I failed as a mom
Failure in life is inevitable it seems. But without failure, there would be no success. I would argue, in fact, that in order to succeed and move forward; sometimes you have to fail.
Coming to terms with the fact that you’ve failed is not always easy and I am one of those people who hate to admit that they’ve failed.
Perhaps that’s why the realization hit me so hard during a conversation that I had with Kyle on Christmas of 2015. This conversation started so simply as I was discussing my plans for the next three years in terms of working at home. It was during a more heated part of the conversation that I realized that I was failing as a stay at home mom.
Facing the harsh reality that I was failing as a stay at home mom
That realization hurt.
It hurt far more than any other truth or reality that I refused to accept.
In fact, coming to the realization that I was failing my children as a stay at home mom… it’s been one of the most difficult things that I’ve had to deal with since Sweet B was diagnosed with autism. Becoming a stay at home mom was a choice that I made and in doing so, I was agreeing to the following at minimum:
- To be present for my children
- To be actively involved in their lives
- To pull my weight in terms of homemaking duties (cleaning, cooking, etc.)
And I was failing in all three areas.
Sure, maybe I was doing my best or a mediocre attempt at best. But I wasn’t doing everything that I could have been doing. I was not living up to my own hype and the image of myself that I had in my head.
Now, while I’m the first to admit that I’m no Martha Stewart and that I’m terrible at being a dutiful homemaker; I still could do better. By keeping up with daily clutter or setting a daily cleaning schedule, just by doing those small things- I could be doing so much better. And sure, some days I’m better with it and other days I’d rather not bother.
But it was admitting to myself that I was failing in this area that motivated me to make a change.
But what about my children? What about my conscious decision to be a stay at home mom? For that matter, what about my decision to pursue work at home venues and monetizing the blog?
I would love to tell you that my children, especially my darling Squeaker, are the center of my attention every minute. The reality is that I was often nursing Squeaker while I was sitting at my computer. Or that instead of getting on the floor and playing with her, she was sitting next to my desk with one of her toys.
There are some moments where she’s in the living room watching a movie or playing with the Kindle. And I know that I should be seated there with her but I’m not. Sometimes it’s so I can wash dishes or clean up the living room, but more often than not it’s because I’m sitting at my desk doing something else.
How was I failing my family?
And I hate that.
I’m not just a blogger, I’m not just a mom aspiring to work at home- I’m her mom.
This sweet, inquisitive, stubborn, imaginative, playful toddler who still likes to take her naps on me. I’m her mom and I chose to stay at home to be with her and to be actively involved.
Does that mean giving up my endeavors and putting my blogging on the back burner?
No. I’ll be perfectly honest, I like the freedom of blogging (time consuming as it can be) and the prospect of working at home in other ventures excites me.
What it does mean that I need to balance things better. I need to be more intentional with my time and I need to make up for my failures as a stay at home mom. It means creating a schedule and sticking to that schedule. And it means taking breaks throughout the day. For me it also means setting office hours and sticking to them.
It also means granting myself the grace to make mistakes.
I’m a human being and I can only handle so much.
Every mom struggles with something. Stay at home moms and work at home moms alike.
Often, I eat lunch at my desk. I do this, or so I tell myself, so that I can use my lunch time to work on stuff for the blog or to finish chore threads on Facebook. In reality, I get so sidetracked that the tasks that I was meaning to work on get pushed back to later in the day. Time that I could be using to play on the floor with Squeaker, work on a project with Sweet B, or get a little cleaning done.
But how else can I overcome these failures?
I can finally admit to myself that I need help and hire a VA.
I can use a timer to help me stick to my schedule.
I can remind myself of why I chose to stay at home.
I can try waking up early (Though I may not stick with that all the time, it has worked for the weekends.)
I can also remind myself that just because I’ve failed, it doesn’t mean that it’s the end. Far from it, in fact. I may have failed as a stay at home mom in the past year but I can improve. I will improve. Because failing is not the end, it is a chance to start over. I can learn from my failures as a stay at home mom so I don’t repeat these same mistakes.
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Have you ever faced failure? How did you overcome it?