Motherhood, is it enough?

Tonight I was sitting with Ernest and Penelope. I was reflecting on our day. We had a great Sunday together. We made it through about half of church before we decided Penelope had hit the wall and needed to be taken home for a nap. Said nap turned into a two hour family nap. I love when that happens. We then joined his parents for a late lunch. His mom made Penelope's favorite meal, a Middle -Eastern dish that I won't dare try and spell. She even got her a few new dresses. We are so lucky to have loving grandparents around. Today was a wonderful day, and I truly had no complaints. Sitting around the dinner table tonight I felt so blessed. Penelope sat in her high chair with her foot on the tray of course. Making us laugh while we ate. As dinner came to a close I expressed to Ernest that I was feeling down. I prefaced this by letting him know that I had a wonderful day and had no reason whatsoever to be sad. But being the amazing person that he is, he dug deeper. I tried to explain my feelings the best way that I could. I explained that because I am a stay at home mom, I am home seven days/ nights a week. I adore my time with Penelope and I chose to stay home with her because I believed it was what was in her best interest, that I raise her. But I admitted to him that it's difficult at times. I explained that at his job he gets rewarded. He has performance reviews. His value is more tangible, because he makes a Salary. His days are structured. He gets adult interaction every day. I'm not under the impression that he has it easy. He works extremely hard at his job and faces many pressures that I don't. I just feel that our day to day challenges are very different. My challenges, are more of a mental and emotional nature. Being a mother is a thankless job. The hours are undefined, which is a nice way of saying endless. It's a job that comes with very little praise, and no compensation. But I love being a mother! I had never previously experienced such joy. I have moments every day where I feel like my heart might literally explode. I look at Penelope in awe, and wonder what on earth I did to deserve her sweet angelic spirit in my life and in my home. As I watch her grow, and change, and hit milestones I try to remind myself that THAT is my reward. That is my reward for the sleepless nights, blow outs, tantrums, early wake up calls, guilt, and exhaustion that often accompanies motherhood. So I love being a mother and I choose to be a stay at home mom. What do I do when that is not enough? I explained to Ernest that because I don't financially contribute to our family that I often feel I don't add any value. He took this moment as an opportunity to remind me how much staying home with Penelope adds value to our family, and to her future. He reminded me that it's difficult to see ten, twenty, thirty years down the road…. how this time with her has shaped who she has become. He reminded me that he was grateful for me. And told me I did a job that he could not do. Once we established the root of my sadness, we tried to work on a solution. Ernest recommended that I take a class, something that interests me. He suggested Yoga or a floral arrangement class. He asked me how he could help. Just knowing that he understood what I was feeling and that he wanted to help meant the world to me. I think what I want is to feel fulfilled. I'm not sure how to get there, but that is the goal.


Linds said...

Nadia, this is beautifully and perfectly written. I feel as if you are speaking the words my heart and mind have felt since the day my son entered this world, but that I have been unable to express myself. I too am a stay-at-home mother to a handsome 18 month old. My only added hardship is that my little family moved from my home state to start a journey elsewhere. Where I live is a dream, but often I find myself extra lonely as I don't have many friends here yet. I have recently taken up sewing and crocheting as my added interests. With the support of my husband, the love of my son and reminders (like this post) that I am facing the same blessings and challenges as other mothers, I am encouraged in this journey called motherhood. Hugs to you!

Trisha said...

I agree with Ernest! My Mom always says you have to make sure to have hobbies and interests outside of being a mother to help you keep your sanity (she taught aerobics for years). You'll find something! The flower class sounds awesome.

Heather said...

Hi Nadia! My name is Heather and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer my question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1 AT gmail DOT com :-) I greatly appreciate it!