Before I had children and I was working full time. my biggest fear of staying at home with my future children was that my life would somehow be boring.
Did you have this fear too? Maybe it is just me. Did you worry about what your life would look like if you gave up your job, career or maybe even dream to trade it in for the not so glamorous life of a stay at home mom.
And although I used the word boring to describe my fear, I think if I dig a little deeper boring wasn’t what I meant. I worried that if I stayed at home I wouldn’t matter. I guess I still am truly afraid of not mattering. Not filling some significant role the world told me I needed and possibly wanted to be.
Please tell me I’m not the only one!!
A Giant Change of Purpose
Being a female engineer and military officer made me proud of who I had become and what I had accomplished. I felt my voice was a needed voice in a community so dominated by men. But then I also felt this tug to stay at home and raise my family. A calling of sorts that no one could fill, but me. And you would think that is enough. A calling, a purpose, but somehow so many days end up feeling empty and exhausting with no one noticing or affirming me.
In my preparation to stay at home a number of my co-workers told me they had tried staying at home and just couldn’t do it. I always filled in the unspoken words as it must have been too boring to try and stay home with children. Never knowing boring just doesn’t fit into my life.
Exhausting, frustrating, unstructured, without rules and order, chaos, hard. Those words make more sense now looking from the other side. And yes, some days are boring, but boring is usually a welcome change to the chaos and running from here to there. No, I wouldn’t use the word boring to describe my life.
Instead I struggle with finding my purpose, my calling, comparing myself with other moms and an overwhelming feeling that I do not measure up. That I’m not good enough to be the mom of the sweet boys God has given me. And somehow you can add the word loneliness to the list even though I am rarely alone. But I have this deep yearning for connection. And I guess acceptance from those around me who make it look so easy.
Each day is an adventure to be sure. But a lot of these “adventures” don’t add up to much if you just measure what you see. Playing tag, drawing chalk monsters, painting with water (this was a hit and no mess) and dancing around the room are the special movements motherhood requires, but no one really sees.
The sense of failure and not measuring up to the perfect mom are on the fringes of my thoughts. And it is a constant battle to remember the work you are doing is important and it does matter. Moms days start early and end late. And between the endless laundry, countless to dos and running from here to there to get all the things done. You need to take time to stop and remember. You still matter. What you do still matters. Even if no one sees.