She and my brother went to high school together and they started dating in 1999 and married in 2004. She is a wonderful wife and mother to 4 spectacular kids (so far) and 2 fur babies. She is pretty, witty, intelligent, fun, kind and did I mention pretty? She is a birth doula and a baker and a great friend. Most of all she is a SAHM, and she is darn good at it. She'll deny this of course, but she is a very wise woman and I would do well to listen to her advice.
So I told her that I was struggling with adjusting to my new role as a SAHM. Most days I feel like I am failing at this "job" in every possible way. She knows me well and knows that I have wanted this opportunity for a long time. By asking a very simple question she really got to the heart of my struggle. "What are your expectations of being a SAHM?"
And that right there is exactly my struggle.
I want to take care of my kids. I want to make good food. I want to have time for leisure. I want to homeschool. I want to keep a clean, orderly and organized home. I want to support my husband in his role as provider for our family. I want to have fun. I want our lives to look like what I see on other people's blogs. But mostly I want to enjoy being at home.
"You need to lower your expectations. I think you are just too hard on yourself."
Am I being too hard on myself? I know the things of which I am capable. I have high hopes and high ambitions. I will push myself pretty hard to accomplish the things I feel are important. I think she is right though.
I feel like a failure when I look around at the end of the day and the house is still covered in toys and unfolded laundry, but I should see my sleeping children with full bellies and be content with taking care of them. I feel like a failure when my 4 year old can't tie is own shoes, but I should be content with his zeal for sharing God's love with everyone he meets. I feel like a failure when my 13 month old leaks through another diaper, but I should be content that she walks straight to her room when I say "Time to change your diapee!" I feel like a failure when I look at our bank account and realize I could do better at saving at couponing/sale shopping to save us money, but I should be content that God has met our needs and many of our wants and we are very fortunate to have the resources we do.
Here's what my day looked like:
- All of us up and dressed by 8:30am
- Kids fed three decent meals
- 2 loads of laundry completed (including one load of diapers, which is really like doing three loads)
- Homeschooling done - letters E and F reviewed
- Read a book to the kids (multiple times because they love it so much)
- Ran errands to Lo.we's, Targ.et, Krog.er, dry cleaners
- Worked on some writing I'd been wanting to get done
- Vacuumed the floor in the kitchen because I didn't fit between the van and the wall in the garage to reach my broom (bathroom where I usually keep it is under construction)
- Flag football practice done (we were about 15 minutes late, traffic was ridiculous!)
- Gassed up the van (Mr. Amen pumped the gas, but I drove)
- Dishwasher loaded
- Junior bathed and ready for pictures tomorrow
- Bed time routine completed, all items ready to go to football game tomorrow, including the camera