I know being a stay-at-home mom is challenging. It is isolating and lonely. Painfully lonely. I mean, you are never physically aloneyou share every meal and every moment with your little munchkin — every trip to the bathroom becomes a full-on family potty party — but that doesnt mean you dont feel alone.
In all honesty here, there are days I wander the aisles of my neighborhood drug store hoping someone will smile at my daughter, hoping I can use that subtle interaction as a segway into a full-blown conversation.
Now, I know you are tired of hearing people tell you how blessed and lucky you are, how its all worth it. It doesnt help, period. And it probably only magnifies that newfound mommy-guilt most of us experience (because why dont you feel blessed, after all).
I know staying home isnt always a choice. Everyone says it is, Oh it is so nice you are able to stay home with your child, I wish I could!
Childcare is expensive, and sometimes it simply doesnt pay to work outside the house — some salaries only cover the cost of childcare and your commute. I get it. I understand.
I know you never enjoy a hot cup of coffee and rarely enjoy a shower. I know your childs nap time isnt your time. Rather, it is time to pay bills, do dishes, clean the house, prep dinner, or plunge the toilet that has been backed up since 8 a.m.
Maybe, just maybe, you can sneak in some food before the kiddo wakes up, but Ive found the ding of the microwave always coincides with crackly Im up coos and cries blaring over the baby monitor.
I know many people joke at your expense, minimizing the work you do or envying your ability to rock PJs at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday. And I know you smile and laugh, perhaps pointing to their jealousy, but I also know it is fake.
The smile, the laugh, everything. Inside you are seething. Inside you are angry at their blatant disregard for the work you do, for what their mothers probably did for them. Inside you are crying.
I know this is why you dont ask for help. You are afraid, afraid your needs arent enoughafraid you are a failure.
You are not.
Has anyone told you how amazing you are, as a mom and a person? No, really, you are the world to a little person, or persons.
You are their cook, their teacher, their playmate, their companion, their protector, their dictionary, their comedian/personal entertainer and their mom. I know being a stay-at-home mom can feel thankless but what you do is amazing, and you should revel in that.
Ive heard some suggest that if you are unhappy with your newfound role you should get a hobby or go do something but I know it isnt that simple. It isnt that easy. There are a slew of considerations, some actual — like money and childcare — and some self-imposed — like feeling to guilty to go because when you try to walk away your child screams and cries mama while they reach their little arms out and lunge their whole body forward. And even the best made plans, even the most hardened resolve, can fall apart thanks to an unexpected illness. (Thanks pink-eye for keeping my raging toddler home today!)
You are not a terrible person for missing those strange, semi-silent moments stuck in rush hour traffic, for longing for an angry stare or flat-out F you! from the car beside you. You are not a bad person for lamenting the loss of you, for yearning for the person you were before you were a parentbefore you were so-and-sos Mom.
And you are not the only person who has questioned their decision to become a parent. I dont know if you have, but I share this because I have. I share this because there are moments, days even, when I have regretted having my child. And these thoughts and feelings made me crumble. Who the heck was I, I though. How terrible am I? I dont deserve to be a mom. But you are not alone.
These thoughts happen and they do not make you awful or inadequate. They keep you sane. They keep you honest, and they will help you.
They will help keep you, you.