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.
“Is being a mom rewarding? Of course. But let’s not sugar coat it.”