I’ve never discounted the role of the stay at home mom (SAHM), I really haven’t. I knew they did a lot. More than a lot. Too much. But I didn’t…couldn’t know just how hard it can be. There are certainly things that are easier. Seeing my kids do adorable things or make leaps in their development for instance. Sheer time spent in each others presence makes that a reality and I love it. I don’t have to commute a zillion hours through traffic only to be late for every meeting. I don’t have to wear pants most days. At least not real pants. That part is easier.
But I also see my kids do terrible things to each other (including smacking one another upside the head with a TV remote…never figured that for a weapon) and have to intervene in a thousand yelling matches instead of just a few every evening post-daycare. My commutes are much shorter with no traffic and I’m STILL late for everything (I’m starting to think that’s just a personality trait at this point. Late). Not wearing real pants makes it easy to ignore that I’ve been eating nothing but processed convenience food and my weight is definitely up (not a huge amount but enough that real pants aren’t as comfy as they were a few months ago. I’ve put the scale away for the interim…more on that another day).
I also didn’t totally understand exactly how hard writing and self discovery would be. I thought I’d have oodles of time. I’d defy all my known tendencies and become an early riser to write brilliant tropes in the wee hours before the rest of the house wakes up. That has happened exactly once. It felt amazing for sure, but has yet to be repeated. I thought I’d read every afternoon while one is in preschool and the other is taking a nap, completely forgetting that I still need some time during the day to make the house not look like an utter disaster.
On the days I do manage to get them to
destroy all the things play independently while I write, here are the results:
Some days it’s impossible to think about my own self discovery because I’m now needed 24/7 by tiny people so I delay my progress to wipe butts and runny noses. And maybe that is my progress…learning to delay when I need to and still come back to it without totally abandoning the whole damn thing. That this isn’t about perfection and if I don’t “do the work” every day without any “messing up” I can simply pick up where I left off. If I don’t blog for 2 weeks (what? That didn’t just happen…) it doesn’t mean I need to scrap the whole thing…I can just start a new post and move on. Basically I can give myself a freaking break once in awhile.
Self-love means never giving up, even if you pause, even if you forget, even if you slide. It means coming back to yourself every. damn. time.