I'm a SAHM: And I am Still Getting Used to It!
Motherhood. Before getting pregnant, and then bringing my daughter into this world, seeing that word did not have the same impact on me as it does now. There was no way for me to fully understand the depth and meaning of that role. Of course I watched my mother, grandmothers, neighbors, and friends, but how on earth would you know? How could you know truly how much you would have on your plate?
Getting Over the Pre-Motherhood Expectations
Long before I was even pregnant, I always loved seeing moms out to lunch with their mommy friends and their little brood. I would silently daydream about the day when I would get to join the world of mid-day dates with my kid! Of course, the time it took those moms to get ready, and get everyone out of the house, never once entered those daydreams. The funny thing here is that I had even seen and helped my sister wrestle her kids out the door, and listened to her express hard moments or bad parts of her day. Most of the time, I would laugh it off with her and not think about it again. Then there came the cute lunch date mommy thoughts and BAM I was back in 'expectation station!' Quickly after my daughter was born, it was apparent that I had seriously underestimated just how big of an adjustment I was going to go through. Yeah, yeah I know the word 'adjustment' is used all the time when referring to becoming a new mother (or adding another one to the crew!) but I am here to tell you that it isn't just there for the first couple months. My daughter is 14 months old and there are still days that being a stay-at-home-mother feels so foreign to me, days that I sometimes think "whoa, this was not what I expected!" The days that I take a deep breath and let go of my crazy expectations tend to end as my absolute favorite days, even if they started with me feeling entirely inadequate.
Who Masters Their Career in One Year?
Expecting to get cozied right into being a mother is, well, crazy! Not that I think all of us are marking our calendars to say that on the 3rd day of February in 2018 we will be perfectly used to our role. I would bet that doesn't happen. However, I do bet that a lot of self-shaming is had when we aren't meeting the specifications of what we believe is our ideal mothering self. The belief that we are our own harshest critic is definitely true for me. Why are we so hard on ourselves?! I mean, I know it is because we have such a big role to fill, but that is the exact reason why we can't expect to master our mommy gig in such a short period of time. Every house is different, just as everyone's role as mom is different. Regardless of the exact role, there is still so much on your plate! Whether you are doing all of the housework and taking care of kids, working from home, or a number of other things; we have to give ourselves a break! Who cares if the laundry didn't get done? Truly. Probably just you. Didn't spend as much time giving your babe one-on-one attention as you believe you should? They were probably totally jazzed that you let them eat snacks and roam free while you did whatever you had to do! You will have off days, days where you just don't have the energy to do everything you planned (sleep regression anyone?! total blah right!) or even days where you don't want to plan a single thing! On those days, I hope that you take a deep breath, and just be present. Don't get lost in your own harsh thoughts!