I’ve been living the stay-at-home mom life for about five months now. I transitioned into this season with very few expectations. There were three things that I desired, to be more present for my family, to lighten the mental load, and to find relief from the work-life “balancing” act. Outside of these things, I had no idea what life as a stay-at-home mom would look like in a practical sense. Lots of moms do it. Surely, I would discover the secret formula, and life would be good, right? Not quite. What I’m learning is that there is no “right” way.
And that’s a hard pill for me to swallow. You see, I’m a rule follower. I’m not good with ambiguity. I need a blueprint, a plan, rules. In my head, I imagine there is a stay-at-home mom job description. The catch, I didn’t get it when I took the job. As I’m living this life, I feel like someone is looking over my shoulder, constantly observing my every move, judging every decision made (or not made) leading me to question everything!
What tasks should I do today? Am I doing enough house chores? What about that workout? Is this lunch suitable for my kindergartener? Did I plan enough meals for the week? What about me time? Am I spending enough time with my friends? Am I watching too much Netflix? What about my daughter? Will she have enough interaction with other kids? Do we need more playdates? Do I need a part-time gig or side hustle? What am I missing?
So many questions! An endless stream flooding my mind. The negative thoughts creep in. I’m failing. I’m clearly not measuring up.
I recently read this quote, “If we look at other people’s moments on social media and compare ourselves to them, we often miss our chance to tune in to our own rhythms.”
Those words hit me like a ton of bricks! I realized that over the last five months, I have taken other mom’s moments, their highlights, whether on social media or in real life and combined them into one invisible, unrealistic, unattainable “job description” for this season as a stay at home mom. Of course, I’m not measuring up. It’s impossible to live up to a combination of everyone’s best moments.
In all my comparison and quest for the “right way,” I have missed the true beauty of this season, which is the fact that I can make this time in my life look exactly how I want it to look. Yes, that’s a beautiful reality, but for someone who has always lived by everyone else’s rules, that’s very, very hard.
When I made this shift to staying at home, I knew things would be different, but I did not anticipate the amount of stuff that would be unearthed in me in such a short amount of time. Everything about me, my reality, my way of living, my identity is being broken down right now. The road before me is foggy and unclear. The uncertainty is scary. It makes me uneasy. Yet, in the midst of it all, I do believe that God brought me to this moment in my life for a reason and that He does have a plan. I am leaning into Him, the one thing in my life that is constant and unchanging, trusting that the outcome will be more beautiful than I can imagine. And even though there is no “right” way to do this stay-at-home-mom thing, I am hopeful that I will find my way.