The Dilemmas of Being a Working Mom

Dilemmas of a Working Mom!

Today I had a rather slow and peaceful day in a long time. And as I tucked Shaarav to sleep kissing his forehead, I found my thoughts meandering in the farthest reaches of my brain awakening the deepest emotions. Parenting is full of personal choices and a recent life-changing choice that I have made is joining work. I am now a full-time working mom.

Why life-changing you may ask?

The reason being I have joined work after having been a stay-at-home mom to my little human for a little more than two and a half years. I have talked a lot about my choice for being a stay-at-home mom on my blogs “Stay-at-home mom – a Need, a Compromise or a Choice?” and “How I’m a “HAPPY” stay-at-home mom?” But even after successfully being a working mom for more than three months now I often find myself at crossroads.

I have said this time and again, yet I reiterate that nothing can fully prepare us for becoming a mother despite our best efforts and regardless of the tireless pursuit of preparing for being one. When being a mom itself is difficult considering the constant, demanding and exhausting nature of the job, let alone being a stay-at-home mom or a working mom. It’s no easy feat keeping another human being happy and healthy reckoning how uniquely complicated raising these little humans is no matter how well we contemplate the minutiae of motherhood. And as much as it may sound exaggerated I have found being a working mom much of a heroic feat.

I have never been a very career-driven woman, but having been raised in a middle-class family with working parents we have been brought up to believe that the sky is the limit and that we could achieve anything we put our heart and pour our soul into. But after starting a family of my own I was kind of squandering the opportunities wanting to work in a way that could fit around my family. And just when I was about to lose hope I was presented with the golden opportunity of joining work that not only met my criteria but was also paying me well.

When I joined work I was quite sure I could handle both career and motherhood without breaking a sweat given the fact how resourceful I considered myself. But each day as I navigate through the myriad of daily struggles, juggling work and family responsibilities, I find myself overwhelmed. Life feels like a race and every day is a battle against the clock. Trying to complete household chores sticking to a schedule with a toddler and finding the strength to entertain a toddler after a long tiring day at work seems a formidable task.

I underestimated the demands of motherhood and the difficulties of combining parenting with work. And to be very honest, I constantly feel burdened with the daily grind and frazzled with a mix of complex emotions. I’m grappled with the eternal guilt of not giving enough time to my son and not being available for him. And, despite making every effort possible, finding a harmonious balance between work and home while staying all sane feels like a dauntingly difficult a task. It feels I’m getting lost in the rush.

But, do I have the option of giving up?

I indeed feel such guilt and such longing, but could I live with the guilt of giving up?

It is puzzling and suddenly I’m not so sure about it.

But, one thing I’m certainly sure about is that I definitely cannot afford regrets. Regret is one thing I can’t live with.

Today I had time on my hands to comprehend my thoughts and emotions. And suddenly a light bulb went off in my head and it dawned on me that work-life balance can mean different things to different people. To me, it would mean enjoying my motherhood to the fullest besides having a career with financial independence. Ideally, I’d love the freedom of working from home or working part-time so that I can spend more time with my little man. But I guess that’s the duality of being a working parent and that’s something I’ll have to struggle with. I may, however, be burning the candle at both ends, the fact of the matter is, I cannot have it all.

But then, wasn’t I struggling as a stay-at-home mom too? So, what makes being a working mom any different? Let’s face it, all mothers, be it a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, don’t always have it easy.

And, all this makes me realize that there will be days when it makes complete sense and there will also be days when all of this makes no sense at all. As much true it is that I could be judged and belittled for my choices, it so happens that my heart’s also going to have these moments of doubts about what could have been. And my disenchantment with integrating work into motherhood to establish a harmonious co-existence will be making it all the more confusing than it already is.

But the one thing that stood out from all this mental churning was that if I am happy on the inside, I am emphatically going to be happy on the outside.

So, now the question arises, am I happy?

Yes, indeed. I wanted a career and I have it. I am thankful for the opportunity regardless of the frequent bouts of guilt for being a working mom. But, financial independence having a job entails is what I am really happy about. I am happy that I can now contribute to the household income and have greater financial stability. I am happier with the feeling of accomplishment being a working woman brings. And I am happiest with the opportunity that being a working mom presents for making my son understand the importance and virtue of hard work and why it’s important to chase your dreams and make them a true.

Am I satisfied?

Oh, yes I am. I am truly satisfied that finally, I get to carve and shape my career. I am satisfied knowing that whether I choose to be a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, it is my love, attitude, faith and trust in my choices that’d help raise my child to be a kind, happy and successful adult.

Am I at peace?

Oh, hell yes. There’s no greater feeling than knowing that I played a big part in my child’s upbringing and was there for Shaarav during his early years when he needed me the most. And now that he’s beginning to get more and more independent with each passing day, I can think of me and my career aspirations which I had been putting on hold for so long. So, yes, I am at peace knowing that I have been there for all of his firsts and that our values are now his values too. And, it gives me immense peace in the belief that I am making well-thought-of choices for me and my family in the long run – the belief that it’s all worth it!

P.S. I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

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The Truth Behind My Picture-perfect Motherhood

Have you wondered what picture-perfect motherhood might be like for you? I imagine it to be like the one where I am utter patient with my child, where I refrain from shouting at him out of frustration because he spilled water again and I need to clean it up or I come back home tired wanting to lie down for some time only to find a whole pile of toys scattered all over the bed. Picture-Perfect motherhood for me would be where he listens to me once for a change and does exactly what he’s being asked to do. Sigh! Wouldn’t life be so much easier and so much beautiful if we had everything our way? But the reality is entirely different from what we want and how it is.

These past three months that I have been working I have been juggling my life. I wake up at 5 am in the morning and the first thing I do is put dirty laundry in the washing machine. Then I begin to cook and clean which I try to complete by 7 am because by that time it’s already time to wake Shaarav up and get him ready for school. I completely need to be with Shaarav until 8 am at which he leaves for school. During that one hour, I need to wake him up, make him brush his teeth, bathe him, massage and change and feed him and get him ready for school. Believe me, getting through this one hour daily is the toughest and the most draining hour of my entire day. It’s a real struggle with a toddler who wants to sleep a little more and doesn’t want to wake up, or takes an eternity to brush his teeth asking for more toothpaste repeatedly, or is reluctant to take a bath or refuses to come out of the tub or wants to wear jeans and redshirt when I picked black trousers and yellow T-shirt for him to wear, or when he wants to eat bread and jam when I prepared aaloo paranthas for him after confirming with him thrice. And mind you, these are just some of the unreasonable demands that I need to entertain and honour every day.

I try to maintain my calm and not lose my patience, but going through all this daily besides solo parenting when I have a schedule to maintain because I have to catch a 9.30 am bus to office if I don’t want to get late is insane. I feel I don’t get enough time for myself anymore because after returning from work when all I want is to lie down for some time and check my Emails, Facebook or WhatsApp my son comes running up to me with his favourite storybook asking me to put my phone away and tell him the same story a 100th time.

And I have to bite my tongue to prevent myself from scolding him and consciously take a few deep breaths to curb my rising frustration before I take the storybook from him with a smile, pick him up and place him on my lap kissing him on his cheeks and begin our storytelling session.

When I thoroughly believed that my life as a stay-at-home mom was tough I am realizing that my life as a working mom has become a whole lot tougher. I constantly have to deal with a guilty conscience for not being able to make enough time for my son anymore – for not being a perfect mother to my child. I constantly find myself torn apart by the conflicting feelings of wanting some time off for myself and then ending up feeling that I wasted the time which I could have given to my son. I feel like I could go crazy dealing with this every day.

But a growing realization that I had not so long ago is that in my pursuit of being an ideal mother I had stopped being a real one. But now I have understood that it’s not wrong to idealize motherhood, but the kind of mother that I have been idealizing isn’t the mother that lives the same life as me. Reality is that there’s no perfect motherhood and there’s no perfect, one-size-fits-all love. When I first met Mr. Husband, I remember having the feeling that I couldn’t love another human more until I met my son. I look at him and it feels he’s enough and more I could have ever asked for. My life derives its very meaning from his existence. And I might not be a perfect mother or I might not even don picture-perfect motherhood, but one thing I’m very sure of is that I can love my son perfectly despite my lack of perfection.

And for that I need to be kind – kind not just to my innocent child but kind to me as well, for I have been harsh on myself for way too long. I need to choose kindness over harsh judgement because if there’s one thing I ever want to do perfectly is to make my son feel free and safe by my love. And love can feel safe only when there’s acceptance – acceptance that the real motherhood is as beautiful as or even more beautiful than picture-perfect motherhood, and that I might never be a perfect mother but I can be the perfect me.

Read about my theme reveal post for #MyFriendAlexa Season 4 here.

P.S. I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

 

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I might be a “work in progress” but still, “I love me”

I love me even when nobody does!

I am a stay-at-home mother and trust me it is extremely difficult to be one. It can get overly lonely, isolating and depressing at times. Being a stay-at-home mom is difficult and the never-ending responsibilities can feel like growing on you. There are high expectations of being a stay-at-home mom. Not just from the little human dependent on me, but also from Mr. Husband and people around me, but mostly the expectations are self-inflicted by my skewed views of myself and how I dreamt and envisioned my life to be. And being a Virgo I have a habit of being overcritical of things and in particular myself. I tend to over-analyze stuff and get worried needlessly. There was once a point in my life when I had lost all sense of self-worth and didn’t value myself. I constantly sought acceptance and approval of somebody for the most trivial things. I was at my lowest best and I had begun to harbour negative emotions, not for anybody else but for myself.

And then I came across this very inspiring song by Meghan Trainor “I Love Me.” There never have been more self-empowering words than these.

I’m sure I loved myself. But did I actually?

It hit me where it hurt the most. But before I could truly love myself I needed to discover the real me. I needed to identify who the real me was. When I started introspecting I became very vulnerable to my own thoughts and feelings. The guards which I had been putting up for so long were suddenly brought down. It made me confront with my own unknown and unfathomed emotions enlightening those uncharted regions of my heart. And I had to face my own deepest fears and apprehensions. But, when I came to acknowledge those unsounded emotions, I felt the power to transform those fears into something more positive and more creative. It helped me to contemplate and express myself without any reservation leaving me feeling empowered.

It was then I found a world of freedom – freedom of thoughts, freedom of expression and freedom of personality. I discovered a sense of liberation from hypocrisy. I found my individuality – letting me make mistakes, letting me learn from them and giving me the gift of experience. I could believe in myself and my dreams – to be myself. Not only did the song inspired me to stand for the values and beliefs that I hold true, but it also helped me discover the real me – the “me” that was lost somewhere. And then it finally happened! I was in love – with me!

I might be a “work in progress” learning to celebrate myself appreciating and honouring “me” for my gifts and talents along with all my flaws and shortcomings but I still, “I love me.”

I might be a “work in progress” growing in confidence and as a person and even when it does seem daunting and confusing at the same time figuring out my truest essence but still, “I love me.”

I might be a “work in progress” identifying, exploring and expressing my individuality and uniqueness. But I believe in my authenticity and originality. I represent my own style, character, and opinion and “I love me” for it.

I might be a “work in progress” still trying to come to terms with the true perception of who I am and testing my newfound courage and freedom but still, “I love me” for it.

And I have realized that loving me is the best I can do at loving others. I mean, how I could love someone else before loving myself. Today I feel closer to myself I have ever been. Because I not only love me when everybody does, but I also love me when nobody does.

And amidst all the chaos of finding and getting found, it suddenly dawned on me that there might be all these ideals about what is perfect and what is beautiful and what is smart, but the most appealing thing is, that which is “me” is nobody else. I am “special” indeed in my own way and I am going to live that way. I am happy loving me because it has made my life more enlightening, meaningful and fulfilling. And this blog, my friends, is the result of discovering my true self, where I truly embody my truest essence, setting myself free, feeling liberated, loving myself and spreading the word.

Ever since “I love me” more each day and this song has become my go-to motto and even now whenever I feel blue or need self-esteem boost I simply put the song on the speaker to get my groove back!


This post is a part of the #UnapologeticGirlz Blogathon Train hosted by Preetjyot, Jasmeet, and Charu. It brings me immense pleasure to share that I, along with 30 other bloggers are celebrating Women’s Day with a twist. I would like to thank Ravijot Kaur for introducing me. Ravijot is a strong single mother who is courageously raising her daughter. She shares the journey of her life with multifarious interests at Shining Shower. Read her take on the prompt “Self-love” here. I would like to introduce Revati Bhushan. A fellow stay-at-home mom she was a Soft Skills Trainer in the corporate world when motherhood happened. She now shares her parenting journey at Mommy Musings. I’m sure you will enjoy reading her take on the prompt here. Please check out other wonderful posts on the theme by other boarders as well. Here comes the train! Choo Choo!

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

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How I’m a “HAPPY” stay-at-home mom?

Happiness is choice I make everyday!

In my earlier posts, I have talked about how being a stay-at-home mom has been a conscious choice for me and pointers on how you can be a happier mom. But being a “happy” stay-at-home mom is a different ballgame altogether. This International Women’s Day let’s talk about how I have managed to be a “happy” stay-at-home mom.

A “happy” stay-at-home mom might come as a myth to many. Why you ask? Because statistically speaking, the stay-at-home moms are the ones prone to boredom, anxiety, depression, and aggression owing to their demanding, exhausting and isolating nature of work that can be too taxing on their mental wellbeing.

I’m a doctoral degree holder and I have been a meritorious student all my student life. But presently I’m “just” a stay-at-home mom. Did you get offended when I said “just” a stay-at-home mom? Yeah! Even I was among those who didn’t feel proud of my “not-so-job-like job” as a stay-at-home mom. And trust me; the pride that I am taking today in being one didn’t come overnight. It has gradually grown with time simultaneously with my son. And today, after more than two years into it, I cannot emphasize enough how proud and thankful I feel for the opportunity.

So, does it even cross my mind even for a second that I’m wasting my hard earned education?

Never! Never ever!

My education is being put to good use. It’s just that having a career is not one of them at the moment. So what if I don’t get accolades and recognition for what I do. So what if I don’t draw a handsome paycheque for the time and energy I invest in my little man. Instead of leaves I get unannounced wet kisses, smothered all over my face. No employer can be so generous I’m sure. Instead of appraisals, I get plenty of “I love you, mommy” in a single day. How about that? Instead of health coverage I am asked, “What’s wrong or All OK?” several times during the day. Can any job in the whole wide world be so satisfying? It’s surreal!

True happiness comes from satisfaction, right? And being happy is what I choose every day. So how exactly I’m a “happy” stay-at-home mom?

1) I’m happy by making sense out of nonsense

It was sleep time for my son. My toddler doesn’t go to sleep without his favourite blanket. And I have to wash it and get it dried in a single day for it to be available for him. So on one such day when he asked me about it, I said, “It’s right there. Let me bring it.” And I went and brought it to him. But he started to cry saying he wants to bring it. So I went and kept it back for him to bring. But again, he started to cry, saying, “Mummy will bring.” I brought it again, but he again wanted to bring it by himself. This continued for a good 15 minutes in a loop when I finally gave up and yelled at him for being so unreasonable. The poor soul started to cry again, yet, he came up to me, climbed on my lap and snuggled into my arms only to fall asleep within minutes even when I was the one at fault to hurt his feelings. And it was then that it perfectly made sense. Sometimes you derive happiness from the most nonsensical and illogical things. I will always be his happy place and that makes me so happy. No matter what, he will come to me for both comfort when he’s in distress and for rejoicing when he’s happy. So does it matter if just a second before I was scratching my head in complete confusion, unable to comprehend his behaviour? My toddler is unpredictable and his actions unexplainable but with him, I’m learning to make sense out of the nonsense.

2) I am happy by finding music in noise

Even if you have read several books on parenting I’m sure you would have been confronted with occasions when none of the parenting mantras work. At some point or the other, you must have felt clueless without a sense of direction. Are you nodding in approval? Because children come with all sorts of hues and shades of moods and which shade becomes their current favourite is very difficult to guess. And, there’s no such thing as universal parenting, which can suit every child. So even when Shaarav’s terrible twos have barely begun I still get meltdowns every now and then. There are screaming and howling directed towards me for literally no reason. But when I pick him up and hold him close he hugs me tightly. And in the moments for which the hug lasts, I feel his heart-beat in sync with mine that beat together in unison. When I am about to lose it all I rather choose to stay calm. I am learning to find music in noise because if I cannot tame my own temper how am I going to help him in expressing his feelings and emotions? This way I’m better in rhythm with his moods and feelings.

3) I’m happy by hearing what’s not spoken

My child is my best critic. I mean he’s the only one who gives me feedbacks that are unbiased and far from being formal. I ask him, “Did you eat your tiffin?” and he’d say, “Finished” and I check his lunch box only to find it untouched. And I take a mental note for not sending sautéed French beans for his tiffin again. I ask him, “I’m preparing oats for dinner. Is it OK?” and he’d say, “No” only to find him finishing off his plate within minutes. And I again take a mental note that he likes oats. Some days he says stuff he means it, while on other days he says one thing but means entirely the other thing. But the mommy in me is learning to hear what’s not spoken and I feel happy when I ace it.

4) I’m happy by taking what’s not given

My toddler finds immense happiness in dancing in my arms, jumping on my back, pulling my hair and tickling me, which I find extremely annoying. But I understand that this is his way of reminding me that all he wants is me – to be beside me and explore the world with me. I understand that even if I have no chance at winning myself “the best employee of the year award” I’ll still have my son as my biggest true fan. And while I don’t get to throw parties for big success at work I’m happy to celebrate my little accomplishments with Pizza party. I’m still learning to take what’s not given.

5) I’m happy by staying fixed even when I’m broken

And for all the above-mentioned reasons, even when I struggle through the day to not get upset and unleash my temper on my toddler because he unfolded the laundry the eighth time I folded it back, I still prepare his favourite Soyabean chilly for lunch. Because I’m happy to watch that spark in his eyes and that big grin on his face when he sees his favourite food on the plate. I’m learning to keep it together even when I’m on the verge of breaking loose.

True womanhood is about identifying the real you. It is about chasing your dreams and making them come true. It is about empowerment and what makes you happy. Motherhood is a truly empowering spirit and I have realized that if you’re unhappy with the choices you’ve made you can never really enjoy the exceptionally rewarding experience and joy that motherhood has to offer. And happiness comes from the satisfaction.

A “happy” stay-at-home mom is not a myth. Actually, the reality is far from it and I’m a living example. Because when being a mom itself is hard, being a working mom or a stay-at-home mom is definitely harder. But happiness is a choice that I choose every day despite all sorts of challenges and setbacks that I face time and again. Because it is not happy people who are thankful but it is thankful people who are happy. And I’m thankfully happy to be blessed with the opportunity and privilege to pour and invest myself and my time in raising my son. Even though it is exhausting and I’m left feeling burned out I am happy watching my son grow into an intelligent, kind and compassionate little man. And I have immense satisfaction in knowing that being a “happy” stay-at-home mom, I have the privilege to be a part of my child’s life and to be happily present for him physically and emotionally, be it tending or toiling.


This post is a part of the #MomsSpeakUp Blog Train hosted by Prisha and Nayantara. I would like to thank Ravijot Kaur for introducing me. Read their take on the prompt here. I would like to introduce Anoushka Singhal. I’m sure you will enjoy reading her take on the prompt here. Please check out other wonderful posts on the theme by other boarders as well. Here comes the train! Choo Choo!

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

Hosted By :

#Mummasaurus
#MommyingBabyT

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How Mr. Husband sees me being a Stay-at-home Mother?

I’m proud of her regardless of her being a stay-at-home mother or a working mother.

I am a stay-at-home mother as of now and definitely a proud one (Check out my previous post for more on being a stay-at-home mom). Our son is still small and there’s no one to look after him if I decide to go to work and leave him behind. Moreover, I have trust issues about keeping a nanny to look after my kid while I’m gone. So the situation demands of me to be a stay-at-home mom and I’m doing it happily. Yet, sometimes, in doing the same mundane activities day in and day out, I find my own identity rather lost in this new role.

Mr. Husband has been very supportive of my new role throughout and thinks very highly of me. He is not very expressive of his feelings but when he does he makes it a point to be stark clear. Here is what he thinks of me being a stay-at-home mother.

Stay-at-home mother vs Working mother

My wife is a stay-at-home mother as of now. We conceived when it was the peak time for her to be working and fulfilling her ambitions. But she decided to give her career aspirations a rest to start a family and bring this tiny human being to life which has become our whole world. But at the time, none of us had the slightest idea what we were signing up for.

Even one year after delivering she has had to put her dreams on hold to tend to this little life that we’ve created. Not that she is complaining or she isn’t proud of her new role as a stay-at-home mother, trust me we both truly are. I would have been equally proud had she been working, but we also can’t deny the fact that she did have to make sacrifices and change her priorities to take up this new role.

Not me, but her.

And then, on the other hand, there are also mothers who choose or have to work feeling guilty for having to leave their babies behind. It’s very difficult to choose one over the other, knowing that between the two there’s no such thing called a perfect choice, or even a good or a bad choice for that matter. And though neither of the decisions comes easy and both the decisions demand immense courage, strength, sacrifice, and bravery, it should be welcomed wholeheartedly and appropriately lauded.

Did you just read bravery? Oh yes, you read it right. It is, as a matter of fact, an act of bravery that we must give due credit to.

Why this constant debate about a stay-at-home mother and a working mother?

I feel it’s very shameful for us to even have this constant debate and categorize motherhood into stay-at-home mothers and working mothers. It’s rather pitiful how some of us look down at stay-at-home mothers and secretly diss on them, at the same time judge working mothers for being heartless and make them feel guilty for leaving their babies behind.

We should understand that there’s more to motherhood than what seemingly meets the eye. Motherhood is one true empowering spirit in itself and it doesn’t really matter if she’s a stay-at-home mom or a working one. It’s the feeling, emotions, and sentiments with which she enjoys motherhood and which makes her happy is what really matters in the true sense. Because after all, she’s the centre of everything, she’s the axis on which our lives revolve, men’s as well as the kids’. In my words,

“Children might be the heart of the family, Dads might be the body, but Moms are definitely the soul of the family.”

So let’s not put them in any category, rather just celebrate them for the beautiful souls that they are.
We really need more husbands to think like this. I’m thankful that I’ve got support and encouragement because somedays as a stay-at-home mom can get really overwhelming.

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

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Stay-at-home mom – a Need, a Compromise or a Choice?

Being a stay-at-home mom has its own perks.

I am a stay-at-home mom to our tiny-but-loud handful of a toddler who is my life and also my overtime job. Raising a toddler can be very difficult at times and our 14-month old, sometimes, can test my patience to the limits where I’m forced to shout at him. Yelling, though, is not a guarantee that it is going to make him listen to me. I know it’s not a very healthy way of raising a child and I instantly feel a sense of guilt surge through me soon after, but it is a way to vent out my frustration and anger.

Lately, not long since my tiny man turned one, there’s a storm of emotions building inside of me, which is constantly keeping me angry and frustrated; and making me snap at my little one for literally no reason.

But why was I angry all the time?

I couldn’t understand where all this anger and frustration was coming from. Once a happy-go-lucky girl I had changed into someone who wasn’t enjoyable to be around anymore.

What had gone wrong; and where?

I paused to introspect. And I realized that the reason behind me not being happy was none other than “me”. Clearly, I was not happy with the circumstance I was in. But was I unhappy? No, I wasn’t necessarily unhappy either. So what exactly was I feeling? You see, there’s a fine line between “being unhappy” and “not being happy” (am I making sense?). I wasn’t sad being a stay-at-home mom, but I wasn’t happy either. And I wasn’t pretending otherwise.

Striving at a thankless job.

But why exactly wasn’t I happy?

With a deeper contemplation, I realized that I wasn’t happy with myself because I was getting so consumed with my role as a stay-at-home mom that I was beginning to lose my identity. I was losing my sense of self. This wasn’t what I had dreamt my life to be. I kind of felt trapped in the situation, anxiously trying to come out of it but not knowing how to.

I’ve never been very ambitious about my career aspirations. But not being able to do something about it despite having a doctorate degree killed me from inside, slowly, piece by piece, bit by bit. Even people around me had led me to believe that I was wasting my hard earned education staying at home when many others with a lot lesser qualifications were doing so well at their jobs. I had begun to feel cooped in the house letting people get the better of me.

I have always been a meritorious student and dreamt of being independent and having a lucrative career. But the reality of the matter was, I was totally dependent on Mr. Husband for the tiniest of things. It’s not easy to give up the control of your life to someone else. I admit that Mr. Husband is a generous soul who believes in equality, but it is I who feel disappointed in me. I had high expectations for myself and, so far, I’ve been a complete let down to my own expectations.

I constantly strive to make the best out of the worst of things. I try to find happiness in the boring day-to-day most trivial of things. But it had started to feel that my life missed its purpose and staying at home was a complete waste of my education.

Life isn’t perfect for anyone and I am no exception. And for a stay-at-home mom like me, it can feel quite discouraged at trying so hard at a job that apparently has very little thanks to offer. People have been saying for ages that having and raising kids is hard. I plunged into it knowing the truth. And yet I was struggling to work through these “long days” of making life happen, day after day, every day.

You are the reason for my being.

But does that mean I look down upon stay-at-home moms? No, I don’t. In fact, I have the highest regards for all the stay-at-home moms around the globe knowing how stressful life can be parenting these tiny humans. I have friends who are happy and content raising their kids staying at home. But the thing is I couldn’t picture myself in those shoes. I was having a hard time visualizing me just being a stay-at-home mom, and many a time I found myself thinking I was too smart to be simply that.

Getting tugged by conflicting feelings

Yet, I found questioning myself again. But don’t I enjoy seeing my son growing up? Don’t I love being a mother? Don’t I love watching him stand on the window babbling away calling out at chicken, pigs, cattle, and goats? Don’t I love being his “home?” And could I stand the idea of leaving him with a nanny and letting him get raised by a total stranger?

I was awfully restless as my thoughts and emotions began flooding and getting entangled in total disarray, making me more uncomfortable.

And it was then, amidst these conflicting feelings and vulnerable emotions, and amidst the perfectly-making-sense of “being unhappy” and “not being happy”, suddenly everything started to fall into place.

The existence of pain doesn’t always mean something’s wrong. It may at times mean that something’s right. Love doesn’t always call for us to follow the easy path or do the selfish thing; it asks us to do the right, the courageous, and the beautiful.

Finding gratitude in a thankless job

Motherhood is definitely a privilege that demands responsibility, but it never asks you to kill your sense of self. Shaarav is the most beautiful thing to have happened to me. He is the reason I wake up to every day. He gives me meaning and I love him with my life. I love being his mother and the fact that the life of this little soul depends on me. I am unquestionably privileged to have a miraculous baby to raise.

Motherhood asks for sacrifice!

And the seemingly thankless job as a stay-at-home mom isn’t so thankless after all when those tiny hands hold me close to plant a kiss on the cheek, and I find myself reciprocating to them with my own gratefulness. Today I have the gratitude for life and these are emphatically the best years of my life.

It dawned on me that once these years go by they are not coming back. I realized that some things can wait while others can’t. Only I, as his mother, can mould and shape my child to become the best version of him he possibly can, letting him explore his passion and gifting.

The realization

I realized that my hopes and dreams can wait, but as a mother, I need to put my child’s needs above mine to raise a bright and smart kid who can make a difference. I understood that he was never on my way, rather he is the way. My child’s future depends on me, on the decision that I take today. And, his dependence on me has built the courage I need to make this decision.

Yes, I want to savour life’s precious fleeting moments with my child. Yes, I want to stay home for my kid. Because I want to be able to be content knowing that he is getting his mother to raise him and not a complete stranger. And my precious child is definitely worth wasting anything on.

The Takeaway

So me being a stay-at-home mom is never a compromise. It is not even just a need. In the very wake of the hour, it is definitely a “conscious choice” that I make today for me, my kid and my family. And if I’m not happy now, I never will be.

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

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