It occurred to me this morning, while I was changing my toddler into her second outfit in ten minutes and cleaning up the sticky cereal mess (honey nut Cheerios and milk are not as forgiving as the regular Cheerios when it comes to spills, those sucker are sticky) that in a previous time, B.C. (before children) I was a professional. I have a Master’s degree that I worked hard for and I do have many intellectual thoughts, seriously. I realize I call food “yummy”, using the restroom, “going potty”, and grated parmesan cheese, “shaky cheese”, but somewhere in my toddler, preschooler, kindergartener consumed mind there is a mature intellectual, honestly.
There are moments in my day when I do find myself resenting the fact that I am home with the children making PB & J sandwiches, doing laundry, scrubbing crayon off my beautiful hardwood floors, poop off the pack-n-play, and putting a Power Ranger costume on my preschooler for the 10th time. While my hubby gets to take a shower in the morning and only worry about himself, then its off to work, and he will likely eat lunch at a restaurant where someone else prepared the food, serves the food, asks how his day is going, gets him whatever he needs, and even cleans up the mess. Then he is off to the next customer via his clean vehicle where he only has to buckle in himself and can listen to whatever he wants not having to worry about little impressionable ears. Meanwhile I have the Muppets track memorized (and I still tear-up each time I hear Songs about Rainbows, darn frog getting me all choked up). This is when I need to take a moment to reflect and remember that the grass is not always greener, just different.
We decided before we purchased our first home that it was important that I stay home once we have children. So we purchased a home based upon my husband’s income only. We didn’t even have children yet and we were already making sacrifices for them. Well, that sacrifice was truly a blessing in disguise. I am now home with the children, we get to play together, visit local treasures such as the library for story time, the Art Museum for Family Center activities, the parks for outdoor adventures, and these are our blessings. And I am so thankful to my husband for being the bread-winner of our brood and for making the sacrifices that he does everyday so that I can share in these amazing activities with the children.
I think as stay-at-home moms (SAHM) we forget that our husbands are also sacrificing. From the instant we start a family moms tend to have the upper hand so to speak. A mother’s special bond with their children almost begins the instant we find out we are pregnant, while dads don’t get to experience the new life until the baby is born. Mothers who nurse also get to have that extra dose of feel good hormones and bonding with the baby that again, dad misses out on. Then, as a SAHM we get to experience the firsts while dad is often at work. The first word, rolling over, crawling, step, poop in the potty (I was so excited when my eldest pooped in her potty I took a picture, right then and there, and emailed it to my husband), etc. For the big milestones it is nice when mommy can be kind and compassionate enough to keep her mouth shut and allow dad to witness the milestone later in the day but all-in-all we have first row seats to all our children’s lives. Moms are the ones who get to hear all about the children’s days while it is still fresh in their little minds. Moms get to be the one everyone runs to with questions (okay, this might be stretching it, but you get the idea). SAHM get to go to all the activities that take place during the day, we get to see the Christmas programs, the Halloween parades, the classroom parties, and so much more. Granted dad tries so hard to get there (God love my hubby, he tried to make both of our children’s Halloween parades only to miss each by mere minutes).
So maybe I don’t wear designer clothes (or clean clothes without stains, shhh, that’s our secret), half my underwear is torn because the dryer eats them (I try to avoid skirts and dresses fearing my underwear will fall down) all five of us have to share one bathroom, my husband can be seated at our kitchen table and remove food from the fridge and oven simultaneously, I have to shovel may way to the car in the winter (single car driveway and garage), I have to delete items in order to make my computer work, and I am the hostess, waitress, chef, and bus boy, I am blessed. I am blessed.
So, make sure you take time out over this Thanksgiving Holiday to acknowledge, appreciate, and thank your spouse for the many sacrifices they make for the good of the family. Remember most sacrifices are blessing in disguise.