Saturday, May 17, 2014

just a mom

This post is going to go a little deep.

If you're not into "deep" this weekend, feel free to scroll through the photos and ignore my ramblings :)

Actually, I'll keep the ramblings short, but the sentiment strong.

I am blessed...  and proud ... to be "just a mom."

This past week gave me an opportunity to consider - make that reconsider - my vocation in life. A casual comment made to one of my children in conversation provoked some soul searching on my part. I'm not going to go into details, lest the person who made the comment some day stumble upon my blog. I really don't think the comment they made was out of malice. I really believe that the thinking behind their comment was perhaps just an indication of how society views the role of being a stay-at-home mom, and not their personal bias against my occupation. I think the mentality that "choosing to be a mom is not a worthy or honorable life goal" comes from just a few short decades of women in the work force, versus thousands of years of women viewing this profession as just that : a profession. Perhaps underpaid and short on vacation time, but a profession nonetheless.

And whatever others may say about my life... I do get to enjoy this :

... she stayed in her jammies for half the day. She curled up on my lap for an hour after breakfast because she felt like it. There was no job for me to rush off to - she was my job. She wasn't feeling well for the better part of last week, and so I put off laundry and housework and every other thing I could, and I focused on the need : being her mom.

And I also get to be there for this :

... he decided that the night before he turned a year old would be a great time to learn how to stand alone, without pulling himself up on anything. And then he decided to perfect this milestone by repeating it a hundred times a day for the past five days. He throws his tiny hands in the air and gazes around the room with the proudest little look on his face to see if anyone is there and noticing -    and I am.

 I am there for his first tooth breaking through, and for those first wobbly steps. I'm there to put him down for his nap and there when he wakes up. I am there to clap my hands wildly when he performs the simplest little feat, and I'm there for the big ones too.

I don't have initials after my name that I've earned with a college degree, but I do wear my title proudly ... and with twenty six years spent learning in the classroom of life ... I'm a mom.

And as such, I get to enjoy a thousand little moments every day, ones that don't cost a penny but pay immeasurably in dividends of joy...

I'm a mom.

I don't earn a paycheck and I probably never will. Consequently we don't :

*own a custom home
* drive a luxury car
* go on umpteen vacations a year
* shop at expensive department stores
* dine out on a regular basis

... and the list goes on.

Do we go without many times, because of the choices I've made to be "just a mom" ? Without a doubt. But the benefits far outweigh the sacrifices, in my mind... and I know my husband and children would agree.  I know, because they tell me all the time.

I do not judge the choices others have made to do something different than what I've done. Pursue a career, work part time, work from home, or even choose not to have children at all - your life is not my business, and it isn't my place to decide what's best for you.

And I know there are those who have no choice to make - life and circumstances prevent them from being a mom at home, and honestly, my hat is off to those who juggle it all. If I spend the better part of my day trying to fit it all in and I never leave the house- I can't imagine what a load they bear.

This post isn't about a right or wrong way to live, or a judgment on those whose paths are different than mine.

If anything, this is a post for those of you just setting out in life, who might be considering becoming "just a mom."

And what I really want to say is this ... you have so much to look forward to.

There will be times of soul searching and introspection for sure. Times when others question your seemingly careless decision to pursue your dreams ... to stay at home.  Sometimes you'll glance across the road at someone else's castle and realize that there is often a price to pay for choosing to live on one income. But remember this too ...

And also this ...  a friend (thank you, Allison) sent this to me right before Mother's Day, and it fits so nicely with this post that I'm including it here .

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a job to do...

... happy weekend !  xo


Lori said...

Love the video...should have mentioned potty duty...hahaha

Mary Lou said...

I'm back!! Did you miss me?! ;)
I love, love, love deep!! Go girl, go!! I loved every single word!! ;-D
And, you know what? I think I needed to read this post--somehow--even though I'm a single thirty-year old woman. I am at home as well. I do not work. Thus I get to be there for my two-year old niece, "Amethyst"!! And her baby sister, "Opal"!! And my mutt, Rose.... ;)
"The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They make the best of everything!" That is good!! ;-D
Love you later, Raelyn

linda said...

Thank you Patti! I've been doing this for 38 years and I couldn't say it better myself! There is nothing in the world I would rather be than a mom!

Annabell said...

Awwh that is a cuute video!!! I just wanted to tell u Patti that Abbi and Lily are two very cuute girlz!! I hope to see you at conference Patti!! =)

cara said...

I cannot open the videos now. I will try again soon!

I LOVE your deep posts, and you wrote it all so perfectly as always!! We seem to be on the same page often. All the sacrifices are so worth it!! I am so grateful. Go Hayden Go!!!! That is precious! xoxo

Jennie said...

Well-stated, Patti. It is about personal choices and I have utmost respect for stay-at-home moms. They are on call 24/7 with nary a complaint. [I'm a frequent reader of your blog and so enjoy reading your postings].

Unknown said...

Hi Patti,

Actually your life looks wonderful to me. You always have a beautiful home (you should see my apartment), parties, and interesting activities and fun babies.


Single Woman in Apartment Alone

Grammi Faith said...

Miss all of you so much. Loved sitting there watching all of you live such happy fun filled lives. Want to be a fly on the wall all the time just enjoying you all. Wish I had been a stay at home mom. But we seemed to have raised three GREAT children in spite of everything. Patti, you are so blessed with such a wonderful husband. You do not have all the "gotta haves" that society pushes on everyone and yet you are all content and not in need of anything. YOU ARE BLESSED, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU.

Unknown said...

Beautifully said!!! Amen!

Kendall said...

This is great! I fairly recently began referring to my SAHM job of motherhood as a career. I heard it from a friend and thought it was awesome. It sure helps me to remember this, instead of saying that "I gave up my career to become a mom" or something similar. No, I choose a different career path, that of motherhood :)