“Being a mom is the hardest job you’ll ever have,” said my mom to me when I was pregnant with Jake. She was almost telling the truth. This is what would have been the most accurate statement: “Being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) is the hardest job you’ll ever have.” PERIOD. EVER. Not only is it physically exhausting, but it is mentally and emotionally draining. It requires stamina and focus and great vigilance. It never ends because your kids never stop needing you, and you don’t have set hours. Not at 7 a.m., not at 8 p.m., not at 2:24 a.m. When I’m upset, sad, blue, or whatever, I don’t get to go to my room and cry because my little person needs me to be present and available at all times, so if I need a good cry, he is often a witness to it. I guess that’s OK – at least I’m being honest and showing him that he should not be afraid to show emotions.
Regardless of the hours, the lack of personal time, the isolation from the rest of society, etc. the most challenging part of being a SAHM is that it is full of contradictions. For example, I’m so completely bored with the same routine day in and day out, yet I’m overwhelmed by this routine sometimes. Could I imagine leaving him, though, with another person during these most important months and years? NO. Absolutely not. Would my heart break into a million bits every time I had to drop him off at daycare. YES! So why, why, why, WHY can’t I be more thankful? Another example is the absolute joy I feel when Jake learns something new, giggles, or does something heartwarming. But on the flip side, the resentment I sometimes feel towards my lack of freedom or my loneliness as the only adult in this house ALL DAY LONG every day of the week completely sucks the joy right out of life sometimes. These huge shifts from happy to sad, joyful to resentful, comfortable to terrified, and so on make being a SAHM the hardest job of all.
On top of already feeling this way sometimes, I am about to bring another baby into this world in November. I will be a SAHM to a 14.5 month old and a newborn. Don’t ask me how I’ll handle it. I have no idea. The level of terror and hesitation I feel outweighs the excitement all the time. The idea of having two incredibly needy babies means that there will be even less time for the things that I need in my life to keep me sane, BUT I suppose the joys and laughter will double right along with the tears and frustrations.
Lord help me to succeed in having the hardest job I’ll ever have.