For a stay-at-home mom, everyday is like Groundhog Day to some degree. There is always laundry, cooking, cleaning, managing the home, and taking care of children, husband, and family. It’s the job that no job can prepare you for. Working moms may think that life would be easier as a Stay-At-Home mother, but there is no way that you can know until you are living it. The days are really long, but the months and years go by quickly. Children grow very quickly, master new skills and achieve new milestones. While some routines are helpful in making the day go by easier, the truth is some routines can be bad habits. When I was working I often see processes that are not working but are at liberty to change. At home, however, we have more power to change what needs to be changed. In fact, change is all around us. As the chief executive of the home, it is our responsibility to examine what works and doesn’t work to make sure we are doing what is optimal… and what’s optimal also changes as our family grows and changes. According to Punxsatawney Phil, winter will last another 6 weeks, but from where I sit, it is a brand new season.
I really love the Groundhog Day (the movie starring Bill Murray), and it has many parallels to the life of a SAHM. When you get up every morning, it is easy to feel like you are living the same day day in and day out. It is the same old grind and drudgery and you are constantly doing things over. The laundry is never done, and the kitchen is never clean. That’s how I felt for quite a while. I was determined to learn how to do things better, but to some degree I missed the old life I used to have. I had a career that I really loved and miss still and I never realized that working was like taking a vacation compared to the hard labor of being a stay at home mother and wife. However, just like Phil Connors (Bill Murray’s character) in the Groundhog Day movie, after many negative attempts, decides to improve himself instead of seeing his predicament as a curse. He learns to play the piano, ice sculpt, learn French, and become a new man so he can live the perfect day. Ultimately, the movie is about self improvement.
While I have always believed that having the option to be a SAHM to my young children is a privilege, it took me some time to make it fun. I had to develop skills that I lacked and improve some others. I also had to learn what I need to let go and what I need to do for myself. In the movie, Phil Connors is able to live without consequence; however, what we do everyday has consequences in ourselves and everyone around us. How we live affects our partner and children.
Since I was laid off and started to stay at home, I learned not only to not be bitter about the circumstances that got me here, but to see it as a true blessing. I have learned how to cook nutritious and healthy (and decadent) foods for my family. I have learned to let certain things go. I have learned to be more patient and kind to everyone, including myself. I have learned to appreciate my life in ways that I didn’t think I ever would a decade ago. I hope to learn even more this year and take better care of myself so that I can be a better mother to my children, as well as a better partner to my husband.