Monday, September 19, 2011

What's In It For Me?

My friend, Kate, posted a blog last week titled 'Meet This Mama'.  It detailed her life as a mom, and one of the things she wrote I found to be particularly interesting.  The questions pertained to something most people don't know about her and this is what she said:

I want to be a SAHM but secretly know that a) I could never lose my independence and b) I judge Mom's that do SAHM even though I am jealous of them. I know that none of that makes sense but it's an insecurity and a very bad character trait. I'm sorry. It's a love/hate thing.

I find this intriguing and here's why:

As a SAHM I've stuggled at times with feeling like I lost a part of my independence and identity aside from my family.  It's actually this biggest thing I've struggled with since quitting work to stay at home in 2007.  And truthfully, had I not had a 'sick' child and so many small children that the cost of daycare outweighed me working, I'm not sure I would have been willing to quit my job. 

But...the thing I've struggled with and has at times even scared me, has became the thing that has given me my greatest identity in life.

Being a mom!

But that doesn't mean that's all that defines me.  On the contrary, I think we define being a mom.

I love my kids more than life itself, and it wasn't until this time last year, when my life turned upside down, that I really started to appreciate this tremendous blessing in my life. 

There are so many moms out there who wish they had the opportunity to 'really' raise their children.  To get the spend the day teaching their little ones, and taking them on field trips to the zoo, park, etc.  And because I have a husband who busts his rear-end to support our family, I have the opportunity to do those things.

Sure at times, I feel like pulling my hair out, and I take five minute 'Mommy time-outs' to the bathroom, but I thoroughly enjoy my children.  I enjoy the stages they are in.  I love that Breanna is so excited every day when I pick her up from preschool, and that my big kids coming running in after school to get a snack and show me what they did that day.  I love that I get to take my kids to school every morning, and that I have the opportunity to spend time volunteering in their classrooms.

I have the opportunity to go on field trips, be involved with PTO, to take baked goods to them and their fellow classmates, to take them to all their activities.

Sure my job may be 24/7 with little to no sick time, Holidays, or weekends off, but it pays more than any other job I could imagine having.

It pays every night when I get hugs and kisses before bed, with 'I love you's', with a little body wanting 'Mommy' to hold them when they get hurt or just don't feel good. 

I don't have to worry about calling in or dealing with a boss that doesn't understand that my children come first. 

And I do have 'me time' and adult interactions. Maybe not as much as I would if I worked outside the home, but enough to keep me sane. My friends have become the moms of my kids friends.  We have playdates.  We socialize at functions and music lessons.  We cheer our kids on together.  We attend the same church, and go to Women's group together.  

I was talking to my friend, Julie earlier and we were discussing working.  She said, 'If you went back to work, some of the many obligations you currently are involved with would have to take a back seat.'  And she's right.  Because I stay at home, I have the opportunity to take on projects that I am passionate about.  ie... the 3 day and all the training and fundraising that it entails.  Not to mention the countless opportunities that have been presented to me as a result.

I think as SAHM's we don't have less obligations...I know I certainly don't...our priorities for what we make time for are just different.  I don't at all feel like I've lost me in being a mom; I've gained perspective on what's important in MY life, and I'm doing what I love along the way.

So....What's in it for me?

My answer is simple:  EVERYTHING!

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