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!
Hosted By :