I had a bit of an epiphany this morning while cleaning Bart's toilet. Okay, maybe it wasn't as much an epiphany as the result of inhaling too many fumes of Kaboom! bathroom cleaner. Either way, I had some pretty deep thoughts. My train of thought started along the lines of how I hate cleaning the bathrooms. It then moved from how I hate the day each (pretty much) week I clean the bathrooms to where I'm happy I'm just cleaning my family's messes these days: that I would rather spend my days mixing in mundane housework with being Mama to a precocious Ladybug to doing anything else in the work place.
I am the most comfortable with who I am today than I have ever been in my life. I think one of the main reasons for that is because I am no longer spending my days trying to live up to the expectations of what others have for me. This isn't a Mommy Wars blog post, but it is a heartfelt post regarding where I am blessed to be in my life. Remember, what works for me does not work for everyone.
"Don't you want more?"
"Don't you want to be successful?"
"Wouldn't you like more money, to be able to take more vacations, and just generally buy more things?"
"Don't you get bored?"
I have been asked all of these questions and more in some form or another. I probably have given a variety of answers depending on what was going on at the time. Yes, I got incredibly bored during probably Ladybug's first six months or so. No matter how advanced, babies don't tend to do a lot at that point except need you. Then she got older, we established an ever-evolving routine, and I began to feel confident and comfortable in this new role for my life.
As to the money and the things: we don't want for anything. We have a warm, comfortable house, food to eat, clothes to cover our ugly bodies, and such. Everything else is just fluff. I am content with the good health and safety of my family. Seriously. New houses, cars, expensive clothes and such just don't really compare.
I think that I'm a very fortunate person. I didn't come into motherhood until I was almost thirty-two years old. I have lived life out there. I have worked in the professional world. I have bought the clothes and the all the things. I have been happy but not necessarily joyful all at the same time. Why? I wasn't following my dreams. I was busy being the person the world expected me to be. I was busy being "on" for everyone else (and often not doing a very good job at it). I was tired and frustrated physically and most importantly spiritually. I wasn't seeking God in my life daily. I was praying, but I wasn't opening the Bible as often as I should have been.
Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom isn't about sitting around, watching daytime television and wearing my pajamas all day long. I don't do that unless I'm like deathly ill. It also isn't about whipping up dinners from scratch and making sure that my daughter is busy with crafts and activities all her waking hours in order to make me look good on Pinterest. Really, it's somewhere more to the middle. It's about being there with her when she's upset and not feeling well. It's about laughing and singing with her. It's about being relaxed enough, knowing that we don't have to do all the things, so that I am emotionally available for my daughter as well as physically. It's taking the time to listen to her little voice which has so much to say. It's about teaching her values by example. It's about pulling out of the fast lane and really appreciating taking things slower.
Somewhere in the slower lane, I found myself. Life isn't just about surviving another day. It's taking the time to truly appreciate the blessings before us. I may still hate cleaning the toilets, but every random smile or hug from Ladybug throughout the day is far more rewarding to me than any other accolades. I love the Laura Story song, "I Can Just Be Me." There's a part in the lyrics stating,
And be my savior, be my lifeline, won't You be my everything.
Cause I'm so tired of trying to be someone
I was never meant to be
Be my God Please be my God
Be my God
So I can just be me
I'm no longer trying to be someone I was never meant to be. All the things that money can buy, all of the atta-boys there are in the professional world mean nothing if you're miserable because you aren't doing what you're called by God to do. I wasn't exactly miserable, but I wasn't joyously happy either. I'm not condemning the working mom. However, being a SAHM isn't this hellish Purgatory some make it out to be. It doesn't have to be. It also isn't like living in Martha Stewart Living. It's just life lived at a different pace with different standards, and I love it. I'm feel freer than I have in years to the point that I'm writing again. You can't beat that. Also, you sometimes have deep thoughts aided by cleaning products. :)