It’s 5:45AM and an alarm is going off across the room. I feel my husband stirring next to me and climbing out of bed to grab his phone, silencing the noise. The start of another day has greeted us as light streams in through the sliding glass door in our bedroom. And as I watch him gather up his work clothes and head to get ready for his day, I feel a stirring in my heart. Envy and longing, because sometimes, I wish it was me.
I know that all over the world, as I am getting up and heading into the kitchen in my pajamas, there are moms who are scurrying around the house gathering diaper bags and lunches, mustering up their troops to put on shoes and coats, trying to get out the door on time. There are moms who are getting ready in the morning, required to be presentable and dressed (with real pants) for the sake of their job. They are dropping off kiddos with other people, or waiting on someone to come to their home, and then leaving for their day, kid free, to interact with adults and be responsible for something outside of their home.
Is it crazy that sometimes I think about this and wish that was my life?
Because right about 3:15PM, as my children and I have mutually reached our limits and I’m trying to cook dinner and there’s a baby on my floor ripping out every piece of plasticware I own, my thoughts will occasionally drift to wonderment of what life would look like if I was sitting in an office or standing in a store, enjoying the company of other people whose needs take a lot less time and physical contact to meet. I think about dropping my kids off somewhere at 7:30AM and picking them up at 5:00PM. I think about putting on real clothes and real shoes and having structure to my day.
I really do.
Now please don’t misunderstand me, because I know that being a working momma is incredibly hard work. I did the working mom thing for the first few of my mothering years, and it so much more than the fantasy that I’ve made it out to be. I know the struggle it is to drop your precious kiddos off at daycare day after day, to try to take care of a house while still working full time, or even part time, and trying to be a wife, a mom, and an employee all at once. It is so hard and you moms who are living that life have my utmost respect and admiration.
I really am thankful for the blessing it is to stay home with my kids. In fact, when I was a working mom, I would pray and pray that I could be home instead of working, and cry often over having to work. But being home all day with my kiddos is so much harder than I ever expected. The mundane routine and the constant meeting of needs can be overwhelming and draining. But I love that I get to be there for them each day, that I get to see the everyday moments that are so simple and yet so special. I know that this life I’m living each day is God’s perfect calling over me, and He longs for me to be content in Him, no matter where He has me. But in the day-to-day, that can be really hard.
This is where I see the truth in that saying about the grass always looking greener. I’ve been on both sides of the fence and have longed for the opposite side no matter what side I’ve been on. We so easily forget the struggles of being on one side or the other when all we can see is the hard right where we are at. But the truth is, it’s all hard. Motherhood is hard, no matter which way we are doing it, because in one way or another we are serving our children ahead of ourselves, and that is never easy to do.
So I’m going to try to find contentment in this place that God has me, because I know I’m exactly where He wants me to be. And I can trust that because I know that when He says He knows the plans He has for me (Jeremiah 29:11), He means it. That gives me such peace, because our perfect God’s perfect plans are always for His glory and for our good.
I’m going to fix my eyes on Him instead of longing for the things around me.
But I might still daydream a bit about real pants.
What about you? Are you a stay at home mom who longs to work? Or are you a working mom who wishes she could be home? Maybe you are completely content right where you are! Tell us your thoughts.