I know, I know, late again. Oh, well. I’m a mother of two little girls under the age of three (at least for another eight days until Clara turns three), which makes it difficult to get things done in a timely, consistent fashion. Although I do feel guilty about posting another reflection on a Friday (kind of negates the whole Deep Thought Thursdays appeal), I can assure you that today’s thoughts were actually generated yesterday, but not put down on “paper” until today. So, there you have it. The guilt is gone. Sort of.
So, as I was busy bustling around the house yesterday after music class, I couldn’t help but notice the millions of dried milk splatters that have invaded my home. They are everywhere — on the kitchen chairs, on the cabinets, on the walls, on the couch, you name it. I thought I had done a fairly thorough job eradicating them during my two-month long cleaning frenzy before Elyse’s baptism party this summer. But, I swear, like bunnies, these things just keep multiplying. Now, joining them in their quest to take over our house are their friends — the dried baby food splatters. And since Elyse discovered the joys of blowing raspberries while she eats, they have been coming in droves. Hmpf. Normally, upon seeing my belongings pocked with these splatters, my blood pressure and tone of voice would have risen a few octaves. However, as I did my best to wipe them from the woodwork, I smiled to myself. This is just what my life has become — days filled with dirty diapers, temper tantrums, coloring and impromptu kitchen dance parties. Long gone are the days of leaving for work in my business finest and returning eight hours later to an almost empty house (can’t forget about Piccadilly and Twinkles!) and an evening at my disposal. Now, every hour of my day is accounted for and my attire, well, let’s just say I have enough yoga pants and sweatshirts to last until the girls go off to school. Thus is the life of a stay-at-home-mom, or SAHM. When I was younger, I always knew that I wanted children. And if I were fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with them, it would be a dream come true. Most days, I do feel this way. However, every once in a while, I get a little down on the fact that I have limited adult interaction, my brain isn’t as challenged as often it used to be and I’m not impressing anyone with my wardrobe. :0) These feelings seem to rise to the surface whenever I’m in the presence of other women who aren’t SAHMs. They appeared briefly last weekend during our good friends’ house party. As I watched the other women enjoying my babies, for just one moment I wished that I could have stayed long enough to help put a dent in the delicious spiked punch, didn’t have to leave the fun early to put the girls to bed, and/or had the luxury of sleeping in the next morning.
The next day, at a family luncheon, I spent a few minutes talking to Taylor’s cousin about children. He expressed how before his daughter was born he didn’t realize how much work was involved in raising a child. My response: “I guess that’s a good thing, or else no one would have kids!” We then went on to agree that parents have to sacrifice a lot for their children. As soon as the word sacrifice left my lips, I immediately wished it hadn’t. After ruminating about it for a bit longer that evening, I realized that sacrifice wasn’t the right word. I honestly don’t feel that motherhood has caused me to sacrifice things such as free time, hot meals and sleep. Because we love our children so much and have such a strong desire to raise productive little members of society, Taylor and I have “put aside” that part of our life that existed before our children came along.
In times when I’m feeling more frumpy than fabulous, I need to remind myself that I am beyond blessed. Although being a SAHM isn’t the most glamorous job in the world, it is the most rewarding. In fact, Elyse was more than happy to remind me of this yesterday when she reached out to grab my face with her chubby little hands and pulled me into a smiley, giggly wet kiss. If a little spilled milk and some dried cereal are the price that I have to pay for my girls’ unconditional love, I am content letting my business suits and Master’s Degree gather a little more dust.