I was at a women’s conference the other day and a woman asked me how many kids I have. When I answered that I was due with my 4th, she gave me a shocked look, and said, “Well, at least a couple of them are in school now!” Then with my response that I homeschool, she responded with, “Oh my! You are a saint!”
Nope. Not a saint. Not even close. These are just choices I’ve made for the betterment of the big picture, but my goodness, it is not easy.
I read blogs of women who love being a stay-at-home-mom. I envy them. I wish I loved cleaning up after my kids, and working on character development, and I wish I could say I don’t meet many days with frustration.
I find being a stay at home mom very hard, mentally.
It’s not that I don’t find value in it, because I do. I wouldn’t be a stay at home mom if I didn’t feel it was the best thing for my family, at this time. Maybe SAHM-hood comes easier for those that witnessed it as a child more often, or had a SAHM themselves. What is challenging for me is that my worth in this world is dependent on other people. It’s often I feel like my boss on a day to day basis is 3 ft tall.
My work and its worth
It’s rare that I’m commended on my work in the home, but when I worked outside the home I was complimented on my intellect and determination for success. It’s a hard mental shift to go from someone perceived as intellectual, independent, and strong, to a doting housewife.
It wasn’t until after I started to homeschool and network with other stay at home moms that I realized how many of us are highly educated, and had successful careers before choosing to stay home. My perception of stay at home moms has changed significantly, but I can’t say I have any reason to believe that others’ perceptions are making any movement.
Often I’m left with a guilty feeling for wanting to find intellectual stimulus outside of the home. I love to take classes. I love to learn. I have to remind myself that there’s nothing to feel guilty about when I seek stimuli elsewhere, and I want to remind you of that fact also. Tweet this I was reminded in the book, Gift from the Sea that motherhood used to involve creative endeavors, but as we have made things more simple and streamlined, the tasks that used to give us pleasure (cooking, sewing, and even laundry) are now monotonous in their application. There is little creativity in many of these tasks when we take the simplest approach to them and use modern appliances.
I’m reminded that having hobbies like knitting, sewing, or cooking aren’t just for old ladies! Many of these hobbies give us reason, purpose, and pleasure to have some quiet time. We need that time to think, and often learning these new hobbies exercises the mind and gives us that stimulus. For me, these hobbies are a pleasure, but honestly, this humble blog brings about the most rewarding stimulus. Alhamdulilah (praise God), I’m thankful for such creative and fulfilling endeavors.
Embracing this life
So, it’s clear that the domestic life doesn’t come easy for me. I have to remind myself of the greater purpose and the bigger picture. How do I work to embrace it? How do I try to shift my mind from feeling like a servant to a worthwhile matriarch of our family? Remembering my purpose. I have to think of the alternative, and what life would look like. I love to know that I am, in sha Allah (God willing), hand crafting my children’s futures. Day by day, step by step, I am there. They see the good, the bad, and the ugly, but each day, they see me. I’m not perfect – incredibly far from it, in fact. But, I can say that I am not missing out on the family that I desired so deeply, and that I will in sha Allah know my kids well, and be able to support them because of how intertwined our lives have been from the very beginning.