When I decided to stay home, I had this picture in my mind. A picture of what our lives would like with me spending those 40+ hours at home, rather than in the classroom. I had high expectations for myself.
My house would be clean.
My laundry would never pile up.
Dinner would wholesome and homemade, ready by 6:00 o’clock each night.
I would set aside specific learning times for Braylen, and focus on a set of objectives in reading and math.
The list could go on and on.
In my head, it was going to be perfect. Actually, I was going to be perfect. Fantastic, actually, at this new job of mine. I mean, my house already stayed pretty clean, my laundry remotely caught up, I cooked sometimes, and I did all of these things while working. So not working was surely going to make me a top-notch Martha, right?
Somehow, I have less time. Or at least I feel that way. And it has taken me a few months to adjust to this new normal. I had set the bar so incredibly high for myself, that each and everyday I felt like I was failing by the time Allen came home. I felt unorganized and out of my element.
And I wondered, how in the world is this happening? I am failing at the very thing that I prayed so hard to be able to do, stay home with my kids.
That’s when it hit me.
I didn’t choose to stay home so our house would be cleaner.
Or for my to-do list to get smaller.
I didn’t choose to stay home so I could change the sheets more often.
Or fold more towels.
I chose to stay home to focus on those two little joys that call me mom.
A few simple realizations helped me to lower my expectations, and be better at this new job.
You see, they don’t care how clean the house is, or if I switch out their closets before the new season comes.
You know what they do care about? Playing at the park, and eating popsicles on the back porch. Having a picnic in the front yard, and building a fort in the playroom.
And there will be days when the laundry is caught up and the house is clean, at the same time. There will be days when I feel like I have it all together. Days when we bake cupcakes and actually clean up the mess before bedtime.
But, there will be days when those things don’t happen. There will be bad days and messy days. And that’s okay, too.
Because in the end we’re together. A little perspective goes a long way. The other day I filled out a field trip form for Braylen and I didn’t have to take a personal day. I signed up to help with the class party. I dropped her off at school this morning. Last year, I only dreamed of doing these things.
With any change I know there’s a period of adjustment, and I’m still right in the middle of mine, but as the days go by I hope my focus continues to shift from this version of the SAHM in my head, to the more realistic one the I actually am.
And just because I love them, here’s a peek at our recent beach photos from Sarah Lyn Photography.
**Note: This is in no way meant to be a working mom vs. SAHM post. I’ve done both, they’re both hard, they’re both rewarding. It’s an extremely personal decision that you have to make based on what works best for you and your family. I firmly believe you can be 100% happy as a working mom or a SAHM and there is absolutely no right or wrong option that works for everyone.**