Friday, March 8, 2013

The Hardest Job in the World

I remember reading an article many years ago about whether or not the statement, "Being a stay at home mom is the hardest job in the world," was accurate. Of course, there is no definite answer. It depends on many factors and there is no cut and dry quantifier to determine the subjectivity of what is "hard" or "harder" to accomplish. There are pros and cons to both being a stay at home mom as well as a mom who works outside of the home. No question, being a mom is hard work. That is, if you work hard at it.

There are "moms" who sit at home all day and do absolutely nothing except watch TV and yell at her kids. That's not the "mom" I'm speaking of.  I'm speaking of the mom who makes sacrifices when necessary, to provide the best life possible for her child(ren). She also disciplines and corrects when necessary, loving and teaching her child to grow and become independent. This is the mom I strive to be.

For many years, people have marveled at what I do. They gasp when they ask, "How do you do all that? You must be exhausted!" And then I realize I am.

It has finally hit me that what I'm doing can only go on so long. Lucky for me, my kids are hitting the ages where my collapsing from exhaustion will not harm them, and they are very independent in their care and schooling.

I am a work at home mom. I also homeschool my two children. Did I mention also that I'm a single mom? I have no family near, and the kids' dad is around "some." Thankfully, we have great neighbors and the kids have friends on our street. I get lots of breaks. But when I do rest, there is always a feeling of guilt. I should be spending the time with the kids....or doing laundry...or growing my business...or cutting the grass...or grocery shopping. Oh, I forgot to mention...I'm also a health freak and super conscious about food. I don't feed them chicken nuggets, pizza, and hot dogs every night. We actually cook here! But I feel guilty for not making my own bread... I guess there's always something. Anyway, the thing about what I do is that it's not physically exhausting. It's mentally exhausting.

There always seems to be decisions that need to be made, a schedule to keep up with, children to listen to, questions to answer... ALL DAY LONG. Yes, I'm exhausted. Yes, it is hard work. But as I crash periodically, I go down thinking it is all worth it. I love my life and I love the freedom to do what we want and to choose not to do something if necessary. I don't have a set work schedule, I don't have to deal with ignorant co-workers and their egos, and I don't have to be told what to do and when. This freedom comes with a lot of responsibility. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Is being a stay at home mom harder than a mom who works outside the home? I don't know anything about that. But I know we each need to do what we are capable of to make our children's lives fulfilling, fun, and educational. The better job we do, the quicker they can take care of us in the future. And that future for me is coming fast...

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