BLOG: Who Said This Was Easy?


From the featured blog, The Snyder 5

It’s tough being a mom.  Period.  Rewarding?  Of course.  But let’s not sugar coat it, it’s tough.

And this isn’t about a working versus staying at home debate.  Honestly, I think it’s pretty ridiculous that there is a debate.

Here’s my story.  I have three kids, all boys, ages 8, 6 and almost 2.

When our first son was born, my husband was in school full time and I was supporting us.  So, even if I wanted to, there was absolutely no way we could financially afford for me to stay home.  Not to mention I had a job and career I loved.

Our second son came along 21 months later.

We had moved to a new city for my husband’s fellowship and were still trying to make connections and friends.  I felt like everywhere I looked there were stay-at-home-mom clubs and playgroups and networks and classes.  And I admit, I was green with envy over it all.  It all looked so friendly and fun and relaxed. And with two kids under two and two parents working, I was feeling anything but fun and relaxed.

So when our second son was born, my job let me come back, for the first year, four days a week.  I think somewhere in the back of my mind I thought that, perhaps, along the way, we’d win the lottery and I might go to staying home full time.  So this was a kind of a trial run.

And I tried to become an uber-stay-at-home-mom that one day a week.  I signed up for classes and clubs.  I joined groups.  I toted the kids to the zoo and skipped the grocery store.  I actually made dinners.

In doing so, I found that I was more stressed out than ever.  I was trying to do it all and have it all and I was doing none of it well. 

I tried it and I didn’t like it.

I mean, of course I loved spending more time with my kids.  I adore my children and love being with them.  But I was not cut out to be a great stay at home mom.  While the fantasy of staying home sounded (and sometimes still sounds) great, for me, the reality wasn’t. 

I have often heard people say that anyone can choose to be a one-income family if they just are willing to make sacrifices.  And yes, there are things we could now do to accomplish that.

But I don’t want to.  I like working.  I like being a mom.  And I think, for me, the fact that I do both actually makes me better at both.

That isn’t to say that is the story for everyone.  Because it isn’t.  But what I learned is that we all have to just decide what is right for us, for our kids and our families.  And do that.  And do it well.

Because this being a mom stuff is tough.