Friday, November 22, 2013

Confessions of a SAHM...

In an effort to be "keepin' it real" I have a confession.

Being a stay at home homeschooling mom is really hard. Like, really hard. Like, my hardest day at work was never this exhausting. And every now and then I think that I might just go a little crazy...

The noise is constant. Children are loud. And they escalate. "Mom, can I go outside?" " MOM! Can I go outside?" " MOOOOOOM!!" "MOOOOOOOOM!!"

The eating never ends. We eat breakfast between 8 & 9am. Then at 10-10:30am, everyone is starving, and needs a snack. Then comes lunch at 12. Then another snack, and then dinner, and then a snack before bed. And in the middle of all of those scheduled events, there is more talk about being hungry. They eat healthy foods like apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, peppers, carrots, celery and tomatoes for snacks, but none-the-less, they never stop eating. And I have a hard time leaving the kitchen because I am either preparing food, or cleaning up food.

Keeping the house tidy is maddening. We don't let the kids watch much TV, so that means if we're home, the children are usually playing. When I'm doing school with Bella, Grady & Lilly happily play with their toys. They play Veterinarian with every single stuffed animal we own, they pull all of the pillows off of the couches and make pillow and blanket forts, they color pictures using every colored pencil in the box and leave it wherever on the floor it falls, they make snowflakes by cutting pieces of paper into a million little tiny pieces... And while they do play very nicely together, they make very big messes. And staying on top of them to clean up their messes is tiring.

Homeschooling can be rough. Monday and Tuesday were homeschooling nightmares for me. Literally, I spent two days on and off in tears. Bella has recently decided that she doesn't really like "doing school", which means she doesn't like doing her lessons in Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. And she drags her feet like nobody's business. She stares out the window, looks at the floor, looks at her hair, gets up, wanders around, goes potty, gets a drink, etc... And her lessons that should take an hour and a half to two hours, have been taking six hours. And while she is taking forever to get her seatwork done, my two littles are pulling out every toy on the shelf. Sigh.

I want so much to be June Cleaver. I want my children to be intelligent, respectful, kind, and well mannered. I want my house to be tidy. I want my husband to come home from work to a peaceful, welcoming environment. I want to always have a smile and a kind word. I want dinner ready at dinner time, and I want to wear pearls all day long, gosh darn it.

So tonight I am proposing some solutions for any other mamas out there that feel like they are on the verge of "losing it",  for friends of the mamas that are about to go crazy, and for the husbands of the crazy moms.

1. To my fellow SAHMs:
Find some supportive people and actually talk to them. Just call them, even if you're crying, and say "I am having a horrible week, my daughter won't do her school work, my house is a mess, and I don't know what I'm making for dinner. I'm trying so hard, and I'm frustrated, and tired."

And secondly, don't beat yourself up. Try your best, but realize that you are human, and not perfect, and that even when your house is a mess and you're having pizza for dinner again, your family still loves you. Whether they say it or not, your children appreciate the time that you spend with them. Hang in there, and if nothing else, just go put on some pearls.

2. Friends of the SAHM:
Be the supportive friend that your mama friend needs. When she calls you, or sits in front of you, crying and telling you that she feels like she's not getting it right, say to her "you are a good mama". Tell her she's not alone, and that you too are on the verge of losing it, even if you're not, just say it, it will make her feel better... Just kidding. But be honest, because the honest truth is that we've all been there at some point in life, and things will get better. Feel free to remind her of that.  And remind her of some of the things she has to be thankful for, even if it comes down to coffee and chocolate, sunshine and fresh air. My girlfriends this morning made a world of difference with their sweet words of encouragement and affirmation.

3. Husbands of the SAHM:
Love your wife enough to give her a break, as much as possible. A quiet, child-free trip to the grocery store, a few hours to roam around the mall alone, or a girls night out with friends will do a whole world of good for her mental health. Even if she hesitates to leave you with dinner clean-up or bath time rituals, say to her "I've got this, enjoy some time to yourself." Your wife will come back refreshed and ready for a new day.

The truth is, I love being home with my children. I love it. I love them. I wouldn't trade this chaos and tears to go back to work. I know without a doubt that this is the best thing for our family. And as hard as it can be at times, the beautiful times far outweigh the hectic ones. It's just a matter of keeping it in perspective.

1 comment:

  1. Have you been spying on me? Sounds like you're discribing days at my house! :)
    You are doing a GREAT job and you ARE a good mama!