I have wanted to be a stay at home mom since the minute I found out I was pregnant. Some people know what they want to be when they grow up and pursue those dreams in a college degree and a career. That is awesome. I have always wanted to be a mom. After two years of school and a degree in early childhood development, I still knew I just wanted to be a mom. The day I made the choice to stay at home was the best day of my life. I have never been more satisfied with a decision. I felt so fulfilled. So happy. So excited to start on this new journey with my almost 2 year old daughter. We were going to make so many memories. Bake so many cookies. Play way too much dress up and blow too many bubbles. Heaven on earth. Now, a year and a half later, and a set of twin boys added to my plate, I often feel those dreams slipping away. When I first thought about being a stay at home mom, I pictured countless hours just watching Natalee, soaking in every moment of her golden brown hair, dirty hands and sweet little voice. I dreamed about the craft projects we would do, the parks we would play at, the service projects we would be involved in and the play groups we would attend. Don't get me wrong, we have our fair share of all of these things, but not like I had imagined it would be. I was slapped in the face. I awoke to the pressure all moms have. I was made aware to all the work that needed to be done. I realized the "competition" that exists in the realm of a stay at home mom. My dream slowly turned into a nightmare. I realized that society told me I needed to be a 50's wife. You know; "house perfect-dinner made-red lipstick and heels kind of wife." I have never in my life worn red lipstick and my cooking is definitely no Betty Crocker. My house needed to be clean and perfect all day, every day. I needed to have the clothes washed and hung and put away before my husband got home. Dinner needed to be gourmet, organic and delicious all at the same time. What did this mean? It meant I had a choice. I could either fall into the trap of society's way of thinking or I could continue to do the best I could with what I had and not be fake. Who really likes fake?
There is no time to BE with your children with this constant need for perfection running through your head. Your children will not remember that you put on make-up everyday or that you vacuumed every Tuesday. They will remember the tickle fights, pretend play, and camping trips. So much of my time is spent managing my home, running errands, changing diapers, feeding babies and going to play groups and ballet, I wonder how much time I really have spent with my children by the end of the day. Yes, I realize I am around my children all the time, but am I just going from place to place and chore to chore? Did I stop and take a moment for some quality time? Did I make them feel special?
Today I will play with my children. Today I will read a book. Today I will not worry about the perfection of my house. Today I will be a great mommy. Today I will not worry about the Joneses. Who are they anyway? I encourage you to put down that scrubber, remote or red lipstick and do the same. As we all know, they grow so fast, and my dirty house will still be there tomorrow, but my "babies" won't.