The Grass is Always Greener

I clearly remember a male co-worker telling me “Staying home full time with your kids is REALLY hard work. It’s a lot tougher than it seems.” I also recall Oprah calling stay at home moms heroes and saying it’s the hardest job on the planet.

Really?! I thought when I heard those statements.

I was a working mom then. A working mom longing to be home with my little girl. I couldn’t think of anything harder than being a working mom…

A crappy night of sleep and then up at 6:00am, followed by a full day at work and a crabby overtired kid who screams all the way home during rush hour traffic. Dinner better be ready in under 30 minutes because we’re all starving and cranky. A quick hour to play with your kid before tucking them in at night. Not to mention you’re tired from your 8 hour work day and will be heading to bed in two hours…no time for a social life – pjs and tv and maybe a few words to your spouse.

Little did I know, I’d be wishing I had those days back again after two years of staying home.

Because the grass is always greener on the other side.

I miss days filled with adult conversation, eating lunch in a chair without cutting someone else’s into a million bite sized pieces, being alone in my office for maximum productivity, and most importantly…I miss going to the bathroom alone. When I was gone at work all day, I didn’t notice if my house was messy, or the laundry had been waiting to be folded for four days. Now it drives me insane because I see it all day and don’t have time or energy to take care of it.

So do I think being a stay at home mom is the hardest job in the world? No. I believe there are harder jobs out there. But it is certainly one of the most emotionally draining jobs in the world. Because unlike a 9-5 job, I don’t get weekends off. I don’t get to physically leave my office at the end of a long stressful day. My work keeps going. All. night. long. When I do get to have a coveted adult conversation, my children are still around interrupting and distracting me.

I have to remind myself often that I chose this. It’s what I longed for. To raise my girls full time. To be the one invested in their lives each day. To build a bond early in their lives.

The days are long. Very long sometimes. But I know the years will fly by and one day I’ll actually miss this phase of life. At least that’s what I tell myself when I need a pep talk.

And I’m working to shift my attitude and focus so I see this as my calling and to be a good steward of the role God has placed me in right now. It’s not an easy shift I tell you. It’s not easy to give so much of yourself without thanks or gratitude in return…to model Christ and teach his values to needy children.  But I will water the grass I’m in right now in order to make it greener and more beautiful. I’ll pray and be present and try not to look to the other side too often.

With God’s help I’ll make it through and make it beautiful while learning from the lessons they teach me.

And one day they’ll both be in school full time.

green grass


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