Life As We Know It

When You Hate Staying Home

After several nights of sleeping well, the baby was awake from 6 to 9 this morning. On the heels of making a mistake/judgement call yesterday that really pissed off my husband, this sudden return to terrible sleep started my day by affirming my belief that I am a shit wife and a shit mom.

Fast forward two hours to when daddy left for work. Fast forward to when my 2 year old poured water all over the turquoise play dough that he had thrown all over the table and floor and proceeded to smear turquoise goop on himself (BTW –  turquoise is a really hard word to spell). Fast forward to when my 3 year old made herself filthy and kicked the cat and threw temper tantrums and looked at me like I was the devil incarnate for brushing her hair. Fast forward to all the screaming (from everyone’s mouths), to all the whining. Fast forward to that moment when I sat down to feed the baby at 4 o’clock and no one else had napped yet and I hadn’t eaten. Fast forward to where I ended up covered in vomit AND poop and my oldest decided NOW she needed to poop and NOW she’s too hungry to take a nap and NOW she’s going to be angry at me if I don’t remedy all of that right away.

You’re welcome

That moment – that one right there – when the shit has literally hit the fan and the floor, that’s the one that broke me today. It was that moment when I wondered, “What am I doing with my life? Am I being the kind of mom I want to be? Why do I hate my life? Why am I so terrible at my life?”

We have talked a lot about homeschooling our kids, at least at first. Days like today, moments like today, have me confronting the fact that I am not only not thriving in this role as a stay-at-home-mom to three, but I am barely surviving. My body seems to be shutting down, my brain certainly shut down long ago and general kindness seems to have been thrown out the window. How can I contemplate taking on the role of teacher, in addition to the roles of wife/mom/housekeeper/chef/disciplinarian? Why am I crazy enough to think that would ever be a good idea?!

Lately, I hate being home. I hate feeling so imprisoned by housework and yard work and child work. Days like today, I so seriously contemplate going back to work. We’ve talked about me getting a part-time job, something that is life-giving, but I don’t know if I’d go back “for the right reasons.” I miss being clean for more than 10 minutes. I miss feeling competent at something. I miss having moments to myself to think, write, pray, process. I don’t want to send my kids to school or day care as a cop-out on hard days. I don’t want to go back to work just because I can’t hack this SAHM thing, but on days like today, I am confronted with the reality that this stay at home mom thing is freaking hard.

Moms who stay home – do you generally feel content in your role? Moms who work – how did you know going back into the workforce was the right thing for you? I know the grass is always greener, and I’m trying desperately to remember this is a tough season of life. Three babies in 3.5 years leaves little room for me, and I recognize this too shall pass. But, that said, I would truly love to hear some of your stories on how you made the stay or work decision, and would love the wisdom of moms who have gone before me.

6 thoughts on “When You Hate Staying Home”

  1. You had me hooked at the title….I hate you’re in a tough season of growing pains/ learning lessons….love this honesty. Bc minus the kids/sahm thing….I relate. And how brave of you to be honest with yourself and then share. Xoxo

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  2. You are me and I am you. When Abe was 3 I took a two year break from being a stay at home mom. I resisted it at first because it didn’t fit the narrative I had created of how to be a good mom. I was driven to it by all the feelings you’re describing. I had to do it because I had become mean. I came back to life and found sanity again. I’m back home with a new baby for now but it feels totally different this time. I’m older and more whole and three of my kids are in school. The most important thing you can give them is a happy mom. That has to come first or you will shriek and shove and cry all day. When I was 23 and still reading John piper I would have argued against that point and said that fulfillment comes through Christ and if I were truly filled with the Holy Spirit then I could be happy in any circumstance. So much shame. Then I realized that there are actual people watching me live and learning how to Be people from me. I didn’t want the misery I was feeling to seem normal to my kids. You are free. You are so totally free. Much love to you today!

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  3. Hi Lauren! I’m not a mom (yet) but I think if you have felt like this for a while, there is absolutely no shame in going back to work. I have a friend who was driving herself crazy by staying at home. So she decided to go back to work and loves her life now. She now enjoys the time she’s home with her daughter and husband. You say you don’t want to do it for the wrong reasons, but everything you’ve listed sounds like the right reasons to me. If you resent your life and are bitter about missing out on opportunities and know you need some sanity, then go for it. You will always have other moms tell you they love being a SAHM. And that’s great for them….but you don’t have to be them. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. It means you’re a good mom who recognizes that what works and doesn’t work for her. That takes guts.

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