I am a mother with a full-time job outside of the home. It is not that I’m necessarily at the office long hours of the day, but, I’m in a leadership position at my work, and often have to be available to emails and calls even if sitting on my couch. There are expectations, decisions, and paperwork on my plate at all times. There are new policies to be read, meetings to attend, and staff work to be approved. I know that my work in child welfare is a ministry and I’m extremely blessed to work for a Christian agency, but I feel pulled in so many directions most of the time. I often wonder if my work in helping other families distracts me from taking care of my own.
With this in mind, I have a confession to make: I daydream about being a stay-at-home mother. I imagine waking up after getting a restful long night of sleep, greeting my lovelies in the best “Snow White-Princessy” kind of voice while wearing fluffy house-shoes, and whipping up fresh made biscuits (not from a can). I imagine sending my son off to school without the rush of madness in the morning. I imagine my daughter attending preschool just one day per week instead of forty hours per week.
In my dreamland of non-salaried motherhood, my house is spotless (ALL of the time), the yard is sculpted to perfection, there are no laundry piles, toys are sorted by color, shape, or function, pets are always well-groomed, husband is also always well-groomed, meals are diverse and over-the-top healthy, and every sock is matched with the other. My home looks like most of the fantastic homes on the ever-popular, yet, intimidating website Pinterest. In my dreamland, there are lunch dates with friends, salon treatments, and a personal trainer. There’s cycling during the day, hanging out in a coffee shop with my laptop, baking cookies with the kids, shopping trips with my daughter, play dates at the park, more church activities, and volunteering at the local hospital.
In this dream, I’m always in a good mood, never stressed, and feel constantly “in the moment” with my children and husband. I don’t have to worry about budgets other than my own, and I don’t have to read new policies. I don’t have to say yes or no to employees, and my focus is only on home life….
Okay, so I know that all mom’s work regardless of employment. I know (or at least have learned vicariously) that it is difficult to stay home full-time with young children. My friends who do not have employment outside of the home struggle with finding time for themselves, mounds of laundry, bored kids, fighting siblings, and feeling overwhelmed.
Motherhood is hard regardless of receiving a paycheck or not. Motherhood is all-encompassing. We are never really “off the clock”. We don’t get to call in sick to our kids, or take vacation days. We are love-givers, nutritionists, chefs, boo-boo healers, life coaches, fashion advisers, groomers, interior designers, friend creators, manicurists, pedicurists, personal bankers, and housekeepers. We are dictionaries, spiritual advisers, encyclopedias, social skills teachers, and tutors. We are warriors, protectors, and commanders. We also know that we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I guess, then, that we are all the same. Employed outside of the home or not, we all probably dream of waking up and greeting our little ones like a Disney Princess, making fresh made biscuits not from a can, and wearing matching socks.