I must admit that whenever there is change in my routine – for instance the recent school holidays and now back-to-school – I find myself in a weird place when it comes to my role as a mom. I am so grateful that I am able to work from home and essentially be a full time mom for my kids when they are home from school but it is not without it’s challenges. More often than I’d like to admit I find myself feeling frustrated with this life choice…
Now I just want to reiterate that my blog is a place for positivity and upliftment so I don’t usually rant or moan around here and I really don’t want to come across as a spoiled brat either. I realise there are 1000’s of full time working moms out there who would love to swop places with me, but I do have to be honest sometimes and admit that this gig is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Trying to fit in my social media writing and blogging and managing my inbox (a job in itself) is IMPOSSIBLE when the kids are home from school on holiday. I’ve been working until the wee hours almost every night just to keep up. And now they are back at school there are different but equally frustrating challenges such as lifting kids here, there and everywhere. A minimum of 4 school lifts that take 15 mins one way and all happen at different times PLUS a few extra murals per afternoon – you do the sums! Basically I find myself with 20 min time slots to be productive in during the day – and that is NOT PRODUCTIVE.
I suppose all this would be a bit easier to manage if I wasn’t juggling so much else in my life – if I just embraced being a SAHM and ran with it, life would be simpler (albeit not simple!) I tried that for a few months and although it was great at the time to dedicate myself to my babies for 6 months each I did start to go a bit crazy with no other stimulation.
Going back to part-time work out of home helped me to discover that I need to be doing something else with my brain and so over time I’ve been able to move into a position where I am doing different stimulating things but from home around my kids. Sounds idyllic I know. “So why are you complaining?” I hear you asking. I ask it of myself!!
These extra roles that I’ve taken on are entirely of my own choosing and I really do enjoy them immensely, the trouble is that I sometimes love them too much and want to succeed and expand and grow them (and myself) BUT the frustration of having limited time and resources, like a full-time nanny or au pair, really get me down every now and again….
And there doesn’t seem to be an easy answer to the dilemma I find myself in. I want to be my kids primary caregiver while they are little and be at home as much as possible BUT I also want to be a success at something – not necessarily a high-flying career in a corporate (although there is an appeal esp when I’ve been watching Scandal or Suits!) but something for me! Oh the guilt!
Let’s just say that this motherhood thing is certainly not what I expected it to be when I was day dreaming about being a stay-at-home mom with perfect little cherubs at my knee playing quietly while I sip cups of tea with a group of gorgeously groomed moms and kids! HA! I can see how funny that is now!
Being a mom is a HUGE blessing and there are so many times I pinch myself for “living my dream”, the problem is that just because I love being a mom, doesn’t mean I won’t have times when I really don’t love being a mom… Sounds complicated I know, but I hope you hear what I’m saying. Let me try and clarify…
I love that I get to be called Mom
I don’t love being called Mom 1000 times a day
I love educating my kids about the world
I don’t love doing hours of homework or reminding them to do it 20 times in 20 minutes
I love introducing my kids to new experiences and outings
I don’t love playing taxi service
I love being able to pick my kids up at the school gate
I don’t love being 100% responsible for this everyday so I can never have a carefree lunch or event or launch over that time of the day
I love giving my kids healthy nourishment
I don’t love the continual requests for snacks or the complete dismissal of a meal you have spent an hour preparing
I love the kisses and cuddles
I don’t love the snotty noses and ear infections
I love seeing my kids excel
I don’t love the pressure I feel to help them excel
I love spending holidays relaxing together
I don’t love how I have to then work until all hours to finish the work I would usually do when they are at school
I love helping them navigate life
I don’t love seeing them hurting
I love seeing my kids enjoy each other
I don’t love when they compete and fight with each other
I love the “I love you Mom”
I don’t love the “I hate you Mom”
Oh my goodness – and this is only 5 mins worth of writing. I could go on for days. I’m sure you could too!! Please tell me I’m not alone in this. What do you love – and not love – about being a mom. I’d love to hear your comments!! Actually I NEED to hear your comments! Anyone got any tips on how to manage this life phase I find myself in?
I came across this amazing series of portraits online recently and this post feels like a good time to share them with you. I know so many of you are mothers and might need some encouragement or reminding about what an important and valuable role moms play… I know I do!!
Enjoy these very touching portraits that really capture the love of a mother for her children – all around the world!
This series of photographs were taken by a now 83-year-old photographer called Ken Heyman during the 1960’s. Heyman has done photographic assignments for many magazines, including Life and has won a number of awards including “The World Understanding award,” considered to be one of the top awards in photography.
Earlier this year he received a call from the office of his former agent, Woodfin Camp. They had photographs of Heyman’s in a storage facility that was closing, and he needed to retrieve them. He had forgotten about this stash of old boxes and upon opening them discovered hundreds of vintage prints and thousands of slides from assignments and books which he had done throughout his career. In one box was a folder marked “Mothers.” and many of these photographs were done for a book Heyman created with anthropologist Margaret Mead in 1965 called Family, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize the same year.
Images: Ken Heyman