I never should have been a stay-at-home mom. I knew that going in, but because I couldn’t see any other way, that’s what I became. Those were some of the hardest days of my life, and having a precarious mental condition didn’t help. I’ve been fearful to share some of these things because any non-glowing reflection of motherhood is typically not appreciated by the masses. But I felt it was important to come clean. Maybe it would help other struggling mothers out there, and maybe we could tear away the oppressive stigma of talking honesty about the difficulties of raising children.
My piece titled, I Hated Being a Stay-At-Home Mom, is featured on Good Housekeeping today. The funny thing is I’m still at home. I guess now I’m a work-from-home mom, but it feels remarkably similar to being a stay-at-home mom. The difference is I have an office, and it comes with a door, which I like to use frequently. With my kids chattering animatedly in the doorway, I like to swing the door shut in their faces and shout, “I’m busy!”
But that’s only because they’re older. You can’t do that to toddlers. Or if you do, toddlers don’t take the hint. They just slump against the door and wail until you come out and do a song and a dance to cheer them up because they’re jerks like that. Which brings me back to my point. It’s hard being a stay-at-home mom. And if you struggle with anxiety or any other mental illness kids do not help the situation, which is what I wrote about.
If you are a struggling mother, I want you to know it can get better. I want you to know this is just a stage. This is not forever. And I want you to know that it’s ok to want separation, to need time away. You need to take care of yourself and your own needs just as much as you need to take care of your children. It’s okay to do whatever you need to do to find balance and a little bit of peace. There’s no guilt in that.
I put this picture with the piece because it’s one of my favorite pictures from when my daughter was first born. I loved loved her with my whole heart. It just wasn’t healthy for me to be with her 24 hours a day.
I’m not all doom and gloom. I can also be funny. For example my essay in I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE, the third installment in The New York Times best-selling series. Get it on Amazon, Kindle, iTunes and Barnes and Noble. It will make you laugh.