outside of my windows are the mountains and the snow
I hold you while you’re sleeping and I wish that I could go…
but all the wonders I have seen I will see a second time
from inside of the ages through your eyes
It is lonely. It is joy-filled and draining; it is wild and daring and overwhelming. It is slow and same-same and some days, just too quiet. Oh, there’s always plenty of noise- the hum and whirl of the washing machine, the laughter and the arguing, the pitter-patter of tiny feet- heavier and more purposeful as they grow and have more weight to carry, and more important places to go. And there’s the noise inside your head- the do-lists and don’t-lists that you read somewhere on the internet, the homework that needs to be overseen and completed, the quiet judgement you mete out against yourself if you don’t respond with the right amount of patience or grace. But it’s the distinct silence that is a lack of adult conversation and humour, of spirited discussions on politics or light-hearted conversations about someone’s upcoming wedding or birthday or baby shower, that makes the silence sometimes difficult to bear.
And yet in spite of all of that, and maybe even because of some of it, being a stay-at-home mother has been my choice for the most part of the last five years. And so many women and mothers like me are making what I consider to be the same brave choice- brave, because they expose themselves so much more to loneliness and overwhelm; brave, in that they refuse to measure their success based on how hard they hustle in a finance-minded society; brave, in that they refuse to let their worth be defined by their earnings.
So to you, stay-at-home-mama, with your cold coffee and tired eyes, and with your mind seeming to numb with your baby’s cries-
with your fumbling patience and your endless chores, as you wipe away tears when there may be nobody home to wipe away yours-
with the choice that you’ve made, despite our society, to stay at home with your wee ones, even though it makes you no money-
You are seen. You are brave. And your choice is valued more than words can say.