Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Validated Mom

I am a stay at home mom. That is how I categorize what I do.

What is a work at home mom? Does that mean they make money while working at home? Or do some moms say they are work at home moms because all moms work and they just happen to stay at home, therefor making them a stay at home mom? Does that question make sense? And, really, yes, I am serious.

My friend, Rach has some good thoughts in her post and in the comments section about being a stay at home mom and the need to feel validated. One of the commenters, a male, made the comparison that a man can't be lazy at work and fly by the seat of his pants and that he has to accomplish certain things everday. While I agree with his point, there are certain things that I have to accomplish everyday, but they aren't all things that can be written down in a complete schedule or list format. These are things like feeding the kids and changing diapers. Then there are things that would be good if I accomplished that day, maybe baking something, laundry, cleaning, the possibilities are endless. But when I look at it, the only have to's are meeting the needs of my children. I can't have a perfect day everyday. Somedays, the needs of my kids are to sit and read books with them or watch shows because they are sick, somedays, they feel great and play well on their own and I can "accomplish" more.

Part of being a stay at home mom is being flexible. I have to be flexible everyday to be able to meet the needs of my children, for that day. Sometimes that means that we order a pizza or the dirt stays on the floor. But, it will still be there tomorrow! That is another thing about a stay at home mom, I always have tomorrow to do things, but I might not always have tomorrow to do things with my kids.

I guess it is a lot about balance too. Balance of time for me, time to do work around the house that I need to do, time to spend playing and talking with the kids, time to spend with my husband and the kids, and time to spend with my husband.

In all that I do, how do I feel validated as a mom? How do I know that how I am raising my kids, feeding them, playing with them, is right? I compare myself to other mothers. And I have this ideal in my head.

My ideal stay at home mom/wife looks a lot like someone named June Cleaver. My hair would be perfect, I would wear dresses everyday with heels, my house would be shiny and spotless, my children would learn daily life changing lessons while I talk to them about their day, dinner is on the table when my husband arrives home, etc. Pretty much perfection. But I don't measure up. I am not on tv! I live real life. I live in an apartment where our living room is the toy room so having it all picked up when dad gets home? Probably not going to happen! Dinner on the table, happens most of the time. But, I have those afternoons when I call Drew and say, lets order pizza or lets go out. And sometimes I call sandwiches dinner.

What is my point in all this rambling? I don't know! Just that, in my mind, I am not a perfect stay at home mom. But I do the best that I can and pray that my best is good enough!

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