Who doesn’t understand that dread you get when the weekend is closing in and a new workweek is starting? I remember crying over Mondays with a few particularly challenging work experiences. As Sundays drew in for a close, I wanted so badly to freeze time.
Later, leaving the traditional work world was a relief. I prayed and dreamed of becoming a mom, and now I get to do it full time? Forget it. Hashtag blessed.
Many days I am that annoying stay-at-home mom who loves what I do. I volunteer for things at my kid’s preschool. We take trips to the children’s museum and the library, and I take a million pictures of the cute stuff they do. I roll my eyes and swap potty training horror stories with other moms, while secretly making goo-goo eyes at my adorable kiddos. I’m a stereotype, and I’m okay with that.
But it’s not all rainbows and kitty cats. (Or monster trucks and dinosaurs, if we’re talking about things my boys love.) There are days.
I’m talking about the ones with, oh my gosh if you touch him again don’t you dare make that face why on earth would you do that please no more Baby Einstein for the LOVE.
The ones where it’s all I can do not to lock myself in my room and hide under the covers until my husband comes home. At which point I will continue to stay in my room and hide under the covers.
The times when my “if you do this again…” starts to lose its power because I’m running out of consequences or the capacity to follow through with them.
The days where I literally throw all the toys off the bed because one kid is whining over the other kid sitting on his toys.
When my sweet, motherly, let’s talk through better choices becomes YOU’LL DO IT BECAUSE I SAID TO, NO MORE WORDS!
With these days comes guilt. Sometimes it’s perceived. (I.e. my kids are absolute angels, they can do no wrong, what is wrong with me?) And sometimes it seems a bit more legitimate. I chose to stay home with them because I wanted to. I opted for this to be my job. Look at me, the ungrateful wretch who wants to drop my kids off at the nearest Chik-fil-a play area and head for the hills.
In these moments, it’s important for me to know a few things. First, I am not the exception here. All moms feel this at some point. Stay-home or working, we all lose it with our kids, we all have bad days, we all feel guilty. And we all start over.
Second, there is no such thing as the perfect mom. So why do we spend so much time trying to be this mythical creature? Lower your almighty, Pinterest-induced standards. Watch the TV show, eat the fast food, drink the second cup of coffee, phone a friend. Do what you need to do to get through the freaking day, because sometimes that’s just what needs to happen.
Third, take care of you when you can, so you have something to give when you can’t. It’s hard, I know. I’m side-hustling a few different ways, and when the kids go to bed, I usually work. But stop for a bit. Get the sleep you need. Skip the social media for the night. (My husband, if he ever reads this, will laugh and tell me to take my own advice.) But seriously. The times that I do feel so good.
Stay-at-home moms, it’s okay to not always love your job. Wherever you are, make adjustments, and keep moving forward. Maybe you need to switch up your lifestyle and go after a job again. Maybe you need to do better at taking care of yourself when you’re off. Or maybe you need to get some extra help, in the form of counseling or just someone to help you around the house.
I know those days, and I feel your pain. But the joyful times come, and they are so worth it. Hang in there. These are the days, Mama.
What helps you when you don’t love your job?