Monday, January 10, 2011

Accepting Who I Am

A facebook poll says I'm Peg Bundy. Hmm...
Not sure I agree with that, but I'm not sure
there is a tv mom that fits who I am.
 Warning: This is an expression of some personal emotions I've been dealing with. Some of this may be offensive to certain people, but that it not the intent. Please proceed with caution.

Last year at this time I wrote a post about my decision to become a stay-at-home mom and adjusting to the new job. As crazy as it sounds, I'm still adjusting a year later. I sort of had a light bulb moment last week. Because I let the holiday weight add back up, I decided it was time to do something drastic. I was going to join the gym. I made an appointment for Tuesday morning to check out one near here. As I dropped the kids off at school, I realized I had become one of those moms.
The moms that show up wearing the hot pants and gym shoes sipping a Starbucks latte as they kids their kids good-bye for the day. The ones that made me ask, "Don't they have anything better to do?"

As I was cooling down on the treadmill it occurred to me. What's wrong with being one of those moms? Much of the last year I've been fighting my roll as a stay-at-home-mom. Part of it was the fact that I never thought I'd be able to "afford" to stay home, part of it was dealing with the fact that it's not favored in my family, and some of it was guilt over the state of the economy and all those without work by force and not choice. I felt like I still needed to "work" to justify my existence (and extensive education). I started volunteering my time, taking on projects around the house, and taking on the responsibility for much of my grandmother's care. Basically I was as busy as ever. In the process, I totally lost track of me.

I've spent so much of the last year trying to deny who I am for fear of how others would feel or what others would think, but the fact of the matter is... I'm a stay-at-home-mom. Tim and I worked really hard to get to the point where we were debt free and could afford me that luxury. I just needed to accept that it is just that, a luxury... not a curse. In a few years the kids will be in school during the day and I'll most likely go back to work. I might as well enjoy this precious time while it's here.

So, my plan for 2011 is to embrace the life we have worked so hard to create. I'm giving myself permission to join the gym and make it a priority on the days the kids are in school. I'm going to attend field trips and make lunch dates with my friends. I'm going to do crafty and creative things. I'm even going to give myself permission to pamper myself a little. My hope is that if I get more organized, I can take advantage of these times without too much guilt. Use the days the kids are in school to recharge myself so I can better enjoy the days they are home.

Of course, with the joys of being a stay-at-home-mom I also have to accept the responsibilities. This year I'll also be trying to get a better grip on maintaining the house and getting a sensible dinner on the table each night. I have no intention of becoming June Cleaver. I just don't have it in me. But I am hoping that by allowing myself the opportunity to recharge on a regular basis and enjoy my time, it will make it easier for me to do the work that goes with it. I don't see me becoming super mom or a clean freak. I still value time with my kids over a clean house, but letting go of the guilt has to be a step in the right direction.

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