I’ve come to a new place in my WOHM–ness. I think I spent the first year of my daughter’s life grieving about not being with her. I still cry, and I still hate it, but it’s a little different now with her being almost 14-months-old. For the first time, recently, I realized I’m not so bitter anymore.
Previously, when I heard a SAHM complain about being home, I cringed. I would either burst out crying or fill up with anger wanting to strangle her for taking her gift of being home for granted. Last week, though, I found out that I’ve changed. I stood and listened to a friend state how she tries to send her baby (who is the same age as my daughter) to day care 5-days-a-week. Not because this woman has to earn money, because she is ill, or because she wants one day a week to herself so she can really get her house in order. No, none of these things. She explained that she wants to send her baby to someone else because, well, she doesn’t really enjoy being a mother. WHAT?! While they’re away at day care, she watches TV. Yup, I’m not exaggerating here.
Even thinking about it now, I’m surprised that I’m not irate. My initial thought would normally be something along the lines of “you have GOT to be kidding me! Don’t you understand how LUCKY you are to be given the opportunity to raise your children, and you’re willingly giving that to someone else? And then you aren’t even using your time to yourself to be productive? What is WRONG with you?!”…of course, I never said this out loud to anyone.
This time, my thought was this: I’m sad for you, that you don’t enjoy being a mother. For me, it’s been the most amazing, rewarding, and humbling thing I’ve ever experienced and I love every single moment of it. I’m sad that you can’t experience that as well. While I wish that one’s ability to stay home with her children was dependent upon her desire to, I know that’s not how it works, and it’s okay. It’s too bad, but that’s how it is. We are all different, and I don’t feel a need to judge you because you don’t enjoy your babies and you aren’t home with them when you could be. It’s okay that we’re different.
I’m not angry. Instead, while I continue to mourn my loss of my daughter’s first year of life, I am also able to enjoy the fact that I know God has very specific reasons as to why I’m not with LoveBug. I’m able to enjoy knowing that she loves going to her Grandma-Mimi’s house every day, and that my mother and sisters have had the time of their lives this last year taking care of LoveBug every day. I’m also finding comfort in the fact that LoveBug has a very special relationship with her daddy that she may not have had if they hadn’t been given the opportunity to spend so much time together. For these things, I’m thankful.
So while it will still continue being hard to be a WOHM and I will still have my days where I feel like I’m not doing anything well, at least I can rest in knowing that it’s okay. It’s okay that I’m not able to keep up with everything in my life. It’s okay that some women don’t want to be with their babies all of the time. And it’s okay that everyone’s not like me.
agreed. Sometimes its hard to not control the things in your life, but I believe your thinking about it in a positive light. Its hard when you want your children to have the things you feel you should give them…that's not something to be taken lightly nor something you should ever detach from. Your belief that something greater than you is at work is exactly the place to stand from. Believe, because you've been given a life and a new life to raise…what a blessing! According to my book…your doing something wonderful, great and loving!
#1: Once we sat down and crunched the numbers, if we put Joshua in day care I'd be making about $48 a week after all was said and done. It also wouldn't make sense because my husband works 2 days a week and can take care of him the other days, but that's beside the point. I can't imagine VOLUNTARILY paying for something as expensive as day care if I didn't NEED it.
#2: Maybe parenthood is like marriage. My marriage is wonderful when we're working a lot. The first day we're home together after 36 or 48 hours of being apart is wonderful. 48 hours later, though, we're on each other's nerves and ready to go back to work. Our marriage works best when we have lots of independent time. Maybe that's how some people are with motherhood; they're just better mothers when they're not with their kids all the time. I'm not trying to be snarky, since I suspect I will be a much better mother if I work a few days a week. I think it's one of those things that you have to find what works best for your family, and do that.
But I'm still not putting Joshua into day care. He can go to Mimi's house and play with Amara.
Yes, I recently got that advice about feel sympathy for another being…in my case it was with a significant person in my life who is unable to acknowledge he has any faults. Rather than get angry, I should feel sorry for him. Sounds like great advice for both he and me!
lmarston AT yahoo DOT com
I received your comment on training boys. I commented back on my blog. It was a very good question. Thank you for asking.
May I ask you a question? Maybe the answer is in another post? You mention how much you mourned the first year of your daughter's life having to work outside of the home. I know that is very difficult, but some of us have to do it.
Why is it that you had to work outside the home?
Far Above Rubies