Friday, May 31, 2013

I become a Stay at Home Mama Tomorrow

One of the absolute wonderful and terrifying things about being a teacher is that each summer I get the joy of becoming a Stay at Home Mama. It is such a wonderful, humbling experience and it always makes me appreciative of what I do for a living - because, while working away from home brings about ridiculously difficult challenges, it is still easier for me to go to work all day. Being a stay at home mama is the most difficult job and I have an infinite amount of respect for those of you who do it (and the ultimate respect for my mom who did it for us). And, I pray that people don't take this the wrong way, but I was not built for it 12 months a year. Three months a year is enough for me to love on my kids, get projects done around the house, go to the park 300 times, giggle, have dance parties, and make a million messes, only to clean them back up again. And then, I get to go back to teaching and empowering kids and hopefully (if I'm lucky) making a difference in their lives, while other wonderful, intelligent, and loving men and women do the same for my littles. I could forsee a day when three months a year isn't enough, but for now - I feel so blessed that my kids get to be molded and shaped by their wonderful teachers and loved on by my family on days when Mr. Howard and I work.

 I was watching the PBS documentary "Makers: Women Who Make America" and it documented the feminist movement and the transition where women started to work outside of the home. In it, a woman was interviewed and she said that there was this big push for women to work outside the home (a real devaluing of SAHMs) and she was frustrated because she was completely fulfilled being a stay at home mom. And it struck a chord with me. I don't know why as women we have to devalue anything that is different than what works for us. Does it come out of a fear that we aren't enough? One of the wonderful things about being a woman in 2013 is that we have the choice to choose what is best for our family. I love that. I love that some of the blogs I read are written by women who spend their days working inside the home and yet others work outside the home. But you know what we all have in common? We love our children. Equally.
 So, for the next few months, I will spend my days inside my home, cleaning, cooking, and raising my three kids and being so appreciative of all you wonderful women who do this year round.

I vow to take lots of pictures. Spend a lot of time being active and going to the park. Laughing a lot. Dancing even more. Loving on my kids. And enjoying these simpler three months, while simultaneously exercising and modeling patience, kindness, and lots and lots of prayer.
 And when all else fails and I am getting cranky, tired, and overwhelmed - I'll turn to the woman who raised me and my siblings as a stay at home mama. It takes a village, right?
Some of you may have seen this floating around by Jill Smith, but I just love it:

To the mom who's breastfeeding: Way to go! It really is an amazing gift to give your baby, for any amount of time that you can manage! You're a good mom.

To the mom who's formula feeding: Isn't science amazing? To think there was a time when a baby with a mother who couldn't produce enough would suffer, but now? Better living through chemistry! You're a good mom.

To the cloth diapering mom: Fluffy bums are the cutest, and so friendly on the bank account. You're a good mom.

To the disposable diapering mom: Damn those things hold a lot, and it's excellent to not worry about leakage and laundry! You're a good mom.

To the mom who stays home: I can imagine it isn't easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. You're a good mom.

To the mom who works: It's wonderful that you're sticking to your career, you're a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it's fantastic. You're a good mom.

To the mom who had to feed her kids from the drive thru all week because you're too worn out to cook or go grocery shopping: You're feeding your kids, and hey, I bet they aren't complaining! Sometimes sanity can indeed be found in a red box with a big yellow M on it. You're a good mom.

To the mom who gave her kids a homecooked breakfast lunch and dinner for the past week: Excellent! Good nutrition is important, and they're learning to enjoy healthy foods at an early age, a boon for the rest of their lives. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the kids who are sitting quietly and using their manners in the fancy restaurant: Kudos, it takes a lot to maintain order with children in a place where they can't run around. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the toddler having a meltdown in the cereal aisle: they always seem to pick the most embarrassing places to lose their minds don't they? We've all been through it. You're a good mom.

To the moms who judge other moms for ANY of the above? Glass houses, friend. Glass houses.

 
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6 comments:

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Loved this post!! XXOO Enjoy your summer Mama! :)

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you! You too!!!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I feel very much the same when people ask why I don't home school. I am a SAHM with 3 kids, 2 with disabilities and although I love our summers, I also love it when I put them on the bus in September and can actually acomplish things during the day. I couldn't do it all day, every day all year either!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh my goodness! I'm so glad I'm not alone in feeling that way!!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I am right there with you, sister. I, too, have become a SAHM until next school year starts. I am so excited for the time to spend with my children, but also perfectly aware of what is ahead of me. (In fact, at breakfast, I reminded my husband that we need to get the daycare workers a nice end-of-year present, and the fact that they put up with so many small children at once all day is most definitely a leading reason why.)

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Seriously! I volunteered at my kids' preschool last year and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. How can they do that every day all day with four times as many kids?!? Heros, for sure!

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