I have recently gone back to work part time. This is mostly because I plan on giving my kids a sub-par childhood.
So far everyone is suffering and wearing weird clothes to school, because I’m not there to control their fashion decisions. My kindergartner wore pink leggings and cutoff jean shorts to her school Christmas program. I snuck in a few minutes late from work and scanned the kids on stage. When my eyes fell on Oaklee, I burst out laughing. There she was, surrounded by red and white dresses and tiny bow ties. My husband waited in great anticipation for my reaction. Our eyes met when I slid into the seat next to him. He grinned and nodded proudly. “Yeah I did…” he whispered, giving me a big wink.
He is the worst stay at home mom ever.
I find it kind of attractive.
Watching her sing “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” dressed like Daisy from the Dukes of Hazard was the therapy I never knew I needed.
And probably it was everybody else’s therapy too, because it is always nice to know that even though you forgot to sign the reading log, someone else thought it was the Fourth of July.
Sometimes we work because we have to. Sometimes we work because we want to. Sometimes we are SAHMs because we have to. Sometimes we are because we want to. There are so many difficult decisions to make as parents and no one carries that burden like we do. We are all forging ahead like blind tour guides hoping we chose the right trail and that no one gets head lice.
When I was a brand new mom a friend who was experienced told me, “Don’t worry so much about the “right” way. Love your kids well and follow your heart. They will all be okay.”
And I was all, “ARE YOU CRAZY?!” Tell me the right way right now before I SCREW EVERYONE UP.
The more I parent though, the more I realize she was right. There is no “exactly perfect” way to do motherhood. There is a million and one ways to do it, and do it well. My prayer is that my kids grow up confident and compassionate. That they grow up into hard workers, strong leaders, and generous givers. That they grow up knowing that they are loved, and knowing how to love. The other stuff?
It’s just pink leggings and cutoff jean shorts.
I am a working mom right now and we are all going to be okay.
Soon we are taking a trip and I will be a traveling mom, and we are all going to be okay.
I may find myself a stay at home mom again soon, and we are all going to be okay.
That voice that says I’m not enough? That I’m failing, and I’m disappointing my kids? The one that says I shouldn’t be working, or staying at home, or taking a moment to get my nails done? The voice that says every one else is more patient, and perfect, and wonderful, and makes homemade cookies, and has clean kitchens?
That voice is a liar.
Whatever kind of mom you are today. Whether you are a a working mom, a stay at home mom, a together mom, a falling apart mom, a tired mom, a happy mom, a single mom, if I could, I would take your hand and say, “Carry on Mama, your kids adore you. Especially that one biting your shoulder and screaming. I can tell.”
We need each other.