An Open Letter To The Stay-At-Home Momprenuer
I’ve seen you in target with kids in the cart, kids on your leg and kids on your hip. I’ve seen you at church trying to quiet a restless baby. I’ve seen you in the grocery store in need of a shower and a make-over but you’re just thankful for the 30 mins you have alone trying to piece together tonight’s meal on a budget. I’ve seen your sleepless nights, your broken heart and your undying love for your love that is essentially killing you. I’ve seen you cry, I’ve seen you hold your belly because its empty. I’ve seen you hold your chest because your heart is breaking.
I’ve also seen your thousands of Facebook posts about how great it is not to have be up at the crack of dawn sending your children off to school. I’ve seen you rave about how wonderful worship was with your family this morning. I’ve seen your hundreds of Instagram photos of perfectly playing and smiling children. I’ve seen the beautiful and silly selfies with your husband. I’ve seen your business fan page lighting up as your business is soaring. I’ve seen your late night status updates signaling to the world that you are still working on your dream. I’ve seen your check-ins as you continue to make moves and become a known pillar in your community.
I understand all of this because I’m describing parts of my life. There comes a time when caring for your spouse, your house, your children, and very rarely yourself will indeed collide. One day you will wake up and realize your entire world is wrapped up in the well-being of other people and while you love these people you find yourself at very empty place seeking answers.
I do believe that distractions have a way of entering your mind at this point. It could be that job you’ve poured yourself into. It could be your willingness to serve on every committee at church. It could be joining an organization or even starting one. It could be seeking comfort in an old friend, or perhaps jumping around online seeking comfort anywhere, from anyone willing to help fill the void of the woman you once thought you were going to be.
When I found myself entering this phase of life, I reached out to a friend, who is also a spiritual counselor. I knew if anybody was going to get me on track it was her. There was no judgement. It was a very real conversation where I had to remove the mask and be naked and vulnerable with her. After our session she sent me on my way to pray. Not to talk to my husband. Not to yell at my children. But to be silent and pray.
I did just that. In the morning my reality was still the same, I still had to fold all the laundry, I still had to clean the kitchen from the night before. I still had to deal with the same circumstances that troubled me prior our session, but my attitude was different. God laid the 5 love languages on my heart. I had previously read the book and taken the quiz with my fiancé now husband. But this time I needed something more. So I googled Love Languages for children and a quiz for kids came up. My children are tweens and teens and so their personalities are in full force. The magnitude of who they are is conflicting with who I am. I printed the quiz for my younger child and emailed the quiz to my older child and husband. Once their scores came back I called a family meeting to have dialogue about our findings and to discuss steps in moving forward.
The only way a woman can stay in balance is by taking care of herself. It’s ingrained in us to care for and nurture others while leaving ourselves out too dry but the reality of life is if you don’t water a plant eventually it will die.