Both Feet in, But Not Saturated

Being a stay at home mom is exactly what I thought it would be.
But it is also nothing like I thought it would be.
Just over a year ago I fantasized about how wonderful it would be when Beard would go to work everyday, leaving me and Madeline behind to play, have fun, and of course, keep a super clean, tidy house. He would, of course, come home to a fantastic home cooked meal.
For those of you that are stay at home moms, you are giggling a little bit.
Or laughing at my (e-)face.
I was right, Beard would go to work everyday, but he leaves me home with two very needy little girls, plus a whiny pitbull.
(Did you think that was possible? I didn’t.)
My girls are not especially needy for an infant and a toddler, but compared to myself, they sure require a lot of care. They are both still in diapers, and neither can prepare their own meals. Madeline occasionally “forgets” how to use a fork and spoon, requiring me to feed her.
My girls need to be played with and cuddled and read to, as well as bathed, soothed, carried, and put down for naps and bedtime.
I knew all of these things before taking this job.
What I didn’t realize was how much time and energy these tasks can actually take. This is literally the ultimate full time job.

But that, friends, is not what I am struggling with today, or in the last several months. I don’t mind doing the work of motherhood, until it completely absorbs me.
Motherhood is one of those jobs that just sucks you right in. Baby is born and you dive in head first. You spend most of your time with your baby, you read about baby care and baby milestones, you talk to other moms (oh heck, anyone who will listen) about your baby.
A once perfectly normal adult woman because a baby-obsessed freak.
And, honestly, it happens to so many mothers.
I find myself now two babies deep. Stacked on top of each other, that would be about waist level. And that, folks, is a pretty good interpretation about how I feel most days. I am wading through babies, having a hard time maintaining myself.

I was once a young woman who proclaimed herself as a nerd. A book-loving freak. I ran for fun, loved to cook, and played guitar. I was a hopeless romantic, constantly trying to one-up my husband with super cute, silly surprises.
It’s easy to forget these things about my former self when I have the constant care of babies to worry about.
Sometimes I feel I am completely saturated by my job. Motherhood has soaked me through, and there is no other woman left.
These are my worst days. The days when I feel like a cow, maid, cook, and servant.
What I am striving for, though, is just to have both feet in.
I want to work hard at my mothering (and my housekeeping!), but I don’t want it to define me. It is just a part of me.
Because 18 years from now, my girls will be adults. They may be in college or holding full time jobs. They may even be considering moving out.
(But hopefully not until 20+ years from now.)
If I saturate myself in caring for and raising these girls, when they leave I will have nothing.
No hobbies, no passions, no marriage.

So today, for those of you reading that are stay at home moms, or are considering staying at home in the future, I pray you keep this in mind.
Strive to not become saturated in your motherhood.
Instead, try your hardest, work to the best of your ability, but at the end of the day, try to maintain the woman you were before.

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