Redefining My Role as a SAHM: Update to Project Do What You Love

4 05 2009

To be honest, the transition from a career-minded workingwoman to a stay –at- home mom (SAHM) has been tougher than I thought. It has almost been a month since I worked and this is the first week I feel completely confidant that I can manage this change.  Being a stay-at home mom is different than any other job. For starters, it is a 24-hour job, where you are almost always at work. I do not get to punch out. At 9 pm, I am still washing bottles, cleaning up after dinner and doing laundry. I thought I would be able to get more done in a day. Little did I realize that nothing keeps my little girl occupied for more than 5 minutes and enrages her more than mom being on the computer.

I have been feeling:

  • Too dependent on my mother for a break from child rearing, a chance to get something accomplished, and a car (did I mention my husband’s truck broke down).
  • Like I am a bad Mom. What woman wants to feel like she can’t hack motherhood? Women are natural caregivers, right?
  • Like I am making my husband jealous. And trust me, this is hard to do, I’ve tried. I feel like I should be able to get dinner on the table, clean up, take care of my kid, and put her to bed without complaining to him. “ I would love to stay home with her all day,” he said. “You know how much I miss her.”

As my good friend and once a SAHM yourself has said, “There is nothing like a mother’s guilt.” And I would know something about guilt; I was raised Catholic. 🙂

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t miss the stress of my old job.  I don’t miss trying to find meaning in my work. Because let’s face it- what could be more meaningful than making a difference in the life of a child? Sometimes I need reminding of this, especially when I am tripping over toys for the third time today, or cleaning up mashed food off the ground for the third time today, or fighting with her just to change a poopy diaper. But I also get all the smiles, giggles, kisses, and hugs to go along with the dirty work.

I am not the only one affected by this change

My 15-month old was also making a transition. She was used to seeing her grandmother a couple times a week from the morning until dinner-time. She also had been sick for what seems like three months with one thing after another. She is finally rid of her latest cold, but I think I felt a back tooth coming in today. No wonder she is drooling and waking up before the sun rises, screaming. This being said, I think we are working ourselves into a routine and I think we have stopped testing each other.

Defining Success

In the latest issue of On-Purpose Woman, Angela Prudhomme, M.A., NCC, talks about redefining ourselves as a stay-at home-mom. She poses the question: How do you define success? Everyone defines success differently. Your definition of success changes with time as your personal situation changes. Perhaps, success is not a destination, but a journey.

Today I pledge to spend more time just playing and being with my little girl. Today I pledge to be more patient, kind, and to not raise my voice when things do not go as planned. Today I pledge to make my little girl the number one priority and not my To Do List. Today I pledge to use the computer and TV less as a mode of entertainment and pleasure. Today I pledge to accept my new defined role and at the same time, to never loose sight of the real and genuine ME by taking the time each day to do things that make me happy and feel good, including: yoga, reading, writing, QiGong, and being with the people I love. After all, connections make life meaningful. Namaste.

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