Dear Stay at Home Mom, You are Worthy.

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I know you don’t always feel like you are. I know that sometimes the chaos and enormity of your responsibility as a stay at home mom makes you feel small. And I know that sometimes, even though you’ve done as much as you possibly can, it feels like you’ve done absolutely nothing. 

But you do SO MUCH. Every day, all day. And you deserve whatever it is that you need in return to keep going. Whatever you need to feel good. It may be something small like a few hours to yourself, or it might be something bigger like a trip.

And guess what? You are worthy of it. 

picture of two women with hands in the air on a mountain

Read that again; burn it into your brain.

Being a mom, especially a stay at home mom, is a 24/7/365 job. There are no guaranteed breaks, no vacation; heck you can’t even guarantee you’ll be able to pee without being interrupted! It’s a full immersion experience that can get completely out of hand.

Yes, there are incredible moments where it’s all worth it and you feel amazing, but your parenting status doesn’t have to define you.

When people ask you what you do for fun (which is the worst question ever by the way), what do you say? Do you have an answer? I sure don’t. I practically don’t know who I am anymore outside of my roles as stay at home mom and wife. I’ve been in so deep for so long that everything else was pushed away. My focus was on trying to be supermom, to make sure I did everything by myself because it was my only job now. 

blurred action photo of a woman turning her head side to side

Do you get completely inside your own head? Where you can’t see the reality in front of you because you’ve become so focused on your own reality? Yup, same.

My husband can see all that I do and is so incredibly appreciative and supportive. Yet most of the time I won’t let myself accept his compliments.  

Do you deny yourself things because you feel like you don’t deserve them? Because you don’t go to work every day, you don’t make the money? Why the heck do we let ourselves have that mentality when we know we bust our butts all day every day? Being a stay at home mom is not a walk in the park. We work just as hard as we did at any other job, and are way more invested.

Now I am determined to emerge into the world again because I am tired of feeling like s#@t about myself and putting myself dead last. Nobody actually benefits from that, by the way. If I’m not taking care of my own needs, how can I possibly give my best to anyone else?

It’s time to break the cycle. I was listening to a podcast the other day and the mom/host said something that resonated deeply with me: “suffering is optional.” In this day and age we have to understand that it’s ok to need help and not always be able to do it all for everyone all the time. We don’t have to push ourselves beyond the limit to prove something.

So no, I will not allow myself to think that I have accomplished nothing all day. I will prioritize my mental and physical health so that I can set a good example for my children. I will ask for help when I need it because I do not have to take everything on by myself. And I will make sure I get time to breathe when I have reached my limit. I will remember that I am worthy, that what I do is important, that I can do it all, but I don’t have to. 

P.S. This goes for ALL parents, whether they work or not, but I am speaking to my own experience.

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Colleen is new to Memphis (February 2020), but has fallen in love with the area already. She has been married to her husband Ryan since 2015 and they have 2 children; Addison (2016) and Orin (2018). They also have 3 dogs and a Crested Gecko. Colleen was born and raised in Massachusetts, went to college in Florida (go CANES!), and lived in New Mexico before her husband’s job brought the family to Tennessee. She is so excited to be living somewhere green again; the desert was not her thing! Before she had kids Colleen worked in veterinary medicine. She became a stay-at-home mom after the birth of her first child and started a dog training business shortly after, focusing on family dogs. Colleen runs on way too much black coffee, loves a good book, baking, and driving fast cars.

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