When I first had kids, I had a pretty narrow (and opinionated) view of the role of the stay at home mom.
If you called yourself a stay at home mom, there were things you were supposed to do.
That you should do.
Stay at home moms should clean the house.
All of it.
They should do all the laundry.
They should help with homework.
They should do all the driving.
They should decorate the house at every holiday.
They should do fun projects, and make scrapbooks and lots of other impressive and crafty shit.
They should have a homemade breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared every single day.
They should focus all their attention on their children.
Those were the responsibilities of the SAHM.
Some of them, anyway.
If you were any good at your job, you should be able to handle all of them on your own.
And like it.
I lived that way for a good 5 years.
I did nothing for myself.
My health and happiness were never a priority.
It worked out okay.
Until I ended up in the nuthouse.
I made a few changes.
But not enough changes.
Because a couple months ago, I almost ended up in the nuthouse again.
Here is the thing.
I didn’t love all parts of being a SAHM.
I thought admitting that meant I was a failure.
Up until yesterday.
Up until yesterday, I was still holding myself back with all those “shoulds.”
Then I went to this conference called Mom Grows a Business.
I am a strong, intelligent, proactive woman.
But for some reason, I still couldn’t totally shake this antiquated thinking with respect to being a stay at home mom.
Or just a mom in general.
Then this woman named Traci Bild got up on stage.
And she was telling her story.
She talked about how she was doing the stuff that we moms do.
Sitting watching her kids at dance class. Or baseball practice. Or wherever it is that we sit and watch them have fun.
And she wasn’t having fun at all.
And she was sick of watching other people have fun while she just sat there.
So she did something about it.
And in that moment, the remaining mom guilt I had, for wanting to put myself first sometimes,
Not having fun is not making me a better mom.
Doing shit that I hate to do, every day, over and over again, is not making me a better mom.
In fact, to be honest, I think it’s making me resent my kids a little bit.
I want to teach my kids to be happy.
I want to encourage them to do what they love.
So why dont I lead by example?
Of course, there are aspects of any job that are less enjoyable than others.
Sometimes you have to do stuff that you don’t want to do.
But I hate cleaning my house.
And, it’s a huge, as Traci put it, timesucker.
I want to get rid of the timesuckers.
Acknowledging that doesn’t make me a bad mom.
In fact, if I can find a way to make the money to pay for that, then I can spend more time with my kids.
And that will make me a better mom.
So I am going to find a way.
I am going to find a way to give that job to someone who doesn’t hate to do it.
In a couple weeks, I will write a post about my new housecleaner.
About how I was able to free myself up to do the things that I like.
And in the process, give another woman a job.
And once I’ve found a way to do that, I’m going to move on to another timesucker.
Little by little, I’m creating my own dream job.
One timesucker at a time.
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