There is a loneliness that comes with being a stay-at-home mom. I love spending time with my children, and I would never want to change anything about our time together, but I miss having adult conversations. I miss having people to associate with on a regular basis, that goes beyond an occasional text. I miss the friendships that come with having people who are working toward common goals as you. I have never been a social butterfly, but sometimes I feel as if I am trapped inside of a cocoon. My world is limited.
Being a stay-at-home mom has limited my sense of identity. The person I once was no longer exists. I am only a part of that person. I worked so hard to become a teacher, and I worked at that job for 12 ½ years. While I am still a teacher, to my kids and the children in our co-op, it isn’t my identity anymore. I am not sure what my identity is. This has opened the ability for self-discovery for me, but I must admit, at times I struggle. Sometimes, I miss being Mrs. Yates. I miss being the person that my students loved seeing every morning. I miss the hugs, the jokes, and the flowers I would get brought at recess.
Along these same lines, my sense of purpose has been altered. From a young age, I was the kid who was teaching my “students” during the summer. The audience of teddy bears was captivated by my amazing lessons. I was the kid who volunteered to tutor others after school as a peer tutor. I thrived in my methods classes. Teaching was what I worked so hard to do. If I am not a teacher, then who am I? What is my purpose? I am searching and have found some sense of purpose in my writing, but it’s not the same life changing purpose I had as a teacher.
There is unbelievable pressure as a stay-at-home mom. Some days it feels like it is the ninth inning, two outs, my team is down by three, bases are loaded, and I am up to bat. Did I mention it’s the World Series? Yeah, some days being a stay-at-home mom is that demanding. I have three children, each with different needs. Some days everything is calm, but there are those days that it’s like a three-ring circus and the tent is on fire. The kids argue, or struggle with the lesson. We have a million distractions, and I lose my patience. On top of this, I have the pressure of housework. My husband is amazing, and he helps me every chance he gets, but I have this ingrained belief that if the house looks terrible it is my fault. Afterall, I am home all day, every day. I should be able to find time to do laundry, sweep the floor, dust, cook dinner, homeschool the children and every other chore, right?
As stay-at-home moms there is a façade that we all put on. We project this image that we are all blissfully happy all the time, and that we never spend quiet moments crying in the bathroom because we just need five minutes without someone needing us. We don’t let the world see us struggle because we have been given this amazing opportunity. We talk about how great it is, and it is, but sometimes all we want is our old lives back. We want to be more than just the keeper the schedules.
I love homeschooling my children and being a stay-at-home mom. I really do, but every once in while I need to be able to let my feelings be known without fear of being judged. I need to know that the things that I do matters. I need to find a tribe of women who feel like me, and I need the opportunity to be real. Where are all my real stay-at-home moms at? Let’s form our tribe and help each other through the not so pretty aspects of being a stay-at-home mom.