Yeah, but She Doesn’t Work…

I have heard that so many times when talking to other moms about how I don’t feel like I am living up to my motherly duties. There is a divide between the working moms and the stay-at-home moms; who has it harder? Hands down, the stay-at-home mom. Not to sound like I hate being a mom, but you couldn’t pay me enough to stay at home with my kids. Everyone expects so much of the SAHM. I was talking with a mom one time apologizing for not being able to volunteer, and her response was, “That’s what the moms who don’t work do. Don’t worry about it.” That was food for thought. The SAHM should be able to volunteer in the classroom, bake the cookies, be on the PTO, coach the sports, give the rides, clean the house, wash the dishes, cook the dinner. In my head, I’m singing Cinderelli, Cinderelli, Night and day it’s Cinderelli. That is exactly who I felt like when I was home during my maternity leave. My own kids would ask me for things, and if I said no, the response was, “but you don’t even work.”

For the most part, the SAHM’s in my neighborhood rise to the societal expectations and beyond. They seem to be everywhere doing everything, while I can barely keep the train on the tracks. Some people would argue that parenting isn’t a sacrifice, but many mothers sacrifice part of their identities to raise their children. I am grateful that my career allows me to still keep parts of the person I was before I became a mom.

Sometimes, I am envious of the SAHM, and not because they get to stay home with their children, but because they WANT to stay home with their children. I stayed home with each of my kids for 6 months after giving birth. For me, that was the perfect amount of time. By the end of the 6 months, I was waiting for my alarm clock to buzz on that first morning back at work. “Please let me enter the world of people!”

I also feel admiration for the SAHM because they are the mentors for our community. I’m not saying that working moms aren’t mentors too, but I’ll never know where a working mom finds the time, energy or sanity to do it all! I admire the women who can! Either way, our kids spend a lot of time with the SAHM while we are at work. They are the first ones signed up on the volunteer list to host the class party or go on the school field trip. Personally, I prefer to send a case of water and some Oreos for the class party. I am almost relieved that I have work as an excuse from sitting on the bus and spending the day at the local museum with a group of 8 year olds. And that’s ok, or at least it should be.

Instead of beating myself up for sending my child in with the prepackaged snacks, I should be grateful that I can even send a snack. I shouldn’t look down on myself because I didn’t spend all night making a personalized cookie for each kid in the class. And I shouldn’t be jealous of the mom who took the time to make the personalized cookies. I am just now realizing that it isn’t a competition of which moms are doing more or who has it the hardest.

Finally, sometimes I feel sorry for the SAHM. I know when I was home, I didn’t get the time to eat a lunch in peace or have an hour break to run some errands. I’m not going to lie; I love that my working mom schedule allows for that mid-day free time. I can sit in the book store for 30 minutes and flip through a magazine without a toddler pulling at my leg. It is a small indulgence that is good for my soul. I feel that the SAHM’s work is largely underappreciated; it is just expected. At least I always felt that everything that I did when I was at home was taken for granted or overlooked. I didn’t get an e-mail saying, “Good job at loving and nurturing your kids this week! Go ahead and take the night off!” I didn’t get a bonus. Hell, I didn’t even get a paycheck! I didn’t get a gain in seniority. Although, how cool would that be if we got to move up the mom ladder with a rewards system. I know. I know. It should be rewarding enough just to watch our children smile, but seriously, I wouldn’t hate a free coffee if I did a good job at being a mom for a whole week!

Working mom or SAHM, we all need time for selfish desires that fuel personal happiness and fulfillment. I’ve come to accept what some might consider defeat… I know that I can’t do it all, at least not all the time.  Maybe I’m just a little selfish, and if I have a free minute, I want to catch up on the latest episode of Grey’s or have a cocktail with my husband while we make dinner together.

The point is we are all doing our best. I don’t go home at night wondering if the other moms did as much as I did that day. I am just grateful that I have the opportunity to be a mom in the best way that I know how to be one. Own what you do. If you are doing your best…that’s enough. The general message that I get from women is that they aren’t doing enough. It blows my mind because I am surrounded by phenomenal women.

5 Tips #SurvivingParenthood

We all have it. There is no escaping it.  Mom’s have dreams and aspirations that are put on the back burner because raising children is all consuming. It is especially rough to live in an era where social media is the ultimate bragging playground. The mom guilt really sinks in when we scroll through Instagram feed only to see a picture of a mom with two perfectly behaved children baking cookies and the caption reads. Just got home from work, cleaned the house, and got in my workout. Now time for some baking with my adorable babies. #beachready #workingmomsrule #yummycookies. It is annoying to even write that.

I feed into it too trying to make sure that my life looks as perfect as all of my friends, but there is no picture to describe how I really feel at the end of my day, but I usually feel exhausted and guilty that I did not accomplish all of my goals. One kid usually gets short changed, or I snap on my husband for no good reason, or my kids are eating their 3rd Happy Meal of the week, or the list goes on and on. And then I feel resentful because I know damn well there will definitely be no ‘me’ time. Are these other moms really this amazing? And if not, why do I let it get to me?

As a mom of 3, I have learned a lot about parenting. Having children who range from ages two to fifteen has really made me look at who I  am and made me question how I rate as a mother. How do I stack up in regards to having it all? What does it even mean to ‘have it all’? But, with social media, I have started feeling like I’m not doing too hot.

I don’t ever execute any of the thousands of ideas on my Pinterest Boards, I don’t make time to work out so I can post a picture at the beach with my amazing body, in fact, I have come to hate my body. I know that there is a big movement about loving yourself with all the imperfections and the no body shaming campaigns, but come on. There are things about my body that hell yeah I want to change. I don’t fill my calendar with activities to entertain my children.

Truthfully, most of the time, I’m so exhausted after work that I hope they will be happy just hanging out on the couch watching a movie, but that never happens. I am just surviving parenthood. I love my children with everything, but I find myself just going through the motions. I am just now figuring out how to find my happy place, which is unique to each person, so if you can do it all with a smile on your face, Go you! I just want to be happy. I want to enjoy the little moments and prepare for the big moments. So, how do I embrace this life without feeling resentful that I am bored most of the time?

  1. Drink alcohol. Seriously, I’m not saying go out and get hammered every night. But have a beer or a cocktail. Everything seems a little less intense after a drink.
  2. Laugh at the insignificance of it all. Remember life goes on…don’t let something small ruin your day. We really do have a choice when it comes to our attitude.
  3. Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Find what works for you and own it.
  4. Understand that people are posting the best parts of their lives on social media. It is a one second snapshot of their reality. And good for them if they have really found the happiness that they display. Maybe I should reach out to them for some parenting advice.
  5. Never give up on yourself. Don’t lose sight of who you were before you had kids. I am still working on this. It is ok to be selfish sometimes. It is actually better for your whole family if you are…this helps with the resentment.

 

My mom has always told me, “Get busy living or get busy dying!” So go have a cocktail and focus on YOU!

 

 

Ready-Fire-Aim

Blogging 101…Research the title before you buy the domain. For most people, that would be the first move, but not me. I failed to tack on the extra ten seconds to do a simple Google search. My biggest strength and weakness is my passion. I get so excited about my projects that I just go for it. I thought I had the perfect, creative and catchy name for my blog that represents the constant chaos and love that surrounds me.  That said, I played around with the name in my head for just about a day (if I round up…) and felt good about it. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I am a ready, fire, aim kind of a person, so I let my excitement take over and pulled the trigger. Once my new blog had been set up, and I truly had a vision for how I wanted to tell people about my interpretation of life, which usually ends in a laughable life lesson, did I realize that I forgot to Google the term Lovely Haze. So I am off to a great start by unintentionally offending potential readers. If you personally know me, this is right in line with who I am. Welcome to Lovely Haze.

 

 

Let’s Start with the Title…

 

Gosh! The pressure of a title is a big deal! Shit Show was the first word that came to my mind, but that wouldn’t be completely true. Although many days feel like complete and utter chaos, and I wonder how I will survive my life; my heart is full.  Many of my thoughts revolve around the day to day struggles, and the importance of being honest about the realities of life. Let’s face it Life can be beautiful and ugly all at once. Lovely Haze represents my thoughts about the unconditional love I have for the disorder in my life.