What is contentment?
Definition: a state of happiness and satisfaction.
Three babies under 3- My life has been so completely and utterly engulfed by motherhood and all that it entails. I am reflecting on last year – it was hard and I learned a lot and it led me to share and start a blog so that I could share with you and be 100% candid, raw, and real.
Stick with me this is extremely honest xo
Last year – I hardly remember what it was like to pee without an audience, let alone pursue interests and passions of my own. I had become so consumed by the task of raising tiny humans–which, if I’m being honest, actually consists of about 6 million smaller (and often overlapping) tasks–that I hardly remember who it is that I am without them.
Last year – time was slowing. It was also pulsing by at record speeds. And I–the mom receiving sideways glances as I attempted to carry TWO 30-pound car seats stuffed with not only no-longer-peacefully-sleeping twins, but also the keys, wallet and cell phone that were ripped from my diaper bag and thrown to the ground just moments before–let’s not forget the 2 year old that is having a meltdown because I cannot reach the snack she needs. I didn’t know how to make this freight train slow down.
So they call this being in the weeds, in the thick of it, underwater, in a giant and never relenting dumpster.
I’m going to go out on a limb and be candid, because that’s what I would want from any other mom.
Being a stay-at-home mom is the most difficult, frustrating, mind-numbing, simultaneously monotonous and completely unpredictable, body-breaking, stress-inducing job that there is.
There really aren’t words to describe it, you just have to live it to truly understand. And still, entrenched in such a ridiculously challenging scenario, I don’t know if I’d have the strength to do things any differently.
Nestled in all this uncertainty, unworthiness– laced with undying love is a yearning to be something more.
I will NEVER forget running across a document of my resume on my desktop. My profession still read as “9-12 Special Needs teacher.” A profession I let define me, a profession I worked really hard at. A profession I loved. I know its ridiculous, but it hit me –like the way a humid heat smacks you in the face the second you open the door to your air-conditioned car. Who am I?
How did I get here and why in God’s name can’t I just feel content?
This job, in addition to being difficult beyond measure, is–to say unappreciated feels like an understatement, so I’m going to use the word invisible–this job is invisible sometimes.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve caught myself telling people that I’m just a stay at home mom.
Just a stay at home mom!!??
Does it bother me because of how proud I was having my masters in education and teaching students with Autism? Am I not proud of myself now? Why is this?
I expend more energy before 9 am managing my household than I ever did managing a classroom of students with Autism. I juggle babies, diapers, medications, toddler tantrums, breakfast, boo boos, vomit, appointments, lunches, nap times, laundry, coupons, THE SCHEDULE… and the clock never hits five in this world I’ve constructed. It ticks on and on and I push myself beyond what I ever thought possible.
I bend and stretch in ways that no yoga class could have prepared me for. I’ve lost friends and gained some too. I’ve judged and been judged. I’ve had highs and deep despairing lows. I’ve lived more life in the last three years being “JUST” a stay at home mom than in my other 32 combined.
But there is no box to check, or title to ascribe for the experiences that have brought me to this place. There are no marketable skills acquired.
Yet, I can clearly feel the growth within me, like the roots of the biggest red wood tree expanding, cementing me to what matters in life. This year, I’m thriving.
I’m writing all of this not to say that motherhood has somehow taken away from the life that I had planned for myself. It has been the very opposite– becoming a mother has helped me to understand and appreciate the preciousness of life.
It has transformed me into a far better version of myself and I owe so much of who I am today to this journey.
So, I cringe at the thoughts of discontentment as they race through my mind. The thoughts that fill me with anxiety, insecurity, and an overwhelming feeling of being left behind. The thoughts that take me away from the moments, of which there will not be many. Away from my children, their growth and the happiness that rushes to my heart when I hear them laugh. I shudder at the feeling of betrayal that courses through my body when I experience these thoughts.
Betrayal of a love so deep that just the thought of losing it brings me to my knees.
So today I choose not to think those thoughts.
I choose not to allow the pressure to stay relevant to define me. I choose to not let self doubt and comparison take away my contentment.
Today I am a Mama.
Someday I may define myself differently, but until then I choose to embrace every second of this season I’m in, and measure my success not by the dollars in my bank account, or the stuff I can or cannot buy, but by the knowledge that I have carried them through another day and this is exactly where I’m meant to be.
Will you join me strong Mamas? Will you be content with me in this season?