The first day that Mark was home after quitting his job he suggested I go get ready in the morning and he would watch the kids. I showered without anyone trying to jump in with me, I got dressed without anyone screaming my name, and was able to put my makeup on before going downstairs. It was a DREAM…but so strange!
When I was getting ready something came over me and I just broke down in tears.
I started to cry big ugly tears…
The stress of the past 3 years had finally surfaced and I realized then just how stressed and lonely I had been the past 3 years. Since starting ‘I am THAT Lady' 3 1/2 years ago, I have gone through 2 pregnancies and birthed 2 children. I have blogged while nursing in the middle of the night, I have blogging through having a colicky baby, I have blogged at 4, 5 and 6 am, and I have stayed up past midnight too many times to count. I have taken care of 4 children – getting them to school, soccer practice, ballet, friends houses, etc. I've made hundreds of school lunches, attended school meetings, playdates with friends, and have been SO overly exhausted that I had no idea just how bad it was.
Until it stopped…
Mark has said to me at least a dozen times over the past month – “Lauren, how did you do this? How did you take care of our kids and run a business alone?”
My answer is always “I have no idea… I just did it and didn't think about it.”
It got me thinking about us moms. We really do SO much and may never get that pat on the back we really desire from our spouse. Maybe you are a single parent and don't have anyone to pat you on the back. It is lonely being a mom and it can steal your JOY. I know it did to me!
As a mom, I am with you!
Do you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders?
Do you feel like you sit within the same 4 walls every day bored out of your mind?
Do you feel like you don't have a social life?
Do you feel like you never actually talk to another adult?
Being a mommy can be exhausting, lonely, yet so fulfilling. You sacrifice so much for your children that you should be proud of yourself.
Sometimes being a blogger can also be very lonely. My work keeps me behind a computer for the better part of the day (we do take a few hours off in the late afternoon and dinner time.) That means I miss play groups and playdates with friends; but it also means that for the past 3 years I have been sitting behind a computer ALONE. Mark was not here to talk to me. I have felt like not only was I working at a job alone but I also was missing out on deep friendships. I was not in the ‘working mom' or ‘stay at home mom' category… I was somewhere in between and no one knew how to deal with me. Do I call her or is she working? My friends and family were confused at first I think. I do have very understanding friends and family, and even though they didn't understand at first they were so supportive and encouraging of my career as a blogger and speaker.
It has been a little over a month since Mark left his job and the changes in our family have been dramatic. I am SO much happier I smile more and have much more JOY, the kids are happier and don't fight as much, we are not always rushing around and stressed, we do family devotional time at night, we work together and play together. It is just an AMAZING transformation.
The decision to be broke again was the best decision we've made as a family. God has not let us down, we have had enough money to pay our bills and have a little extra cash for fun things!
So for the mom that feels like she can't get ahead in her finances and is broke all the time, or the mom who doesn't have any friends or feels out of the loop – I want to give you a big hug now! You are doing a great job! People often say “Don't blink because it will go quickly.” But much less often will you hear “it is HARD and lonely work!” And in the trenches of parenting young ones, we know how true that is. I give you so much credit for doing what you are doing!
BIG HUGS from a recovering lonely, sad and stressed momma!
Take a bath today, pluck your eyebrows, paint your nails, or just lock yourself in the bathroom with a chocolate bar today for 5 minutes. You deserve it!