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.
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.