I remember the struggle I had with all 3 of my kids. I wanted to be that perfect stay at home mom. The one that’s never tired, always says the right thing and has her hair and make-up done all perfectly. You know, the one that doesn’t really exist.
I used to love the Brady Bunch, I still do. It was my picture of a perfect family. Carol walking around with 6 kids just as carefree and as happy as can be. Come to think about it, did Carol actually do anything? Anyway, as you can see, my idea of a stay at home mom was slightly misguided.
Each time I had a baby, after 6 weeks of being home, I would feel like a blob. That’s right, a big blobby bunch of nothingness. It was like Tabatha got kicked out of my body and I was now possessed by this woman named mommy. I felt like all I did was nurse and change diapers. In fact, I felt totally taken advantage of. Those babies just wanted to take, take, take. They took my milk, my name, my life! Well, I’m being a bit dramatic. But in all honesty, that’s exactly how I felt.
When I decided to go back to work, I felt so guilty for not wanting to stay home and care for my children. But on the other hand, I felt so unfulfilled by not being able to use my education, gifts, and talents to be successful in life. So I went back to work for about three months until I started feeling guilty because I was spending too much time at work and not enough time with my children. I would then feel like such a terrible mom and put the brakes on my career. Until three months later when I started feeling like an unfulfilled blob again. So I’d go back to work. (Press repeat X 3.)
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
I’m convinced that God doesn’t want us living a guilt ridden life. We were not created to handle the stress of it all and to have back and forth guilt and confusion. I found that life is better when I stop trying to be someone else and just be the best me. I had to shift my perspective. I started to pay attention to how God made me. What I liked, what worked for me, not Carol or any other perfect looking mom. When I did that, I found a happy medium. I worked 2/3 days and stayed at home for the rest of the week . I had the best of both worlds.
If you stay home or even if you don’t, you’re still a great mom! You have to decide what works best for you and your family. I’m no Carol Brady, but I make a pretty good Tabatha Claytor, and that’s what makes me a great mom.
Are there some unrealistic expectation you’ve been trying to live up to? I’d love to hear about it.