(Today’s post has been pulled from some journaling I had done about 5 years ago. For all of you still in the trenches with little ones, please know that we do remember. We really do. And for those of us whose kids are a bit more grown now than they used to be, it’s funny how much still rings true, isn’t it?)
This being a stay at home mom? It ain’t easy.
I could spend a lot of time expounding on that idea. I could say that it’s tough to be at work from the moment your eyeballs open in the morning until the moment they close at night and any time in the middle of the night that somebody calls your name. I could say that being responsible for the day to day functions of a family of six can be complicated to say the least. But, it’s all been said before.
And you know what else? This being a stay at home mom? It’s pretty rewarding, too.
I could spend countless words on how these four children that I grew from scratch inside of me are the lights of my life. How, even when they wake me up in the middle of the night, I am grateful for the fact that of all the people in the world, God chose me to be their mama. But it goes without saying that I love my “job.” Otherwise, would I have stuck with it for almost for almost 10 years now? I think not.
I’ve been thinking lately about how I feel I’m doing at my job. Of course, I think I have the best kids on the planet. And it makes me crazy happy to hear when other people think so, too. But, honestly, how do I…on a daily basis…feel like I’m functioning?
Well, about 80% of the time, I feel like I’m breaking even. I have a firm grip on what I have to do and how I have to do it. That doesn’t mean that everything gets done. Nor does it mean that I don’t lose it sometimes. Doesn’t mean that our dinner was the picture of health or that my kids’ behavior was stellar or that I deep cleaned my house, got a shower, wore makeup, or (fill in the blank) that day.It just means that I accomplished more good than bad and that my kids made it to bed safe, fed, and (relatively) happy.
80% of the time, we are able to meet the status quo. But then…
The GOOD 10%
These are the days you live for. The days that you say to yourself “YES! THIS is why I became a SAHM! Bring it on, world!”
These are the days the kids have fun doing a school project with you and you don’t even hate it. Or that everyone cleans their plates and asks for seconds of the dinner you made. The days that you did more than throw a ponytail in the 5 year-old’s hair, put the 2 year-old in a matching outfit, and the 8 year-old actually wore clean underwear to school on purpose!
On these glorious days, maybe you not only meet the needs of your own family, but for others who need a hand, too. And, when you tuck your littles in at night, they hug your neck and tell you that you’re the best mommy in the whole wide world.
The BAD 10%
Oh, these last 10%. These days will kick your butt from here to kingdom come. These are the days nothing goes right and the baby has diarrhea. You forget about that after-school practice and you have to give a spelling pretest while throwing together some PB&Js for dinner. After that, you go running out the door to the next practice all while thinking did I even brush my teeth today?
These are the days that you realize you really hate taking care of sick kids and, honestly, you’re pretty sucky at it, too. You wonder if these children will ever be able to wipe their own butts. You’re lonely and just want to talk to someone who doesn’t suck their thumb. Those days will kill your spirit and greatly increase your intake of ice cream, chocolate, and wine.
The Kicker is…
But here’s the thing. Here’s the super honest part that I’m just starting to really figure out and appreciate. Are you ready?
All of those days happen 100% of the time. Each and every day can have bits of the 80/10/10. We just need to revel in the good 10, find joy in the 80, and pray our way through the bad 10.
And that right there is part of the glory, mystery, and miracle of being a MOM.