Monday, 22 October 2012

Adventure of the spirit or excuse to be lazy?

I can not decide if being a Stay at Home Mum (SAHM) is an exciting adventure of the spirit or just my way of hiding from reality and avoiding hard work.    Every day, each hour, even fleeting moments can contain exciting adventures of the spirit.  I love my children, husband and life so much I have tried to stay busy so I wouldn’t have to feel the complete emotion, I didn’t want to be completely and utterly overwhelmed by the love, and the subsequent exhaustion, frustration and constantly changing tempo of life as a mother and wife.  I wanted to have a small amount of control, my own identity, which I thought I maintained by having many other things going on in my life ... but I am slowly starting to let go, to let it all flood in, to be fully present, immerse myself in all its glory, and endless frustration, and it is wonderful and worrying all at the same time. 

I feel so grateful for all the blessings in my life, the amount of love, the wonderfully rich relationships I get to enjoy, I feel a great responsibility to recognise, acknowledge and celebrate these blessings, these individuals, these relationships.  This can sometimes feel like a cover for being lazy, an excuse to talk on the phone, to spend hours on end with friends and their children, an excuse to go shopping for birthday gifts, a reason to do craft and play games and a justification for sitting still and relaxing.  Sometimes it is exhausting just fighting these feelings of guilt, writing this I feel I am trying to justify my choice, to convince anybody that will listen that staying at home with our children is a worthwhile pursuit, and one that I am capable and deserving of.  I read books on it, attend courses about it, I am consumed with the desire to prove to myself and world it is alright to stay at home.  Embarrassingly I always try to work into the conversation that I have two University degrees, see I just did it here, again trying to justify myself.

I have a very detailed idea about what a SAHM should be, she should cook a lot of beautiful homemade food, it would be preferable if she could sew, she should have a thriving fruit orchard and vegetable patch and make cordials, jams and preserves, she must be very frugal and make do in any situation, she looks after the household finances, she should have at least four children and her house must be spotless at all times.  An extra cherry on top would be if she ran her own small business from home, preferably her own label of health foods, homemade beauty products or range of adorable designer kids clothes.

For some people this is their reality and I will be forever jealous, and if I was any of these things I don’t think I would struggle with the fact that I do stay at home. For me a SAHM does everything they tried to teach us in Home Economics, which I hated, and now I can’t do any of these things.  I can love my children, I can make my husband laugh, I am good at coordinating great parties, I love taking photos and recording wonderful moments we all share together, I love sitting still and listening to and sharing stories, if something gets a rip or a hole it gets tossed out and I throw out a lot of left-overs.  I yell sometimes and even occasionally throw a thing or two, and sometimes I shout out the back door just cause I have to.  None of these things fall into my idea of what a SAHM looks like but guess what I am still a SAHM.  From right now I am going to try and stop justifying my choice and I am going to enjoy this exciting adventure of the spirit, goodness knows where it might lead or how long it might last.

I will continue to pray that I can enjoy it, all of it, and not rob myself of joy by thinking about all the things I am not. 


  1. I think, like most things, motherhood is what you make it. You can choose to commit 100% to it, and be the best Mum you can be, or not. I don't think it matters how you do it, whether you are crafty, or good at cooking, or good at doing activities with your kids, all of the above, or none of the above! As long as you keep the focus on loving your children, and God and giving them your best. But I agree that it is hard to let go of what society shows a 'good' SAHM mum to be. Good thought-provoking post!

  2. It is such a trick to be the best Mum I can be and not be the best Mum I think I should be .. you are so right Robyn, the kids just love spending time with and doing things with me, they don't even realise all the things I can't do :)