I cannot believe that last week was my little man's first week of "school" (which is really just daycare, but school sounds so much better, right?) I have to admit, I was pretty excited for him to start. He's our first and only, which means he's had very little time around other little ones his age. Both Josh and I were excited and nervous to hear how he did interacting with others.
I was also excited because I'm a terrible SAHM. It's true. We're all blessed with different talents and demeanor and mine is currently not fit to work in the home.
What made me such a terrible SAHM?
I get bored and frustrated; I long for adult interaction. But I don't leave the house all too often because I'm just enough of a homebody (and a cheapskate) that I don't like driving around every day. I stress about silly things like the house not being clean enough or me not accomplishing enough because "I'm just at home" (which is anything but true!!)
But most importantly, I felt deeply in heart that God had different plan in store for me that would make me a better wife, mother, and Daughter. God had a plan that would allow me to serve my family and the Kingdom to the best of my abilities.
I have loved this last year of life, learning about education and learning how to be a good mother to my son. But I also knew the whole time that I was not meant to stay at home with my son forever because I just wasn't as fulfilled as I could be! And here's the important part: it's okay to not be fulfilled as a SAHM. And, (and this is really important) it's also okay to be fulfilled as a SAHM. Neither of these two roles are more important than the other!
In a Fountain of Carrots podcast, interviewing my now favorite Catholic "celebrity", Jennifer Fulwiler, they share that God gives us all different skills. Some mothers delight in baking bread and tackling the mountain that is glitter crafts with their children. Others find joy in facilitating their child's interests like baseball or violin lessons. And others come home from work invigorated and excited to spend the evening with their kiddos, feeling on fire for work and for their families.
Society has raised the stakes on motherhood to an impossible level. Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube have resulted in so many styles of motherhood, all of which have been carefully curated to produce a brand and following that is just plain impossible. YouTubers don't do behind the scenes for a reason. Insta-mamas have professional cameras and stay at home because their Insta is their full-time job. The reality is, there are very few rules when it comes to motherhood (stay-at-home or otherwise).
God created you to be the mother to the children you have been blessed with. However you do it, as long as you do it with love, you're doing it right. Which is why I don't feel bad about leaving my son at daycare. God's got me exactly where I'm supposed to be; how can I possibly fail?
Last year, we celebrated our anniversary a few days late, grilling out and staying up too late watching Indiana Jones only to have my water break around 11:00 pm. Instead of going to bed, we had to go the hospital. We left two days later, four days into our second year as a married couple, with our son safely buckled in the backseat.
To call this year a learning experience is the biggest understatement I could make. Josh went from working as the lead bartender to management training only a few months after our son was born. I continued to take classes, while our son visited his grandparents or aunt. A time or two, he came to class with me. Unconventional? Certainly. But it worked for us fought for the balance between parenthood and achieving the goals we had set for ourselves.
Although I can't speak for my husband, I feel like I have changed so much in the last year. I have felt my self soften and relax. I made myself feel like a martyr to my child and in the last few months, have really started to practice actually asking for the help and personal time needed to be the best mama I can be.
The greatest thing I have learned this year though is this:
You have no idea how much you can love your partner until you begin raising a child together.
It brings out some of the best (and admittedly worst) things about them and provides us with a chance to work together in a totally new way. Marriage and child-rearing is not about equal, it is about equitable. It is not about your way, it is about the best way. It creates the opportunity for a young couple to really begin working together, admitting when they can do better, and rejoicing in one another's successes.
We're looking forward to our next year together, as I begin my first year as a teacher, as Josh begins his second year as a manager, and as our son begins to walk, talk, and develops into his own little self. We've learned so much about parenting and teamwork this year and I cannot wait to see how much our relationship grows in the coming year.
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