A couple of weeks ago, I met a new group of people, and when I was asked what I did, I heard myself say:
“I’m just a stay-at-home mom.”
That’s right: “Just.”
You may have noticed we’ve been posting a little less frequently here at Boomtown Sisters, and that’s in no small part because I’ve been having a rough time.
It’s hard to get excited about baking muffins or sewing new skirts when you feel stuck.
When you live in this world that values the new and the exciting and the pretty and the clever, it is easy to look at your own life, one filled with the same and the ordinary and the everyday, and feel like you’re missing something. The laundry basket never empties, the dishes in the sink move out and right back in an hour later, the toddler requests the same book 5 times in a row, and you just get tired.
Tired of taking care of everyone. Tired of doing the unnoticed work, tired of spending all your energy just keeping things exactly the same. There are no big projects, no exciting completions, no promotions. It all starts to feel very small and very insignificant and perhaps a little stifling. And that’s when you start hearing yourself apologizing for what you do, for being “just” a mom.
I’ve been reading the book Hand Wash Cold by Karen Maezen Miller for the past week, and it’s been gradually working against my sadness.
The truth is, life is the ordinary. What makes a life is the sink of dishes, and the laundry basket, and gathering the same shoes from the living room every day. It only becomes really hard when I forget to value that, when I view caring for those I love as a burden and impediment, instead of the gift it really is.
So, for today as it’s the only day I truly have, I’m going to give my life the attention it deserves. I’m going to remember that folding laundry for the people I care about is a way of loving them, of giving them the gift of my energy and time.
And I’m going to stop, again if only for today, for apologizing for the life that I live.