I recently was asked how I don't go crazy with spending so much time with my daughter. That question took me by surprise, and I wasn't sure how to answer.
Of course, it got me thinking.
I don't get much alone time, other than nap time. I don't get much time to myself. I don't go out much by myself, or even really take much "me time". So how is it that I'm still sane? Am I even sane? Have I gone crazy and there's no turning back so it's just the new normal?
I don't consider myself a stay at home mom because I do work (only 3 hours a week..). But I pretty much am a stay at home mom. Which is great, because that's always what I wanted to be.
In 2nd grade when we were asked to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up, while all the other kids wrote about being astronauts and firefighters, I wrote about being a mom.
Today in our culture kids are seen as a burden rather than a blessing (at least here in southern california), people put it off until the last second. Like, there are much more important things to do and kids ruin everything, so put off having children until you have 2 eggs left and you can't wait any longer. We, as a society, are so obsessed with money and career that family is becoming less and less of value. "Don't you have dreams and aspirations?" "You didn't buy a home before having kids?", is what I imagine they're thinking when they see me. What they actually say is "you're too young to be a mom."
Oh, I am? Well somehow it still worked... the sperm found the egg despite my age and economic status. But thank you for your opinion that you stated as a fact.
I've often heard about or seen comments like "you're so strong and brave and independent for leaving your baby to go work". Not too long ago, you were looked down upon for leaving your child with a caregiver to work, but now it's the complete opposite where you're looked down upon if you don't leave your child with a caregiver to go work. Neither are right, in my opinion. I have a great respect for ambitious women because I wouldn't necessarily consider myself one. The world needs ambitious women. But the world also needs "just a mom"s. Isn't that an equally brave and strong thing? To sacrifice your dreams and ambitions for the wellbeing of your child. To spend your days pouring yourself out to rarely be filled back up. Isn't that equally empowering?
I've always felt kind of ashamed of the fact that I just wanted to be a wife and a mom. I always felt so much pressure to be more than that, as if there's anything better and more fulfilling than motherhood. I always thought I wouldn't be satisfied unless I was doing big things for the Lord, and like I wasn't called to an ordinary life. Or If I didn't graduate college (which I didn't) and establish a career (which I didn't), but instead got married and had babies (which I did) that I would somehow be a failure.
But, now, here I am in this ordinary life, and I'm realizing it's exactly where I'm supposed to be and that there was never anything wrong with desiring to be "just a mom". It's the most important job in the world. I, personally, can't see a greater definition of feminism than motherhood itself.
No woman should be looked down upon whether they choose to be a "traditional" wife and mother, or whether they choose to chase their dreams via career. We're all strong and we're all brave. My daughter will grow up knowing that she can do anythign she wants, even if that means being "just a mom" like her mom.