Confessions of a Working Mom

DREAM
DREAM

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.

REALITY
REALITY

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.

Visions of Pregnancy

Before the adoption of my children filled my home and my heart, and before the Lord’s revelation in my life, I used to wonder what I would look like if I were pregnant.  Here is another excerpt from my memoir in a chapter where I talk about the deep longing that existed when walking around with the feeling of emptiness.  I cannot believe I am admitting this, but…deep breath…here it is:

I secretly envied my pregnant friends.  I wanted what they had.  The joy, excitement, and love they shared with their spouses throughout their pregnancies were clearly obvious and I was jealous of it.  It felt really childish for me to think “why can’t I be like that?”  Or, “why does she get to have more children when I cannot even have one?”  It was almost shameful for me to think that way, or at least I felt ashamed of having those thoughts about them.  I love my friends and I love their children and I know it is wrong for us to covet what others have, but I honestly did.

Just once I wanted to know what it would feel like to carry a baby in my body, or hold a baby and believe that he or she was mine.  Every so often, I dreamed about being pregnant.  I do not know what made me feel worse – the dream itself or waking up.  Often, I stuck a ball under my shirt, stood in front of the mirror, and just stared at myself.  I surveyed the shape from every angle.  This was the closest I would ever come to seeing my “pregnant” belly.  I always thought I would have made a cute mom-to-be.

It is a mistake to assume that women who cannot have biological children never wonder what their pregnancies would feel like.  Most of us, although sympathetic to those going through it, would give anything to know what morning sickness was like, or to have the moment when a slight kick is felt from the inside.  We would give nearly anything to have an ultrasound done that reveals the life growing inside of us.

Most of us have dreamed about pregnancy.  Most of us have had visions of ourselves pregnant.  Many of us still do.

I never, ever told anyone close to me that I used to stand in front of the mirror daydreaming of being pregnant.  It was embarrassing and I felt as though I should not have even considered it.  But, why not?  Why not wonder what it would feel like to be pregnant?  This is not wrong, silly, or senseless.  It makes perfect sense to me.

If your path to pregnancy is jagged right now and you find yourself hiding away in front of a mirror staring at your belly, it is okay.  Do not be embarrassed.  Do not feel as though you should not be doing this.  Give yourself a break and daydream all you need to.  I get it, and my guess is that nearly every one else who is struggling with infertility or barrenness gets it to.

May His vision of you fill your life with love, peace, and understanding.

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