Being a Mom is hard. There’s no way around it. I’m not whining, just putting it out there.
For me, being a stay-at-h0me-mom (SAHM) is really, really hard. Working moms certainly have their own challenges, and I remember that being really, really hard at times. But I honestly never thought I’d be a SAHM. I always just assumed I’d work. And I did for almost the first 5 years of my momming career. Sometimes it’s still hard to wrap my mind around my stay-at-home, homeschooling mom life.
I read this article the other day and it really hit home. This paragraph, specifically, really struck a chord:
“The times that I’ve felt most alone and unhappy as a SAHM were the times that I felt as though all I was doing for my family was completely overlooked or taken for granted. It’s not that I don’t have a kind and loving family—it’s just that so much of the work of a SAHM is the kind of thing that only gets noticed if it doesn’t get done.”
I’ll be completely honest. I’m not good at the “housewife” part of being a SAHM. At least once a week, there’s probably a full load of dishes ready for the dishwasher before it gets emptied of the clean dishes. There’s almost always an unfolded basket of laundry (or two or three…) sitting in my room. And my house still hasn’t been fully dusted from our drywalling experience a few weeks ago. When the house is a mess, it feels like I’m failing.
Then there’s the momming part of being a SAHM. (Wo)man. It exhausts me to constantly shape these little people. And let’s be honest, most of the time, it doesn’t feel like lifelong important shaping of their lives. Most of the time it feels like refereeing a fight between two monkeys or trying to reason with a dog barking at a squirrel on a power line in your backyard. (I’m speaking from experience on this one. Georges is ridiculous.) When I run out of patience and lose my cool, it feels like I’m failing.
Oy. Then comes the isolation. So many days go by where all my adult interaction comes during preschool drop off (D’s teacher must think I’m super chatty and outgoing!) and after 5PM when Aaron gets home from work. By then, I’m low on patience, and not always super chatty. It’s awful. When I’m miserable from lack of relationships, but I don’t have the energy for my most important relationships, it feels like I’m failing.
So what’s the solution? Well, I’m well aware there isn’t a perfect solution. I can work on moving things in the right direction though.
Here’s what I think. I need is a tribe. I happened to read an article on that recently as well.
“We cannot do it alone. We need a squad. A tribe. A village.
We have a deep need for community and relationships. It’s in our XX DNA.
What if you don’t have a village? Well you need one.”
I need a squad, a tribe, a village – I don’t care what you call it. I need friends and fellow moms I can turn to when I need a break, when everything is going wrong and even when everything is going right and we just want friends to celebrate life with. But how do I find my tribe?!?
I’ve been staying home for almost 3 years now and I still struggle with this. I certainly have friends, but it seems like everyone is busy. It’s difficult to make real connections on a regular basis. I’m a huge “what-if” type of person, so I constantly wonder – would things be different if I’d been staying home since day 1? What if we went to a different church? Maybe if we didn’t homeschool I’d have more connections? Do I need to put myself out there more, make myself vulnerable and be more outgoing?
I don’t know what the answer is. But I’m not willing to give up. I’m going to keep trying, and hopefully some day (s00n) I’ll have my squad.
Although I’m sure, even then, being a mom will still be hard.