Dear Stay-At-Home Mom,
I know you’re lonesome. I know it gets tough when you have to give up so much for not much in return. I know you’re there for everyone while no one’s there for you. I know that no one understands your frustration. I know that no one appreciates your devotion. I know that instead, everyone compares you to what they did aeons ago, and I also know that they embellish facts with what they’d like you to believe so they can prove you wrong, show you what a failure you are. I know it gets frustrating to try to defend yourself every time. Why should you have to defend your actions at all? You’re doing something that’s selfless in the first place, right? You’re doing what’s to the best of your knowledge. I know that the fight seems endless and that gaping void in your heart feels vast. How do I know? Because I am you, just like you are me.
I know that when you want to talk to someone you can’t because everyone is out doing something of their own. I know your only outings are to the supermarket or to the playground. I know ‘well-meaning’ folks think you have ample time. I know it riles you when the same people tell you to get a hobby and pursue it at their convenient time. And then they ask you to drop it because they seem to ‘interfere’ with your ‘duties’ at home. I know your only social connection left is your Husband’s or your in-law’s friends. Oh and don’t even get me started on how and when you should socialize with even them!
I know you can’t bear to look at your Facebook or Instagram feed any longer because it’s inundated with successful women, or happening cliques of hip moms who are doing ‘stuff’ with their lives, while you… you are dressed in baggy sweatpants, month old nail paint crusting your overgrown nails, scraping food out of a frozen container because you have exactly thirteen minutes before your toddler returns home from pre-school. Who cares if the food is half frozen. It’s not about you anymore, it’s about your family now. Right? Wrong!
My dear sister, you are you too and you owe it to yourself to live for yourself.
I’m here to tell you that you should keep a part of you to yourself and let no one inside, let no one trespass on that which makes you ‘you’. I’m here to tell you to be a little selfish, indulge yourself a little more, demand your own time and not let anybody guilt you into feeling bad about it because you’re the one who gave it all up to care for the hearth and home. I’m here to tell you that the blame does not lie only with you for things that go wrong in your home. I’m here to tell you that others should shoulder responsibility too and that you have the right to insist that they do. I’m here to tell you that you should not have to beg for time, respect and space for yourself. It’s your right! Take it if no one is willing to give it to you. Fight for it because you’ve earned it.
It doesn’t have to be only about them.
If you are a family, then it HAS TO BE about you too.
Above all, I’m here to tell you today that you’re doing a fantastic job of being a mom, of being a wife, of being everything else that the world demands from you.
I am here to appreciate what you are doing for your family.
Let no one tell you otherwise because you have given up that which all us humans have so little of – time. We all come to this world with a finite number of breaths. Nevermind what religion says about rebirth and heaven and hell, we all have just one life in which to be all that we wish to be. And YOU chose to give your precious time to nurture the life of someone else. You could have been selfish, you could have made a half-hearted attempt, but your love for those who you care for made you give up everything of your own and focus on them instead. How is that even worthy of criticism from people, I know you ask yourself that all the time? I’m here to tell you that it isn’t!
Let no one ever tell you that you could have done more because they are not the ones doing it, you are.
There’s no such thing as a Super-mom or a Perfect-Mom. Imperfection is at once the bane and the quintessence of being human. Those ‘perfect’ moms who you may be compared to have made imperfect choices in life too. The difference between them and you is that they don’t have the guts to own up to their mistakes and instead spend their energies in pointing out mistakes in others. Look how you’re ALREADY better than them!
Moreover, in nurturing others do not forget that you must nurture yourself.
And lastly, I’m here to tell you that I am here for you. If no one will understand you, I will. If no one seems to care, I will. If you need a friend, I’ll be one to you. Just as I hope you’ll be for me too.
But before I close, I’d like to tell you – if no one ever thanked you, I thank you because your strength gives me strength. Because your resilience teaches me that it gets better.
Another Stay-At-Home Mom.
Copyright ©2018 Pradita Kapahi.
All rights reserved.
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