June 5, 2013
I always wanted to be a stay-at-home-working-mom.
I dreamily envisioned gentle days spent going to playdates and parks. I loved the idea of waking up with them, making their breakfast, teaching them new things and appreciating every milestone they would make because I was home to witness it. I thought working from home would provide us with additional income and maintain a level of professional ambition that most women often lose after becoming a mother.
I didn’t know working meant completing anything you had to do when the kids are sleeping or if you’re fortunate to find a babysitter. I didn’t know making a professional phone call meant running into a bathroom hoping the caller couldn’t hear the echo or small feet banging on the door. I didn’t know meeting appointments meant allotting time for tantrums, dirty diapers or unplanned naptimes. It’s easy to look at a mother who works outside of the home and wonder how fortunate she must feel to get a small break from the screaming, crying, fighting and yelling. You wonder about the corporate dialogue, the office drama or the happy hour bonding.
As an owner of two carehomes, director of a small nonprofit, freelance writer and Belly Ball entrepreneur, I certainly don’t need more adult communication or useless drama. I never knew I could do it all while maintaining my primary role as a doting mother – but somehow I’m doing it. I have a strong support system in my husband, my girlfriends and my family. While each of these networks are not always available to help, I know someone will lend a hand if I absolutely need it. My children bake with me several times a week. We attend playdates, go to parks and attend sports practices/games. I cook their meals, read them books and find my quietest moments laying on a yoga mat while watching them play outside. It’s not always so simple and it sometimes seems overwhelming with work duties, but I remind myself daily that I always wanted to be a stay-at-home-working-mom.
It takes prioritizing, planning and preparing daily to accomplish what seems like a million things in one day. I see 30 minutes in any moment as an opportunity to bake cookies, run 3 miles, take a nap, clean the kitchen or build the train tracks with my boys. Similar to the healthy foods I intake daily, I try and make sure whatever incorporates my life has value and benefit. Some say I do too much – that my dial is tuned up too high on the ambition department. Some have recommended I scale back, watch some TV and spend even more time than I currently am with my children.
What people don’t realize is that I have scaled back. According to my life’s timeline my Belly Ball would be complete, my new carehome would be fully operating, my nonprofit would have several grants and programs and my body would be contest ready. While I have ambitions, they are nowhere near where I would like them to be. Since I’ve scaled back to make everything work in my life, things are taking longer to complete. I’m ok with that. I’m ok with how loud my home gets and the physical remnants from the chaos. I’m ok with not updating this site timely or not completing a full workout. I’m ok with wanting to cry during my busiest days.
I chose this life – so I’m riding the wave I chose to sail my ship on.
It won’t always be turbulent and I eventually will meet my various destinations, but I’m relishing the destination I’m at right now…. a stay-at-home-working-mom of three tiny boys trying to maintain balance as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.
Throughout my life I’ve longed for this period in my life – and so here I am.
One of the things we do daily is play in the backyard. I am often out there sitting on a yoga mat reading and/or playing with them.
My husband left me (again) to help out in Oklahoma. We agreed that if he leaves again he needs to plan for a nanny to help me or he’s not going anywhere!
With my girlfriends, Frida, Marifel and Jen at the reception for the Asian Pacific Film Festival. It’s always nice to get out of my workout clothes, put my hair down and wear a dress for a change!
I am not a busy, work-at-home mom. I am a dad, with only one 3 1/2 year old son, and I am often dizzy with the amount of things that have to be done each day. I marvel that you have done so well. If there was a secret, I would tell you to bottle it and sell it, but I know it is from a place deep within that you find the energy and the drive to do what you do. I read your blog and enjoy your posts. Keep it up. You are an inspiration to more than just the moms out there!
Thanks so much Patrick. Sounds like you are a great father – we need more men like that in this world 🙂
This is the first time I see your blog, and I find interesting how you have worked things out. and how your husband supports you.. I know you have chosen to work from your house.. and that fulfills you, I work in a institute and I’m above to finish my degree..which I like, but things with my husband are not that well.. he doesn’t like me to study.. he just wants me to be at home, doing household chores… How can you deal with that? how can I ride my way if he does not support me?!..
Congrats for everything you have achieve!
Both you and your husband need to find a compromise – because that’s what marriage is all about. It will be hard to go in the direction of your ambition if you’re not supported by your partner. So communicate with him – find common ground and make joint future goals that support the path you are on.