Confessions From a Stay-At-Home Mom

JanFeb 2012 174

Yes, that’s my son wearing his sister’s hair bow.


Lately I’ve had some breakthroughs in honesty with myself (sounds funny and sad all at once doesn’t it?)  I’ve come to an interesting conclusion…

During my twin pregnancy I imagined being the kind of mom that cooks organic food, takes the kids out to the park and on play dates, reads books and plays games and sings songs all day, and enjoys it all thoroughly.


I’ve slowly but surely arrived at the understanding with myself that I suck as a stay at home mom.  There.  I said it.  Just to catch a break I let my kids color on the walls (which takes HOURS of scrubbing with baking soda and vinegar to remove).  I allow them to leap over the high end of the couch (yeah, kinda dangerous-but they’re so skillful!).  And sometimes they eat pop tarts for breakfast (which leads me to deal with the subsequent sugar overload and extremely agitated behavior).  Now don’t get me wrong.  I know that’s not that bad.  Overall, my kids eat healthy and get treated really well.

When I say I suck as a stay at home mom, what I mean is I don’t like it (I can’t believe I just said that).

I do like being in my robe all morning if I so please.  I like knowing how my kids are doing at all times of the day.  I like seeing the fun and funny and crazy things they do.  I know I’m fortunate to be able to stay home with them.  But, I feel like I lose my mind.  Even when I was a kid, I preferred to hang around adults.  Now that I am one, this is all too true for me.  One never gets used to diapers, in my case.  I can only sing but so many kid songs during the day before I feel my brain wanting to explode.  And when my kids scream in unison, I want to run down the street to the liquor store.

My anxiousness to work in my field of passion, health and nutrition for people with diabetes, as a health coach, has me raring to go like a hungry bull or race horse.  I am torn between wanting so badly to dedicate time on this and yet I am full of guilt because I know my kids deserve better.  They deserve my undivided attention.  I’d hire a nanny but I can’t afford one or daycare.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do until they were born but that’s precisely when I got really busy so I haven’t been able to dedicate time to my newfound “thing”.  It’s pretty frustrating, as wonderful a blessing as they are.

I will say that my kids do get the best of me.  My blog and other online work gets my scraps, late at night or during naptime.  It’s just that the best of me is feeling so forced?  I can totally understand women who have their kids and return to work a few months later.  We are not all the same personality type and cannot possibly all do the same parenting styles.  The thing is, since I can’t get my kids another care taker, it is my responsibility to not work 10 other jobs while parenting them all day.  I can’t burn out and I can’t let my health slip.  And if I don’t give them 100%, problems will arise that could have been prevented.

So I resolve to hold back a little on the blog.  Maybe write once a week?  One quality post is better than three hurried ones, I’m sure.  I think it’s great I’m feeling really motivated for my work (first time EVER!).  But, I’m trying to remember there is a time for everything.  I checked my blood sugar 20 times a day to make them, surely I can parent them the way I feel is best even though it’s not my favorite thing?  (Kids, if you read this one day, YOU are both my favorite things but I am no Mary Poppins)

Does anyone else feel torn, selfish, or anxious about life as a mom?  I think we need to talk about this more openly.  I don’t want to be ashamed for feeling torn between what I need to do and what I want to do.  It does help to get this all out.

7 thoughts on “Confessions From a Stay-At-Home Mom

  1. Jessica Apple

    I really appreciate the honesty of this post. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to write. I totally understand what you’re saying. It’s so hard to find the right balance – to do what’s best for your kids and also what’s best for you. xo.

  2. Bob P

    Sysy, thanks for this post. I’m not in this situation, but I admire your honesty with yourself, and wish you all the luck in the world in finding the best ways to incorporate all the things you want to do.

  3. Ariana

    Sysy, I totally relate. So many women who had become parents before me also told me that motherhood was SO not what they had envisioned. One friend (a really lovely, mature woman) told me she couldn’t believe how tedious, irritating and boring it was. I always thought I’d have a whole bunch of children someday, and that I really wanted to stay home. I realized that was more someone else’s vision for me, and not who I really am at all. I am so glad my daughter is finally school-aged, and sometimes I feel pretty guilty about dreading her (frequent!) school breaks. It’s OK. I think moms today are facing impossible expectations, and are trying to do more with and for their kids than any previous generations. Go easy on yourself… And find someone to give you a regular day off!

  4. emily

    oh, mami, did you hit the nail on the head. you know how much i love and gush and mush over my bird. but there are also days—i’m gonna say it!—where the thought literally goes through my mind, “was having a child the worst decision of my life?” i mean, really. am i good enough to be his mother? why do i find myself so bored at times?! WHY AM I NOT PUREEING MORE FOOD AND SINGING SONGS IN BLOODY FRENCH!
    and then i sit down and remember how everyone tells me they only get *more* independent as they grow up and one day i will miss this special time; this clingy time, this i-need-you-so-damn-much-mama time. otherwise, he’ll just end up with issues because i was too busy trying to find ways to get away from him, right? right. so there you have it. my take on it. all the while still admitting that my intense need for intellectual stimuli outside of Raffi is suffering terribly and sometimes, yes, i think i’m going to go running out of the house screaming because he’s screaming in a way that makes me want to cry, too. and then i see his face when he’s joyful. when he’s happy i’m there to witness his own growth and evolution. his discovering of the world. and i think, “oh my god, i would’ve missed that if someone else was raising him so i could be in grad school right now.” ya, grad school can wait a couple years. it’s pittance time to wait compared to being bummed later on….(((Hugs))) [btw, you’re incredible and your day will come.] <3

  5. Sysy Post author

    Wow everyone! I feel so much better knowing I’m not the only person who has wrangled with these thoughts! It really is about finding a balance, employing patience, enlisting support, and trusting that things will work out. Thank you for all your words :)

  6. Nathan

    Your thoughts and feelings are totally normal. I try to convince my wife weekly that her choice to be home with our kids is totally worth it. She is bored, feels isolated, feels unappreciated, etc. I have felt glimmers of it too. When I am home in the summer and she works almost full-time I sometimes slip into the closest thing that I’ve felt to depression. Lack of motivation, boredom, blah… even though it is supposed to be super fun to just hang around with the kids all day. It can be hard to get your sense of humor back, sometimes.
    Parenting isn’t a satisfying task that you can check off your list each day. It’s a grueling, thankless marathon. You are not alone on this, at all.
    Yes, it’s worth it. Nobody can do more for our kids than we can. Even if we struggle, and think we do it poorly.

  7. Sysy Post author

    That was so helpful, Nathan. Thank you for your comment. I agree and feel like all these reminders were exactly what I was needing. This is a natural part of life as a parent :)

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