I work out of the house one day a week. It's not much, but it's enough to give us some extra money that we've used for fun trips and will soon use for more responsible things such as a minivan. It doesn't compare to working full-time, I know, but it gives me a picture of what working full time and being a mama is like, and goodness, the working mamas are amazing.
I stay at home with my two kids the other six days a week. It's hard and long and rewarding and precious. It's simultaneously a job I want for the rest of my life and a job from which I want to take a vacation, stat. Stay at home mamas, y'all hear me? You are also amazing.
These thoughts raise a glass to all the mamas everywhere, who are honestly changing the world with each day of their love and sacrifice.
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On the stay-at-home mom days, I wake up at 7:30 to the sound of a tiny voice calling over and over again, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommmmmy!" Judah is nestled in beside me, because I said we'd never be those people that co-sleep, so obviously, now we co-sleep. I crawl out of bed, and despite my slow motion, I shift the springs enough to stir Judah. I'm out of the room and down the hall quickly, before he decides to wake. Our house is 87 years old, and Anna's door sticks exactly as badly as you'd expect. When I give the top a hard push, it pops open, and she jumps up in her crib like a jack-in-the-box, her whole face a grin. "Mommy! Hot milk, Mommy?"
On the working mom days, I wake up at 6:45 to my alarm. Aaron and I dress in the shadowed light of our closet bulb. In the bathroom, I swipe the blush and mascara. Take care not to drop my Sonicare toothbrush into the sink, because that will wake the toddler. Pull my long hair into a low ponytail and hope it doesn't look like I did nothing to my hair. (I did nothing to my hair.) We eat bowls of oatmeal, or if I've had a productive weekend, there might be some granola in the glass jar on the counter. My mom arrives at 7:45, and we are out the door in a flurry of grabbing coffee mugs and breast pumps and babe, can you get my jacket? I don't have time to kiss Judah's chubby face, and if Anna is awake, it's a fifty-fifty chance she might cry when I walk out.
On the stay-at-home mom days, it's 11:00, and I am googling "how to get your toddler to poop in the potty." Anna is begging for me to hold her, and I am trying to be more present, so I snap the laptop shut and find some books for us to read together. Judah is happy in his bouncer seat until he isn't, and then I hold him in the rocking chair while trying to finish Ape in a Cape. Anna cries because she's "kwished", and Judah cries because? Well, I'm not sure.
On the stay-at-home mom days, it's dinner time. I prepped most of it during naptime because I've been letting Judah cry it out, and he's finally starting to nap better. There's music on in the background, and Aaron is building blocks with Anna in the living room. Oh BLESS that man for coming home from work! Judah is hungry, but in-between setting the table and tossing the salad, I talk to him in that ridiculous baby voice, and it staves him off for a bit.
On the working mom days, it's dinner time, and dang it, I forgot to use the crockpot again. I'm so tired, and I know Aaron would order pizza if I asked him to, but we should save money, and I should cook. It's seven before we sit down to dinner. Aaron eats and then goes upstairs to work on our house. We're a couple months away from having much more usable room in this tiny, wonderful house. A glorious thought, but the reality of tonight is that I need to put two kiddos to bed by myself and then tackle the dishes.
On the stay-at-home mom nights and on the working mom nights, I collapse on the couch. This mom job is no joke. I have the thought of flying to somewhere quiet, high up in the mountains, where I can drink coffee in front of a fireplace all day long and read as many books as I want. I ask Jesus for wisdom, for patience, for grace, for forgiveness, for strength to wake up and do this all again tomorrow.
On every night, I hover outside of her door and open it as gently as that old wood allows. The floors creak as I creep to her crib. Her sleeping face is so beautiful it makes me want to cry. I pad into our bedroom, and Judah yelps out. I scoop him up and smell the top of his head, and for how rich I am, I can not believe.