I went to a job interview on Monday. I was very excited about the type of work I would be doing (interior design), but after the interview I realized a few things.
What I Learned
1) No grass is as green on the other side as we think. The manager explained an understaffed, overworked workplace, and weekends were required for everyone.
2) Being a stay-at-home mom is truly a job even from a financial standpoint. The salaried pay from the job I sought would cover the cost of childcare for my children and leave me with a mediocre paycheck. For us, I save my family money, time and stress by staying home. This reminded me that I contribute to our overall family goals.
3) I have problems as a stay-at-home mom, and I pretty sure I don’t want another set of problems at work.
4) My attempt to find balance through getting a job is not working, so I need to find different ways.
5) There are some perks of being a stay-at-home mom that I had not appreciated until they were being threatened. Specifically, I control my day and I didn’t realize how much I love that flexibility. Even with morning and afternoon naps that keep me homebound most of the time, I still schedule the rest of my day anyway that I want.
So, as I drove away from the interview, with a second interview scheduled, I re-committed to embracing motherhood during this season. My youngest turned one this month and this first year of her life has flown by. I do not want to look back and wish I had been more involved during my children’s lives.
If not me, who?
The day of my interview I was pre-occupied with preparing and getting things done, and in the midst of this, Brooklyn fell and hit her eye on the handle of mini baby stroller. I hurried to her side, soothed her pain and calmed her. As I held her I heard the question in my mind, “Who would do this if you were not here?” I didn’t even need to answer that question; I knew immediately that I wanted to be the one who held her close and made her feel safe and happy. Now, I do not always do a great job of being a mom, but I would rather be present than perfect. (Note: This is my personal experience and does not reflect on anyone else’s choices.)
Still Need Progress
Although I have decided that a traditional job is not what I want or need right now, I still want to find ways to pursue my goals in a way that fits my family’s lifestyle. Mostly, I want to find contentment, and true joy in being a mother, every. single. day. This is not something that comes naturally to me, but I know that I can do it.
Here are my questions for you. Please share your insights so we can learn together.
- When do you feel the most fulfilled as a mother? What things do you do with your kids that leave you feeling joyful and content with your life?
- How do you find balance between your own needs and the needs of your family?
- For you more experienced moms with older kids, what do your kids remember most about when they were little? What have you learned means the most to your family?
Here are the ideas that I have brainstormed for myself to embrace motherhood more.
1. Have at least one meaningful and/or fun activity, outing, chore or learning experience each day and also having a back-up plan that I can work with. I actually keep a list of things that are available to do on any given day at our house; this helps me when I can’t think of anything to do with them. Summer is going to be glorious because the outdoors opens a whole new arena for activities.
2. See motherhood a little more like a professional job. I am committing to waking up each day to do a “morning miracle” routine before my little ones wake up. I need the encouragement, endorphins and direction that this routine can offer. What I do each day is by no means glamorous, but I want to show up for my kids and I can’t do that well when I am sluggish and depressed when I start my day.
3. Stay connected to others. I always feel better when I connect with friends and family throughout my week. Having really small people for my constant company has the perks of snuggles and kisses, but adult conversation is non-existent.
4. I have written down one goal I have for each of my children. I can’t do it all, but I can do one thing at a time. I made these goals about two months ago and I have actually seen progress. I don’t feel overwhelmed by…one of them. =)
5. Family home evenings, family prayer and family scripture study.
I love you moms! I hope you feel good about you. I’m so thankful for the many examples of mothers who embrace parenting everyday. I am inspired to be better when I see you. Here’s to making wonderful memories with our families and reaching our dreams on our own terms.
PS. Basement progress: Paint is still unopened and painting supplies are sitting in the same spot. 😂