute each way during that time. It didn’t matter because I had my plan. I knew where I was going and what I had to do to get there. EASY!

The plan was moving along beautifully! I landed my perfect job and got to work along side some of my best friends for 6 years.  Then, I became a mom.

I will never forget a specific time when M was a couple of months old and we were having dinner at Outback.  He was fussing so I began to nurse him. As he was quiet and soothed at that moment, I looked across the table at Josh and began crying. I knew I was going to have to go back to work in just a week or two and it was all I could think about. I didn’t want to leave my baby and be away from him for hours and hours a day. But I did.

I went back to work. I was excited to see my teammates every day, I was ready to haul my breast pump back and forth each day. Again, I had a plan and I was going to see it through.

I worked for a 7th year and began my 8th. Then we found out I was pregnant again. My thoughts instantly turned to the fact that I was now going to be leaving TWO sweet babies every single day. I knew I would worry about them all day and miss them so much. I knew I would get home too late in the evenings, stressed out, and mostly thinking about what I had to do for work the next day. I knew I couldn’t do it again.

I decided I wanted to stay home and then all sorts of new worries and stresses flooded my mind. Would Josh think it was a good idea? Would we be able to afford it? Will my parents be disappointed in me for quitting teaching? Would I like staying home? Will I still talk to my teaching friends? And so on, and so forth.

Well, as I worried if it would work, many people told me the same thing, “You make it work.”

The money doesn’t matter, you hang on to the relationships you’re afraid of losing, you make new memories, and you take it a day a time. Adjust as you go.

I am with my boys every single day. I am soaking up the moments because I know it goes by too fast. I can honestly say that I love my job. It has long hours, but pays in hugs, kisses, smiles, giggles, and my heart is fuller than I ever imagined it could be.

Life is too short to NOT do what makes you happy. And BOY, am I happy.

 

The BINGO Game for Parents!

WAM Bingo

How many hilarious, annoying, and naughty things does a toddler do during the day? Now you can keep track with this BINGO game found on the Huffington Post! Check out the game by clicking here and see how long it takes you to win! Also, though it says the game is for ‘threenagers’- “a moody teenager trapped in the body of a cuddly 3-year old”, I’m sure this game would work for parents of any young children. Might as well make a game out of the times during the day when you want to rip your hair out! Maybe even reward yourself with something for winning! One bingo = one glass of wine? Black out that board and you buy a new purse or get a pedicure? Heaven knows you’ve earned it, momma!

Never Break Plans with a Stay At Home Mom

Never, ever break plans with a stay at home mom.

Moms who stay at home each day with their children do not get the chance to have adult conversations for the greater part of the day. They never get to discuss the latest world news, or gossip about their favorite shows…ha ha, just kidding, they don’t have time to watch anything other than Curious George and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! But still, the point is that the conversations their days are filled with are usually about how exciting it was to see a lizard in the backyard and whose body that noise came from.

If she’s got plans to meet you for dinner, fro yo, at the gym, maybe you’re supposed to stop by after work, whatever it might be, don’t flake out on her unless you absolutely have to! Something you may be fine with postponing to the following week might be something she has been looking forward to for days. Not just looking forward to, but counting on. Life gets busy, I get that, I really do. But just make sure you can’t shuffle some other things around before you up and cancel your plans.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying stay at home moms are some fragile butterflies that you have to treat as if they’ll cry at the drop of a hat, although postpartum hormones can sneak up and they might. All I’m saying is that I guarantee she’s been waiting for that time of adult interaction like a child waiting for Christmas morning. It’ll be as if she’s going on a first date…I can’t wait until tomorrow night! I think I’ll wear that new shirt I bought two months ago and still haven’t gotten to wear! Should I shave my legs? It sounds ridiculous and yet it’s completely true!

So if you’re a forgetful person, get a planner, set an alarm on your phone, write it on your arm, write it on your forehead, but be there. If you lead a glamorously busy life, make your friends who miss you (because I promise you, they miss you. They miss talking to anyone who is old enough to vote.) a priority.

And don’t forget: When you do meet up with them, don’t be surprised when they offer you hand sanitizer or ask you if you need to go potty before your meal comes! Just say yes and “try” anyway!

Now text your favorite stay at home mom and let them know you’re thinking of them. And maybe bring them wine…lots of wine.

It’ll be easy right?

WAM toptenSAHM

Here you’ll find my top ten reasons for becoming a stay at home mom!

1. The only boss I have to report to is me! Wait,…and Josh…wait, and two little boys…OK, maybe this is going to be more demanding than I thought!?

2. Household chores become my primary task during the day…the only real things I have to accomplish. Until just as soon as I start washing dishes and then someone needs a diaper changed, or wants to eat. Chances are, it’s going to be at least another hour before I’m back to those dishes.

3. I’ll have time to grocery shop during the day while everyone else is at work! Um, grocery shopping with two small children…no thanks! I think I’ll just wait and go after the kids are in bed. Walmart at 10pm can be relaxing, right?

4. Think about how much time I’ll have to keep up on laundry and actually get it folded and put away! Have you ever had a toddler around PILES of newly folded clothes? If not, let me describe to you what happens. At the exact moment you feel yourself approaching the end of the pile to be folded, this silent alarm goes off inside the head of your two year old and their body seems to lose all control as they grab or push every pile over. These involuntary movements are often accompanied by giggles. It’s fantastic, let me tell you.

5. We’re going to have playdates AT LEAST three times a week. Ok, so I know I’m still new at this having two kids thing, but getting out of the house can seriously take hours. Doctor appointment at 11am? Better start getting everyone ready to go at 8:30 because just getting into the car can consume the greater part of your morning.

6. The time I have to meal plan will allow me to save money and provide healthy meals for my family. After feeding a baby on demand all day and running around tickling a toddler, mixed with cleaning up spills and toys, Taco Bell and frozen pizzas can be good enough! What? They’re tasty. And babies have sensors in them that tell them when you’re going to eat and then they get fussy, so you won’t sit down and enjoy your meal anyway. *The silver lining: The standing and rocking a baby while you shovel in your food burns more calories, right!?

7. I’ll be able to spend time getting myself ready for the day. Uh-huh. Hello, messy top knot, jean shorts and tank top. Thank goodness for yesterday’s eye liner to really pull the look together.

8. I can’t wait to get together with my girlfriends on a weekly basis for girl time. Oh ya, remember those three other bosses I have? Well, Josh gives me the time off with no problem, but the little guy is crying because I won’t be home to put him to bed and the little little guy is connected to my boob. So…family dinner at the pizza place it is!

9. I won’t have to deal with the stress of working outside the home. Nope, just the stress of working inside your home, which means so much more to you than any job could. And no paycheck. Unless you count hugs and kisses, and how could you not?

10. I’ll be able to spend more time with my boys. *Insert deep breath of pure contentment.  This is the one thing that you think you’re going to get when you decide to be a stay at home mom, that you actually get.  The snuggles and giggles I get to experience during the day are worth all of the craziness. The laundry can wait. Because really, that pair of pants your wore again yesterday aren’t THAT dirty anyway. The dishes aren’t going anywhere. The toys piled in the corner that never made it back to the closet are just going to be played with tomorrow, right?

Enjoy your littles who grow so quickly and won’t be the same tomorrow. Suck up every single moment, from the quiet snuggles while they sleep on your shoulder or lap, to the times when those crazy screaming children team up on you to be as loud as possible at the exact same time.

Oh, and in-between enjoying all those little memories, try to take a nap. You’ll need it.