i love being able to stay at home with our littles. i love being able to wear yoga pants every day or heels and lipstick; whatever i want. i lazily sip my coffee all morning between diaper changes and tickle fights. i get to have dance parties every afternoon and snatch up each little one for hugs and kisses whenever i want. and i love it.
being a stay at home mama is not all kisses and giggles though. it's hard work. it's endless laundry and dishes, it's kissing every boo-boo, trudging up and down the stairs because someone forgot socks, it's loading everyone in and out of the stroller or car multiple times a day. it's crying in the bathroom when things get too much. It's not easy.
but there's another side of it that has been laying dormant for the past few years, eating away at my confidence and self-worth: i don't make money.
yes, this blog earns me a bit of revenue but certainly not enough to really contribute to our living expenses. whenever i buy groceries i'm spending brad's money. whenever i'm getting new clothes for the kids it's brad's money. the paycheck he's earned by leaving the house and going to work every day goes towards everything we buy in our lives. our house, clothing, food, everything is riding on his paycheck. maybe it's because i'm not very good with money, or maybe it's because brad is so focused on figuring out ways to save and make more or maybe it's a combination of the two (most likely), but i feel a strong sense of uselessness. whenever i purchase anything for myself i feel nauseous. a new pair of running shoes or a lipstick shouldn't send me in to a panicky place; but it does. because as hard as i try, i can't see those paychecks as 'our money'. i see them as brad's. even when it's something essential like food, i still feel the guilt.
in the past few years i've tried endless ways to make more of a contribution to our income. tried and mostly failed. not only did i end up spending more in the long-run, it took my energy and focus and time away from my number one job: mama. finally coming to this realization, though, is the best thing that could have happened. i've taken a step back from trying to make money and have been focusing on things that make me happy. things that fill my cup like practicing yoga, running, writing and, yes, tickle fights and dance parties. focusing on all those things has made me a better mama, a more attentive wife and a much happier woman.
i'm still a work in progress and maybe one day i will find a job that i love and also contributes to our household cash flow. but for now, i'm exploring what makes my heart beat a little faster, giving my littles beautiful memories that they can hold on to forever, and learning to live a healthier, and wholler lifestyle (i realize 'wholler' isn't a word but you get the gist).