Friday, October 5, 2012

Super MOM

I used to think, "I'm super woman.... I can do it all!"  Of course that was when I was newly married, no full time kids, and a teacher.  I thought I could be a mom, teacher, and a wife, and do them all very well.  Then my heart started to change.  The closer I got to having my own family I realized that I really wanted to opportunity to stay home and raise them. I loved my job as a teacher.  But I didn't want to raise other people's children, in exchange for raising mine.  And when I had my son I was ready! Ready to leave the teaching world and enter the world of stay at home moms.

I was blessed to stay home with my son for the first 18 months.  I loved being home.  I joined clubs with other stay at home moms, and Gabe and I had play dates.  We also had the opportunity to care for my father as he suffered with cancer.  It was a great season.  Then life happened.  Finances changed and the security I once had in my marriage vanished.  I had to go back to work, no matter how hard it was.  So I began the world of part time employment.

It seems ideal on the outside: I get to work and I get to spend time with my son.  But it wasn't ideal. I was trapped between two worlds: working mom, and stay at home mom. I didn't fit in with either.  I continued to give my all at work, even though it was only a half day.  And by the time I came home I was exhausted, my son was having nap time, and I still had all the responsibilities of a stay at home mom.  After all I "only" worked part time, I should be able to clean the house, plan meals, pay bills, grocery shop, cook dinner, and spend quality time with my son.  All in the extra 3 hours each day.  It was some what of a nightmare.  I loved the fact that I had more time with my son, but the exhaustion and extra responsibilities that a full time working mom doesn't carry, seemed to out weigh the benefits.

Then my challenging situation got even harder.  My husband died, and I became a single working mom.  I took over a family business, kept teaching part time, and now had to raise my 3 year old son all on my own.  This was the hardest season of them all.  Fortunately I was able to end teaching at the end of the year and just work at the business.  But still I was out of balance. When I was working, I'd come home exhausted.  I'd feel overwhelmed at the tasks ahead of me: dinner, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc.  It was too much for one woman to take on.  I was not super mom.  And I was okay with it.

That's where I've come from, thats been my life for the past 4 years.  The challenges I faced reveal to me how wonderful and balanced my life is now.  My working life and my stay at home mom life are very clearly divided.  I travel 3 hours away, a few days every other week for work.  So when I am gone, my soul focus, my only task is work.  I can work late, I don't have to cook dinner, or worry about kid's homework.  On the contrast when I am home, I'm home.  I still work but its in a home office, on my own schedule, and no one is home during the day.  I am able to organize my day to take care of my family: laundry, groceries, meals, etc.  I end it at 2 each day, so that I am focused and ready to pick up my 3 kids.  I find such a strange joy in picking them up from school each day.  And when we get home, we have a snack, and start homework. I'm single minded, so I am able to provide structure for them and give them my full attention.  I have flexibility to volunteer in my son's class, attend field trips and just be around.  I still get to use my mind, and challenge myself through work, but also focus 100% on my family when they walk through the door. Its the life I've always dreamed of!

Its taken a few weeks to really get in the groove.  Finding out how to get a run in during the day, but not sacrifice work.  Setting a schedule for grocery shopping, and planning meals.  Squeezing loads of laundry in between work.  What days to volunteer and what days to travel for work.  Its somewhat of a balancing act.  But I'm working it... and I'm enjoying it.  I can't summarize it any better than this: My step daughter says to me, "I've always wanted a stay at home mom" and she proceeds to tell me how she enjoys that I can pick her up from school, and on the days she has dance right after, I bring her snacks.

I may not be superwoman, but I AM supermom!  But not in the way I once thought. I'm not a mom who does everything. I pick and choose.  I prioritize.  I am supermom, because I am a good mom. My family knows they are my priority and they feel my love.  And that is what makes me supermom!

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