There’s no shame in seeking out professional help in times where an objective perspective may just offer you the insight you need to work through the hardest days of your life. The shame comes when you don’t ask; when you fail to seize an opportunity that just might be the last chance you have to save your marriage…
When you least expect it, the life which you have been living suddenly becomes the heartbreak you must endure. Your world is now full of broken promises and endless tears inflicted upon you by the man who swore to love you til the end. Thoughts of “why wasn’t I good enough for him to love?” or “maybe if I just tried a little bit harder” run rampant through your head. This path you are forced to trudge is dark and marked with sadness and failure. You will only know the direction in which you will go once you hit your own rock bottom.
When you are at a crossroads in life and are faced with the most heart-wrenching of two choices, dig deep within your heart, look up to the heavens, and pray for the strength to choose the path that ultimately will bring you inner peace.
Despite the fact that I work per-diem, for all intensive purposes I am a stay-at-home mom whose husband’s hard work has afforded me the opportunity to be there for my family in all the ways that matter. Many think I am lucky to have this luxury, and in a lot of ways they are right. I get to be there for my kids, to help them with their school work, to support their after-school endeavors, to foster their growth and independence, and to, on the most basic level, watch them grow up. There is no greater joy than that. The pay-offs are priceless as I get paid in “I love you’s” and I get to share in their successes and triumphs – whether they are academic, social, athletic or developmental milestones (my toddler).
Yet, there is a flip side to being a stay-at-home mom that only another stay-at-home mom can understand. That being that part of you that craves adult interaction after PG-ing it all day long with your children. The part of you that knows that there are no sick days, no vacation days, and no time-outs – no matter how tired, how frustrated, or how overwhelmed your are. And the part of you that silently screams for appreciation, recognition, respect, and validation of your unrelenting “Cinderella” efforts which keep your family working like a well-oiled machine but seem to go unnoticed by every member of your household. Being a stay-at-home mom is not some “relax and eat bonbons” kind of life. It’s hard work to keep your household running efficiently while managing the lives of your little ones; all the while trying to find or make the time for your spouse. It’s even harder when you also have a some type of career that demands even the smallest bit of your attention.
Being a mom (whether a stay-at-home one or career mom) is to undertake certain unspoken responsibilities that are inherent with motherhood. The investment you make in your family is emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, and social; and deserves the recognition, the validation, the respect, and the appreciation from your spouse, your partner, and even your extended family. Simplicities such as hearing “thank-you” or “I appreciate all that you do” can go a long way in validating your worth as a mom.
To your kids….
Snow days are wonderfully perfect days to run amuck, create chaos, fight and bicker amongst themselves, and ultimately proclaim loudly how bored they are despite the fact that they could either go outside and play in the snow OR play with the 52 million toys they have spread out throughout your house….
Snow days are a torturous and cruel form of parental punishment in which you have to monitor and redirect pent up energy, referee your kids interactions because playing “nicely” seems to be a foreign concept, and deal with the persistent whining of “how bored” they are (despite the fact that they could either go outside and play in the snow or god forbid with the houseful of toys you are living in). If they do actually go and play outside you are responsible for the wintery clothing prep which takes at least a good half hour by the time you get them all bundled up and locate those few missing items – like the stray boot or glove that just wasn’t in the bag with all the other winter items. This wouldn’t be so bad if they actually stayed outside for longer than a hot 5 minutes before re-entering your house a soggy mess. Now you must deal with the snow-covered winter clothing, which despite your instructions as to where to remove and leave them ultimately ends up in a wet mess on your kitchen floor. Once instead they are like mini-tornados ripping through your house and leaving a mass of toys and destruction in their wake. All you desire is 5 minutes of peace and quiet and instead your household is a cross between a WWE event and the presidential primary – which leaves you wondering how they actually behave in school. Obviously they must behave to some degree or the teacher would have contacted you so why can’t they get along at home???? All of this leaves you frazzled and on the verge of verbal harangue in a feeble and ill-fated attempt to regain control of your household. Subsequently snow days are reasons why glasses of wine are more readily consumed and bedtimes come a lot earlier.
When in the midst of a personal struggle you must take a deep breath, a step back, and re-evaluate all aspects of your life. You must be open and willing to give honest consideration to the role you are actually playing in your situation, rather than the role you perceive yourself to be playing. You must be willing to change what needs to be changed as compromise is the only road that will get you there the way you wish to arrive – that being together.