When it comes to being a stay-at-home mom, it seems as though people either celebrate us or assume we're lazy. But regardless of how anyone feels about this specific life choice, staying home with your kids isn't easy. And for me, it's nothing like what I assumed it would be. Well, I'm over it. I'm over all the judgment and disappointment and guilt. I think it's time I let you in on some confessions of a stay-at-home mom "failure," because that's precisely what I've become. And you know what? That's OK. Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, and will likely ever do, and coming up short a time or two is par for the parenting course.
My kids are 11 and 6, and I've been home with them their entire lives. So for as long as they've been in the world, I've been the one who's greeted them in the morning, taken them to school, played with them when there was no school, and tucked them in at night. My days consist of whatever they need, while simultaneously juggling housework, errands, and, now, working from home. When I first set on the path of motherhood, I had no idea what being a stay-at-home mom would entail. I knew it'd be work, to be sure, but I had no idea just how much work — and time and energy and emotional labor — would be involved. And I definitely didn't have a clue as to how I would end up spending my time (like crashing Hot Wheels into walls on a daily basis).
And no matter how many things I get "right" with my kids on any given day, there are many more days when I feel like all I've done is fail. I want to be everything they need and, yet, it feels like an impossible goal. Then there are the days when it feels like my life is playing on an infinite loop, and there's no surprise or intrigue involved in my existence. The monotony is exhausting. The chores are exhausting. And, sometimes, my kids are exhausting. I love them and I love being the one they come home to, but nothing about this life choice is "easy." And I wish more stay-at-home moms who feel the same didn't have to carry these feelings silently and with such shame. Here's some other confessions from me — a stay-at-home mom "failure" — that I think every stay at home parent knows to be true. It's time for the secrecy to end and the mirage of perfection to die in a fire.