New Year’s resolutions. I wasn’t going to write about it and then I was and then I wasn’t and I guess now I am. I just hate how it sounds – it’s so cliché isn’t it? And the expectations that go with it can you set up to fail. But I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want out of this year and I’ve decided its moderation. I’ve never been very good at moderation. I’m goal oriented and I’m an either an all or nothing type of person it seems. Whether its diet, exercise, education, hobbies. I can take things to the extremes which in most cases is not healthy physically or mentally. I guess I’m just a spaz in need of a little Zen.
Last year in order to “get it all done” while trying not to take time away from my main gig as a mom I spent many nights working on things until 1 or 2 in the morning knowing full well that I would be woken up at least twice by one kid or another and then have the alarm go off at 6:30. Now I’m probably not going to be in bed by 10 because I’m somewhat of a night owl and I’m always going to have projects I’m working on but I know I need to cut myself some slack on the “to do” list. Maybe that means I won’t get a craft show in this year and I will just focus on my etsy shop – I’m not sure yet. I just need to remind myself how short this season of life is with my kiddos. To let myself enjoy this time with them and know that in a couple years, even though it’s hard to fathom right now, I will have more time to focus on those other goals.
That can be a hard pill to swallow at times. It’s taken me almost two years to feel comfortable, to feel like it’s “ok” that I’m a stay at home mom. I felt like I had to keep myself constantly busy – constantly being productive to feel like I was proving my self-worth. Did you know that in two years I haven’t even allowed myself to sit down and watch a show during the day? I’m not saying I’m going to start binge watching the soaps (actually we are talking about canceling our cable) but I know I need to learn its ok to take a break. Lord knows I took breaks while I was at work. Of course, my little people don’t know anything about mandated work breaks but still it’s something I need to focus a little more on. Moms gets judged so harshly sometimes and we usually do it to ourselves and to each other. We went from a country where there was a stigma that went along with being a mom who worked outside of the home to one where the stigma was now placed on stay at home moms. I’m hoping that’s changing. I hope the pendulum that has swung so wildly from one side to another can land in the middle where we respect and support a womens’s right to do what is best for her family in this area.
Now don’t get me wrong. I received so much verbal support from my friends and family when I told them I was going to leave my career to stay home (which helped a lot because I was quite honestly, I was terrified to tell people). I realize a lot of the self-doubt I feel comes from within; but when I grew up you were raised and taught by society to think ahead. Where are you going to go to college (and it better be a 4 year degree), what job are you going to pursue, how are you going to be successful. These aren’t bad things it’s just not once was it mentioned that success for some might come from staying home and taking care of their family.
I also get the questions – sometimes rather implied statements “You will go back to work once your youngest starts school, right?” or “Well only 3 more years and you can get back to work”. I know these questions or statements are not intended to come off as rude or mean and I’m not trying to be a part of the epidemic where it seems like you can’t say anything without offending someone these days; but quite honestly some sting a little. It’s as if I’m not “working” or being a productive member of society right now.
Also, I quite honestly don’t know the answer to them (which can be a thorn in my side as someone who has always had a plan). I may go back to work in the insurance industry but if I do there’s a good chance it won’t be as soon as my little one is in kindergarten. We live in the country and none of my kids will have their licenses for another 6 or 7 years – I still have many summers ahead of me where I want to be there for them. In a perfect world once all of my kids are in school I will be able to expand some of my creative endeavors and be able to keep a flexible schedule. It’s all unknown right now.
I hope you don’t mind my ramblings. I’m not trying to preach or whine – most of it comes down to self reflection on my part. Moderation and self acceptance in the here and now – that’s my goal, that’s my mantra right now. I don’t know…. maybe there’s a little Zen like hope for a spaz like me after all. Now I better hurry up and hit post before I lose the nerve 😉
LOL (Lots of Love)