I’ve tried to write this post many times. It just seems to be a tough one to write. One that could be misunderstood, but I kept coming back to it, so I’m just going for it.
I get a lot of e-mail. Some people need help with paint or furniture or a room. Some have comments or stories to share. I love them all, but my very favorite are the e-mails from women who are sharing how their creativity has been “awakened” through reading my blog.
We are a society that defines someone by what they do. When you’re a stay-at-home mom, what you do is laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, dropping kids off, picking kids up, picking toys up, putting kids in time-out, taking the trash out, filling the water dispenser, emptying the dishwasher…and on it goes. Day after day.
Now, I will stop here to insert that I find great joy in homemaking and motherhood as a whole. I guess I could do without the laundry and cleaning toilets, but I really love it and am blessed to have two fun little boys, a supportive husband and a great home to care for. There came a time, though, when I was sitting on my sofa with a 4 month old and an almost two year old and I felt really lost.
Again, I am going to clarify that I wasn’t lost in who I was as a person, a wife and mom. I just felt like I had pushed all of my hobbies and dreams and goals on the back burner and I was lost in a sea of laundry and dishes and diapers. I know a lot of moms feel like this at some point.
When my family encouraged me to start my business almost three years ago, we all thought it would be a nice way to contribute to the family budget. I had no idea it would awaken my creativity, resourcefulness and confidence. I didn’t know it would give me something I really craved…work that could be finished. I could paint a piece of furniture and stand back and look at it in its glorious doneness. It’s hard to do that after you empty the dishwasher and put dirty ones from the sink right back in.
God used my business and this work to pull me up out of my wallowing-in-the-house-all-day-in-sweats-with-two-babies-funk. I had a happy life, and now it’s even better. I guess the best way I can say it is that I had a good cup of tea, but now it’s overflowing onto the saucer and spilling all over the floor. Some days I feel like I could burst with excitement and ideas and possibilities.
I want to encourage all of you…those who are feeling isolated, tired and lost. Those who once loved to do things, but now all you do is “the routine.” Stop churning and start doing. If you love to cycle, buy one of those buggy things and haul your kids around town, so you can cycle. Or join a gym with child care and take some spinning classes (which I think are total torture.) If you love to decorate, don’t shut that down because the jump-a-roo is an obnoxious eyesore in your family room and you’re losing the battle with Cheerios and Goldfish. Maybe claim just one room as your creative playground.
I really think that this isn’t about the superficial action of doing a hobby, it’s about using your God-given gifts and talents. It’s about setting an example for your children and inspiring them to pursue their dreams and goals.
The funny thing is, even though I’m now a business owner, blogger, antique dealer, and writer, when people ask me what I do, I still say I’m a stay-at-home mom. My title hasn’t changed, but what I do day in and day out has.