Ever since I was five years old people have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always told them “I want to be a mom.” That was always followed with, “Ok, yeah, but what else?”
This question made me wonder what was wrong with being “just” a mom. Sure, I have other interests and things I enjoy doing and someday when I return to the workforce, I will pursue those interests – but I’ve always seen myself being a stay-at-home mom. As a child I obviously I had no idea about all the financial planning this would entail. When I met my husband I was fourteen years old. I shared this dream with him and as we grew up, we began to work towards this dream to make it a reality for us. We both went to college, moved back home, got married and ten months later had our first baby.
That’s when I began my dream job of being a mother.
However, I have a confession to make. Sometimes I find myself struggling to be content with being “just” a mom. It’s not that I don’t love staying home with our children – I do. But sometimes I feel like there’s something else I should be doing like chasing another passion (even though I’m not sure what that would be right now) or doing something to earn money to help our family grow financially (even though we’re doing fine without extra money). Often times I wonder why I feel this way because when I’m at home playing with our kids or taking them to do fun things in the middle of a weekday I get overwhelmed with how fortunate I feel and how happy I am getting to be with them all day every day.
I don’t want to leave them to go to work. And I’ve heard this is unusual but I genuinely miss our oldest son when he’s at preschool three days a week. I have several friends that do things where they can work from home like sell crafts or have multi-level marketing jobs but that just isn’t for me right now. I dabble in photography and have made several digital designs like invitations and posters for people, but those things don’t get my attention much because I’d rather spend time pouring into my children while they’re still young.
It’s the feeling that I should be doing something in addition to being a mom. As if it was planted in my head that being “just” a mom isn’t enough. I should be doing something more, something else. I know this plays into the general feeling of guilt that a lot of moms struggle with, and it’s tough to navigate and combat. There are so many external factors that sneak in and make me feel this way. But in my heart, I know I was made to be a mother. I still get frustrated and don’t have all the answers I wish I did when it comes to raising our children. On the days that I have a hard time feeling content and at peace I remind myself that I’m not just a mom. I’m a teacher. I teach my kids little life lessons on our adventures and at home. I see them learning how to become more independent every day. I’m a chef so I get to spend time finding healthy and fun foods to make and create for our family. I’m a nurse and keeper of the fun band-aids. I’m a counselor and referee, and with sibling rivalry starting at 2 and 5 years old this is a big part of my job description right now! I work the third shift when they wake up in the middle of the night. I’ve spent 30 months of my life so far growing our children inside my body and another 28 months (not counting our third to be born in late May) providing nourishment from my body for them after they’re born. This is so important for all moms to remember especially when we start to feel like we’re inadequate or when we feel like we’re failing as mothers.
So right now, in this season of my life, I am “just” a mom, and that’s pretty perfect for me.