I signed onto blogger this morning and scrolled through my updates. I love seeing who has a new post and there are some that I really look forward to. That happened this morning, and I clicked to read a post about how mothers need help.
Then tonight I had a discussion with another friend who stays at home and how quickly and how often burnout happens.
Obviously there's a trend here. Moms who love their children dearly and agree that staying at home has a lot of benefits are just plain TIRED.
We get to stay home, but that doesn't mean we just sit around the house all day. Just because we don't have to get up at a certain time to get out the door doesn't mean that we don't have an alarm clock--often a human one that goes off randomly during the night as well. There's no one there to tell us to take a lunch break. I dont remember the last time I went to the bathroom without my little guy in tow.
I definitely think that attachment parenting is the way to parent, but its taxing at times. I will *not* leave my child to cry by himself. He sleeps in our bed, so even during the night, he is right there with us. Most days I'm so tired that I nap with him during his naptime. So unless I get out of the house in the evening, or try to get upstairs to do something at night while Oliver stays downstairs with Daddy, he is attached to me nearly 24/7.
It does not help that our society puts pressure on moms to be perfect, and to not ask for help. I'm very guilty of taking on that role. I feel as though Oliver is *my* child, therefore, he is my responsibility and no one else's. I rarely ever leave him with someone other than Jay. Especially when Jay worked second shift until Oliver was 8 months old, I took my little guy EVERYWHERE with me. This was when baby-wearing was my best friend!
Our society is also one that does not put much value, it seems, on extended families. I'm not saying that I would want to live with all of my family together in one house (sorry, I love you guys, but I need some space!) but I do think there are benefits to that for those who are used to that in society. It would be so much easier for a mom not to feel burned out when there would be other women in the home to help. And to not have that mom guilt of not doing it all.
I look forward to someday having grandchildren and I hope that my future daughters-in-law or daughters let me help them. Bring them meals. Take the older children for a few hours. Run to the store for diapers or milk. Or just take the child(ren) and let her do whatever.she.wants.to.do. No guilt attached. Moms need to get refueled. It not only helps them but helps their children to have a mom that feels better.
There are days when I crave face-to-face interaction with another human being. Or even just a phone call so I can talk to someone who can speak back in whole sentences. And while there are times where the thought of working outside the home is inviting, I just can't bring myself to want that for our family. The thought of Oliver spending more of his waking hours with someone else breaks my heart. I know my child inside and out. Sometimes I don't know where I stop and he begins! I want to be able to raise him with *our* family values, beliefs, morals. Not someone else's. I want to know what he struggles with and be able to help him. Not find out from a baby-sitter at the end of the day. That just isn't for me.
Who knows? Maybe I'll homeschool.
But regardless of these convictions, there are times when as a mother I need help. And I'm just starting to be able to say that. It feels like a weakness, something I try to avoid.
Some say it takes a village to raise a child...I say it takes a village to keep a mother sane!