Mommy Time: I Had A Dr. Pepper!
This is one of those late at night blogs, so bare with me here. It’s about 9:30- ish p.m, all five kids are in bed, hubby is out of town on business and I have the entire house to myself. Woohoo! I’m standing here listening to the beautifully strange sound of silence, thinking,”I should do something out of character, something dangerous, something fun…soooo for my mommy time…I’m gonna have a Dr. Pepper!” (I never, ever, almost never have soda.) Yeah, that’s as CRAZY as life gets around here ladies. But you know what? I wouldn’t trade this life for anything in the whole wide world!
My Biggest Critic
At the beginning of my Stay at Home adventure I didn’t quite feel that way. Tonight Marisela and I recorded a podcast, Defending Your Calling To Be A Stay At Home Mom, (although this post is going up a few days after) about dealing with the criticism from outsiders regarding our decision to become Stay at Home Moms. I shared how in the beginning I myself was one of my biggest critics (second only to my mother and mother-in-law). I felt especially guilty about all of the time, energy and money that had been put towards my degree that now was either in a closet somewhere or in a storage box under my bed next to a bin full of play dough. It was particularly hard to see my friends go on to graduate school while I settled in to my new life as a Stay at Home Mom. Even the title itself “Stay” at Home Mom carried such a stigma…they were “going” places, I on the other hand, was “staying” behind. Inevitably, one by one I lost contact with each one of them as we didn’t have too much in common anymore to email or talk about over the phone. Staying in touch would only bring up feelings of guilt and failure anyway, so it was better to move on.
Moving On From Old Friends, Onto New Ones
Moving on was key for me. The gap that was left by those friends who “moved on” was quickly filled with lovely new friends who shared my heart for staying at home. Getting involved in Mommy groups and women’s bible studies turned out to be very therapeutic and uplifting. It was fun to make friends with young moms like myself, so that we could commiserate about the hard times as well as celebrate each other’s victories together. But it was particularly healing to find and foster relationships with older, wiser, Christian women who had been Stay at Home Moms and loved it and could share the wisdom gained from all of those years with a newbie like me. I am so grateful for those women who came alongside me and mentored me. They helped me get my head straight and my heart filled. My whole life changed because of them.
To this day, I am just a phone call away from dialing my Sharon-911 to ask the usual “what would you do if ___ ” question. Sharon is the wonderful Titus, older (in age) but young at heart, woman God has strategically placed at this point in my life. She has the longest history of all my friends as a Stay at Home Mom (is even now helping to homeschool her great-grand child!). She’s one of several Mommy friends who will always be honest yet loving with me. Grateful, just so grateful for my wise and faithful friends! I would say “you guys know who you are” but fortunately, they are all really humble too and wouldn’t think they are on the list! Gotta love them!
The Gift Of Life At Home
Anyway, if you find yourself dealing with criticism regarding your decision to be a Stay at Home Mom, I urge you to listen to our podcast. We hope to come alongside you on this wonderful gift of a life at home that God has given you. We want to uplift you and let you know that this–by “this” I mean the uncomfortable feeling that you have to justify your decision to others– yes, this too shall pass. I’m not quite yet one of those “older wiser women”, but I have put in about 14 years into this SAHMommy thing and I want to be your biggest cheerleader. I want you to know that every day that you invest in your home life has an eternal reward that you cannot even begin to imagine! God is on your side on this one. And we know that if He is FOR YOU, then who can be against you?
With every year that goes by I become more and more grateful for this gift that is my SAHMommy life. I am grateful for my God first and foremost who gently guides my every step and gently brings me back when I stray too far from His path. I am grateful for my Husband, who is such a hard worker and wonderful provider, making this whole lifestyle possible. I am grateful for my teenage daughter who already is a hundred times over the strong, God-fearing and loving woman I ever was or could even have dreamed of being at her age! I am grateful for my two lovely tweens who are not only cute and cuddly still but also quickly blossoming into beautiful young ladies themselves. I am grateful for my precocious toddler boy who not only exudes an energy that I can hardly harness, but likewise exudes so much love with one simple kiss for mommy. I am grateful for my brand new baby girl, whose every little coo and sweet baby smile remind me that I’d better make every moment at home count. Yes, I’d better spend lots of time playing and making messes and going on long walks and kissing boo-boos and having tea parties and having prayer times and enjoying read-alouds and making time to talk and listen to each and every one of my precious kids because this time goes by so fast.
Free Yourself of the SAHM Guilt
I encourage you to take the time to reflect on all of the things that you GET TO enjoy because of your decision to be a Stay at Home Mom. And maybe the next time someone questions your decision or makes a rude comment about it, you will just be so full of gratefulness and joy that you just won’t care anymore. You will be free like me! Free from the guilt and free to fully enjoy the fruits of your decision. No matter how many Debbie Downers try to infiltrate your life with their negativity, their comments will just bounce off of you. You came to this blog, which tells me you are already surrounding yourself by others, either in your real life or via social media, who really appreciate and celebrate Stay at Home Mommy-hood. Good for you! Continue along this path, life will just keep getting better! We thank you for letting us be a part of it through this blog and through the podcast.
By the way, as I finish writing this, I’m coming off of my Dr. Pepper high and take it from me, it was SO NOT worth it. In fact, my head kinda hurts now. Making a mental note to self: opt for a glass of sleepy time tea and a long bubble bath that doesn’t include a toddler and a rubber ducky next time you get a night off!