After nearly two years of being home full-time with the boys and a year into being mom of three I’ve finally come to terms with one of my biggest challenges….
It’s okay to do nothing.
When I first quit my corporate job, I struggled at first to find my new identity as a stay-at-home-mom. And then once I finally settled in tothis new lifestyle I realized this is where I’m meant to be right now, this is my purpose right now in this season of life.
Then of course all of that shifted again once Carter was born 9 months later and we entered into a totally new season of life with three kids, changing diapers again, nursing sessions 100x a day, toddler meltdowns, threenager fits, figuring out a new routine and how to do #allthethings. After a few months I felt like we had finally hit our stride again — I got this!
But as motherhood ebbs and flows I found myself wondering: am I doing enough? Is this enough for them? I feel like we’re always doing NOTHING.
The winters in Michigan can be brutal. For some reason, this winter has been particularly hard for me. I just haven’t had the wherewithal on most days to bundle up three kids to get out of the house. It’s SO. MUCH. WORK. So I often found that we would be indoors, not leaving the house for days at a time and doing, what I felt was, nothing for most of those days.
Which led me to feeling guilty and questioning what I’m doing with my life and if this is enough for my children.
“Am I doing a good job?”
“I feel like we never do anything!”
“Another day spent at home…”
Stay-at-home-parents are no exception to getting trapped in a cycle of comparison and envy. I saw other SAHM’s going to fun places with their kids, having play dates every week, checking out a new playscape, doing these awesome crafts at home, baking cute cookies and frosting them with sprinkles….. and here I am sitting with three kids climbing all over me, as we play with LEGOS for the one hundred and tenth time, feeding them a PB&J sandwich as we sit on the floor and watch another Netflix cartoon.
I found myself staring into my phone scrolling Instagram wondering why I couldn’t get out and do all those things like everyone else was doing. The bitter cold outside certainly wasn’t helping, the lack of sunshine we weren’t seeing wasn’t helping and moreover, MY EXPECTATIONS of what I thought I should be doing was definitely not helping.
So I gave myself a slap in the face and a reality check.
Guess what. My kids are lucky. So lucky. And so am I. I feel like the luckiest of them all. I am home with them 100% of our days. Every single day. I get to be the one who gets them out of bed, who makes them breakfast and doesn’t have to rush them around to be somewhere, who sits and plays with them and their LEGOS again, who gets to make another PB&J for them again, who gets to read the same books over and over again.
And at the end of the day when I think…. What did I do today? It seems like I did nothing. I mean on paper? It is nothing. My husband will ask, “so what did you guys do today?”. My answer is usually, “Nothing.”
But it’s so much more than that.
My sons will remember the long, lazy days we spent in our home together. They’ll remember mom always sitting in their bedroom playing with blocks, doing puzzles, reading endless books. They’ll remember that we got to sit and eat lunch together every single day and watch their favorite movie. They’ll remember in the afternoons we snuggled on the couch as mom hugged them tight.
Doing nothing is okay. Releasing my expectations of all the things I think I should be doing, made doing all the nothingness so much better.
So now, I’m going to go do nothing with my boys.
Because these days? They’ll be gone before you know it.
Photography by Mrs. Jenny Love