When I started the Little Kids Grow Blog 6 years ago, I was beginning to sew more for my kids and used this blog as a place to talk about one of my favorite hobbies. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was searching for an “extended family”—people I could connect with who “got me”. I was a stay-at-home mom, and I was lonely. I wasn’t going to admit it because in the back of my mind that meant that I was ungrateful for the opportunity to stay at home, so I masked those feelings and hid them behind sewing tutorials and Motivation Monday’s speeches. What I really wanted to say was “I’m SO tired. What I do every day is hard, and I wish I felt more confident in my abilities.” If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you can probably relate to both the feelings of isolation and loneliness layered with the guilt of even having those feelings.
For me, the opportunity to be with my little ones (and now big ones) has been a mixed bag of experiences and outcomes. I think the biggest surprise over the years is how that isolation has forced me to become comfortable in my own skin, fully embrace my values, and for lack of a better phrase, turn into an adult. Most of my little kids are now big kids, and one seemingly perpetual season of “Who left their toys on the floor?” has somehow shifted into “Yes, you have to study for your driver’s test because I’m not going to chauffeur you around forever.” while I was sleeping.
Take heart if you’re a stay-at-home mom feeling the stretch of an endless to-do list and wondering if things will ever get back to “normal”. Things won’t ever be back to the way they were, but if you learn to embrace the shift, your new life could be even better.
A lot can change in the blink of an eye. What once seemed impossible (Think: 4 kids ages 3 and under) has increased my endurance. Years of night feedings and broken sleep have given me a deep appreciation for how my body works, what it can do, and the importance of listening to its needs. Loving these little beings has miraculously increased my capacity to love myself and others, and much of the loneliness that I felt as a new mom has dissipated as my friendships have broadened to include an online and offline community.
For the last 18 years, it’s been all about the kids, but despite the challenges of the on-the-job training, I can honestly say that I am proud of the woman I’ve become, not because I haven’t messed up, but because I’ve learned to extend myself a little grace in the process. “Raisin’ chil’ren is tough!”, but each morning I wake up and face the challenge head-on with faith in GOD and the belief that HE has called me for a greater purpose outside of myself, so I’m not in this alone. We won’t always get it right, but that’s not what it’s really about is it? It’s about showing up and giving our all.
“One day at a time, one minute at a time, one second at a time, one step at a time”.