Posts Tagged ‘SAHM’

Why Should We Have to “Have it All”

Monday, December 19th, 2016

have it allSocial media did it again. Another mama went and did something that has a lot of people armed and ready with all their judgments. A mom, ten weeks post-partum, videotaped herself working out as she went about folding cloth diaper laundry from the dryer. Diary of a Fit Mommy is known for her videos incorporating workouts into daily routines and inspires a number of other people, mostly women, to do the same.

I want to be very clear. I have nothing but love for this mama. You get yours! I work out most days of the week and have my own strategies for fitting it in. My routine is a work in progress but I think I get the sentiment behind the idea that we all have time and can find said time if we get creative and honest with ourselves and our day. I also wonder if people would have a strong response to my laundry multi-tasking—folding while talking to my hubby about our day. We are all multi-tasking.

But my first thought upon viewing this video was more of a question: Why must everything be so complex? Can we make single-tasking a fad that sticks? Perhaps the response is doing squats while stuffing cloth diapers is not a complex task. That’s true—it appears relatively easy. I just tried it myself and, yes, it’s simple enough. I’m just wondering what’s so wrong with single-tasking?

All day I’m doing five things at a time. I just want to sit and do the laundry with a show on the TV or even just in the still silence of children in bed. In some ways sitting in the quiet or watching TV still isn’t singular in focus. I might be reflecting on the day or catching up with hubby. Still, can’t I just not always be thinking and acting on the idea of “having it all?”

Lots of women all over the world don’t have it all—they don’t even have the time or resources to play around with the idea of having it all. Sometimes I think what many of us want is just a little simplicity. I am okay with a single focus even if it means I don’t have a “perfectly” slim tummy. For my own sanity I need to not always be doing, fitting everything in, and getting the most out of the day. That just feels like unnecessary pressure and anxiety.

Yet again, that’s what I’ll have to come down to, my own sanity and my own experience. We are all battling different demons; we all have different places we’re coming from and ideas of whom and how we want to be. If you’re in the mood to multi-task your way to a perkier tush while preparing diapers for your baby’s fluffy bum I’m happy you’re finding ways to make your goals reality. I’ll be over here folding laundry and little else, except perhaps taking a sip or two of wine.

Lynette is a mom of three children from 8 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Going Back to Work

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Going back to workWith my first child, I didn’t feel guilty at all about going back to work. I didn’t even cry when I dropped her off that first morning like I had read that I would on pretty much every mommy blog. I  felt like maybe something was wrong with me. Was I a sociopath? Didn’t I have feelings? I figured I must be the worst mom ever.

In hindsight, I know exactly why I felt fine going back to work—I had no idea what I was doing as a mom. My daughter was colicky and wanted to be held 24/7. She didn’t sleep well. I had no idea that was normal (or that baby carriers were a thing), so I felt like a failure. I was tired and overwhelmed by motherhood. Leaving her with a professional felt like the best thing I could possibly do at this point, and walking into work where I knew what to do and people listened, well, that was heaven.

The other thing that helped was that while I was still pregnant, I negotiated a more gentle plan for coming back to work than I would have had if I had not asked for one. I took my 6 weeks of paid short-term disability, and then asked to work half days from home each morning for six more weeks. My boss agreed, and so the first time I went back to work full time was when my daughter was 4 months old.

Strangely, when I went back to work after my second daughter —only part time this time, and when she was 10 months old, not 4—it was so much harder. I feel like it had a lot to do with my greater confidence as a mother this time. I really felt like I was the best person to meet her needs, so I was understandably nervous about being away, even though I had a very close friend watching her and now big sister to protect her, too.

Going back to work is such an individual decision. For some families, money just really doesn’t matter as long as they are together. For others, money stress is the worst possible kind and puts an unbearable strain on things. This can be true no matter what your socioeconomic status.

For other moms, the push to return to work may not be about money at all, but about reaching a goal you had before kids, or continuing the successful path you were on. We can be good parents in all different ways. I think when we get into trouble is when we try to be something we are not. When you are unhappy or stressed, your kids know. They see it in your eyes and hear it in your voice.

If there’s nothing else parenting has taught me, it’s that someone is always going to think you are making the wrong choice. You can’t please everyone, especially not every stranger you run into, every friend on the Internet or every family member who thinks they know best. So why try? Make the best decisions for you and your family, even if it looks a little different than what your parents did or what your generation are doing.

What I have learned is that being a mom gives me the drive to do what I need to do for my family. Whether that’s making the budget work so I can stay at home, working full time so I can focus only on my kids when I am with them, or writing blogs while they wiggle in my lap.

What we do at any one time may not be for everyone, but it works for us; that’s what’s important.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three girls who lives and works in Queensbury, New York.