This is one of those times I want to write, but have absolutely no idea in which the writing will take me.
Parenting is hard. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard. (Can we all agree that we seriously need to put some creative thought into that term and come up with something MUCH better? It's 2013, people.)
I'm incredibly grateful. There were days when I sat behind a desk, talking on the phone with people who didn't even know my children existed, praying that Chloe's runny nose wouldn't turn into a full-blown fever-inducing cold before the end of the work day. Days when I missed a class field trip or couldn't shake the desperate look of my screaming, clinging child as I dropped her off and trusted her well being to a perfect stranger who would collect half of my paycheck at the end of the week.
I have enjoyed some of the jobs I've held since becoming a mom. I have also had some incredibly amazing people who have loved on my children while I was working those jobs. But there were many, many days that I longed to be home with my children. Days when I was grateful for an ear infection or low-grade fever because it meant I got to be home all day with my little one.
So sitting here in my toy-littered living room, staring at the spit up stain on my couch, with my hair pulled up in a three-day-old pony tail, I am grateful.
But I'm also saying it's hard.
A study came out last year that said SAHM's are more depressed than moms who go to work.
There there were several more articles and blogs that came out to say why.
I don't know why. I just know that, sitting here today, I understand it.
There's no "checking out" at the end of the day. Because no matter how much was accomplished in the day, there's always more. And at the end of the day, regardless of whether I'm sitting in a bubble bath, crashing on the couch to watch TV, or sitting on my deck engrossed in a novel, I am surrounded by all of the things I didn't accomplish that day. There's a ring in the bathtub and a basket of dirty clothes in the corner (if the clothes actually make it into the basket). There are dust bunnies under the couch and a pile of unsorted mail sitting on the coffee table (not to mention the toys on the floor, peanut butter smudges on the TV, and crayon marks on the lamp shade). And even outside, on my deck, there are weeds to be pulled, steps to be swept, and backyard toys to be rolled into the shed. There is absolutely no way for me to "leave work." Work surrounds me and reminds me of all the things I haven't completed today.
I'm glad to be home. I want to be home. There are so many moments when I thank God that I am the one spending their days with them. I pulled Chloe's first tooth. I get to be home when she gets off the bus, ready to talk about her day. I get to finger paint with Maple and go for walks at the park
It is rewarding and wonderful, and I am grateful.
But it's also hard. Can we all just agree on that point? Sometimes, it's really hard.