Someone once quoted to me that boys are noise with dirt on it. I don’t usually like to generalize gender like that, but in my house this happens to be very true.
I have three sons: Max (6), Theo (4), and Ben (almost 2). As I’m sitting here writing, Max and Theo are alternating between coloring and fighting each other chick fight style (pawing at each in the air without really making much contact) and Ben is collecting the crayons they drop and asking me to put them in a box. It’s loud and chaotic and chances are I will be cleaning crayon off some surface later and I’m letting it happen because I had to take time off this week to tend sick kids, so I need to put the time into work this morning. A day in the life of a WAHM.
I am not an organized person. (understatement) (seriously)
If you dropped by my house without warning, you would see a kitchen counter with random items strewn across it. The usual cups and bowls and cereal boxes, but also bills, packages, one lone sock (why my kids take their socks off in the kitchen and I only ever find one is perplexing), a clean blender that hasn’t returned to its home in the cupboard yet, a beach bucket, and a small treasure chest full of seashells (we live nowhere near a beach).
You wouldn’t see baskets of clean laundry in the bedrooms but they’re there. I haven’t unpacked my suitcase from three weeks ago yet. Dirty laundry hampers are full.
This is my life as a work at home mom. I know there are others out there who have it all together and balance everything, but I am definitely not one. But I wanted to write this because if you’re like me, sometimes you feel guilty that you aren’t able to keep all the plates spinning. And you know what?
It’s okay that we don’t.
In our society, it is taboo to admit that being a mom isn’t fulfilling in and of itself. I LOVE my kids. They are my heart. But making them my whole world isn’t healthy for any of us. I might have a messy house and I might send them off to play while I blog or ship or photograph, but at the end of the day, they know the time I make for them is quality time. We read together. We color. We cook. I take them to fun activities or just to Target but we always have fun.
I contrast this life to the one I led before I started working. I was unhappy and couldn’t enjoy those times with them because I had nothing else. Getting a chance to miss their company is the best gift I could give myself. Finding something that is intellectually stimulating and emotionally fulfilling makes me a better mom.
It’s okay to make yourself a priority.
If you are where I was a few years ago, I want you to take a moment and think about what makes you happy. And if it’s a balance of time with your kids AND working or pursuing a hobby or hanging with friends? Then figure out how to make that work. You will be happier for it.
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