Tick Tock Tick Tock.
When the house stills and it's just me and the wall clock my mind stirs.
"Why in the world did I decide to do this?!"
"How is it that my sole job is to manage the home but the house looks like a bomb exploded!?"
"What's the point of all this anyways?!”
"How is it possible that I feel like I've already worked an entire day by 9am!?"
I'm a stay at home mom. My business casual attire is pretty much all boxed up. Baseball caps are my best friends. I wear tennis shoes almost 24/7 because I rarely find myself sitting down. I prepare my coffee the night before so as to ready me for the day like a trusty sidekick. On a daily basis I babble, peek-a-boo and scream weird noises more than regular conversing. Laundry is hiding in piles in my basement from the twice daily outfit changes due to unplanned food smears and spills. Social media shows me the outside world just so I make sure to remember to keep up to date on who our President is. I do what most consider luxury. While it is a blessing I hope to never take for granted, it is no cakewalk.
In my daily blur I sometimes feel like I am losing my way. The battle with isolation and mental boredom finds me throwing grand pity parties for myself. I'm pretty darn good at throwing them too. I long for kudos and the ability to see immediate results from my work creeps in. I can get lost in a sea of whys. Why I'm not getting more "me time." Why the housework seems to pile up faster than I could ever manage. Honestly, I do have my bouts of doubts on this path of mine.
"Is this the right way?"
"Am I doing enough?"
"Am I missing out?"
Because the truth is I don't like this job everyday. I don't always like being my child's caretaker ALL day and night long. I don't always like being needed all the time. I really don't like being Mrs. Responsible. I want to live an adventure everyday and wish away the mundane.
As a stay at home mom, I wrestle with assumed and expected opinions of others and society. This leaves me feeling like I'm not being enough, doing enough, earning enough... I'm an overall failure for that whole super mom campaign. I am not working full time and juggling home life, I'm not running organizations or starting my own business. I am not working at wee hours in the morning in order to follow big dreams. The only party happening at this place at the wee hours is me, Betsy the cow, nursing away.
The craziest part of all this is, no one forced me to be a stay at home mom. I chose it. I wanted it. But holy moly is it hard! Yet, despite the difficulties I don't want to just arrive at my destination dragging my family behind me in exhaustion. I want to walk this path God has laid before me and get to the end... whenever and wherever that is, hooping and hollering with bliss. I don't want to just look up one day and see that I've gone nowhere important, but just wandered around aimlessly.
Paths matter. The mundane matters. They take us somewhere if we are conscious to the fact that we are heading somewhere. I don't want to be so consumed with just surviving the day that I forget to live it! Even on my lowliest of days I am important and what I do as a mom is very important. I want to write that in bold letters all over my house. I can breathe, deal, and live with a bigger perspective than just the temporary moment of a day.
Tick Tock Tick Tock. The babe sleeps. Here in the silence, I choose truth.
Despite the struggle with isolation and seeking the approval of others, being with my daughter is hands down one of my favorite experiences, even when it's simply a lazy, unproductive, survival kind of a day. The yogurt all over the floor is the result of her first successful utensil usage. I'm the one to journey with her as she discovers her likes and dislikes. I love learning about the unique person that she is. I am her caretaker. Yes, diaper changes get annoying and really stinky and it's very hard some days to know when to shut off being responsible. But home is where my heart is. I love when she gets as excited as I do to open the doors and welcome in a beautiful, sunny day. I love exploring with her and watching her gain understanding of this world. Her joy is contagious. I love that my measuring cups get used more for holding random toys than cooking ingredients. My pots and pans are holders for her treasures and my fridge is decorated in tacky but useful multicolored alphabet magnets.
On this road I'm on, I may not receive outside kudos anymore or hear thank you's often but these memories are thanking me just fine. I'm tempted to view this place as holding me back from all I'm missing out on, but in reality it's these simple things I would miss. Here in this season I am free to pursue my passions of crafting and embracing the joy and comfort of home. I have grown stronger as I have matured and faced the mundane instead of escaping.
I am a part of society; I'm raising the future every day. I am reassured that where I'm headed, this path, matters greatly, as does yours! It reaps a slower reward. The mundane of my daily life; the chores, poopy diapers, and tantrums and to do lists are valuable in the ultimate service to my family. The insignificant becomes the significant. It's small drops into a large bucket that eventually will fill up and overflow with blessing. It is a job that demands God-given patience. My ultimate destination is not to gain the "whole world and lose my soul" but to enjoy this family experience to its fullest potential, investing the best I know how into my children for the greater good of my family and ultimately for society as well.
So, when that clock tick tocks again tonight, I'll welcome the silence in knowledge that today I had victories to celebrate, pains to work through and made it one step closer to my goal of living an abundant life. I will make it to my destination hooping and hollering.
"Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left;" (Proverbs 4:26-27)
Journalist: Megan Guttierez