So often as mothers, and especially as “work outside of the home mothers,” we are down on ourselves. Critiquing everything that we can’t get done, everything we wish we could get done, everything that we should do better…without ever stopping to praise ourselves. “Me time” is often non-existent or overlooked so that clothes can be washed, birthday parties attended, golf games scheduled. We get frustrated that we don’t receive much praise or deep appreciation, but we are ourselves very worst critic. We never give ourselves credit for all of the things we do right. We feel the criticism of others, and we envy “how easy” every else has it.
One of my very best friends works at home with her children. She takes her motherhood occupation very seriously. I mean, I truly admire her. She really strives to serve her husband and girls at home, and I have learned so much from her. We live hundreds of miles apart but she inspires me almost every single day. On a recent visit, we were talking about the “difference” between me working outside of the home and she staying home. We both admitted how criticized we felt. It was almost a light-bulb moment to me. I had never really honestly thought that many people criticized stay-at-home moms. I thought everyone assumed that they were doing the best for their family and making a sacrifice, but where she lives she said she receives so many hurtful comments about how “lazy” she was and how “sad” it was to give up a career. She mentioned she got funny looks being out and about with her girls during the middle of the week while everyone else was at work. It really did take me by surprise. I am quite used to “now are you going to stay home?” and “couldn’t you cut back some more?” It never occurred to me that SAHM basically felt the same hurt and criticism for the choices they made.
As a working mom outside of the home, it is so important to keep your identity. Yes, you have a career. Yes, you may often be quite productive and motivated, but it seems as soon as we walk through the day, we focus on everything we can’t do instead of focusing on all that we go above and beyond to do.
Don’t think that I am saying we should be super moms. I struggle on a daily basis with feeling like I can’t keep up. This isn’t about adding more things to your to-do list or pinning 10 more Pinterest pins that you make you feel defeated. This is about looking at all that you already do. I bet that you do way more than you give yourself credit for…because I know I do. There are probably things I do that would overwhelm you and I know for a fact that everyone I met through this blog has talents and gifts that you probably discredit. So, my challenge to you is to make a list of all of the things you have accomplished or can do that make you a wonderful mom. I am positive that once you start you will be surprised at how easy it is to make it a long list. Then, look back and SMILE! Lastly, schedule yourself some down time or me time to celebrate those accomplishments.
Here are some of mine:
- Made over half of the baby food we used for both kids from scratch
- Made all of their birthday cakes so far (I think!)
- Cloth-diapered one or both kids for almost 3 years now
- Taught myself how to crochet
- Started a very small home business and have sold over 100 dryer balls