Is the Grass Really Greener?

August 7, 2012

Rebecca blogs at Daily Rebecca about being a new Navy wife and a new SAHM. She was my roommate for BlogHer this year and just as genuine in person as she is in her writing. She recently switched from working full time to being at home full time and talks about the transition and the realization that everything – including something you wanted for so long – has both ups and downs.

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I had an AH-MAZ-ING time with Diana at BlogHer12. We truly were two peas in a pod, and the weekend away was just what I needed after a bit of a rough patch with my two-year old little girl, Grace.

Here’s a little background…

I dreamed my whole life of being a stay at home mom.

It’s what my mom did and I watched her love every day of it.

I remember being a teenager and people would ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up. My answer was always, “Ultimately I want to be a wife and mother, but in the mean time I want to be a…

Funeral director

Physician Assistant

Teacher

Yeah. I changed my mind a few times along the way 🙂

Fast forward about a decade… I had finished college, gotten married and had full-time job. My husband was trying to figure out what he wanted in a career, and I was plugging along at work dreaming of the day I could stay home with our kids.

We talked often about starting a family, but I was adamant that I didn’t want to until we could afford for me to stay home.

We couldn’t, so we kept moving along. Year after year. Both of us working.

I had a dream job that provided success and gratification, but I kept peering over the proverbial fence to the stay at home moms standing on grass that seemed a whole lot greener than my own.

After so many years of romanticizing the whole SAHM thing, I’d turned it into the “end all be all” of life. It had become my only goal and the one thing I thought would make me truly happy.

I just couldn’t fathom how stay at home moms had anything to complain about.

Crazy, right?

I would think, “Why on earth would you want a break from your kids everyday…don’t you know how lucky you are to stay home with them?”

I’d scoff at tweets or Facebook statuses that were anything less than glowing remarks about life as a stay at home mom.

Then, I became a stay at home mom.

After working full-time during the first two years of my daughter’s life, my husband started medical school and joined the Navy, which allowed me to leave my job and stay home with my little girl.

The first week was just as I’d imagined.

Every day felt like vacation. I was flooded with the overwhelming realization that my schedule was whatever I wanted it to be. I savored each moment with my precious girl and it felt like a never-ending magical weekend. I’d sit in the baby pool with her and just stare as she splashed in the water. I was so patient and felt like I had an endless capacity for playing with and entertaining her. Making lunch and dinner was fun and I made sure everything was perfect since this was my new job after all.

I was so glad that we’d survived the past couple of crazy years and were finally tasting the fruits of our labor. I woke up every day and pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

I continue to be grateful for this new phase of life, and I savor moments throughout the day, but I now see that this side of the fence isn’t so different from the other side.

There are lush green patches and clumps of crabgrass too.

It’s not perfect because, well…nothing is.

Period.

Being a mother is a gloriously difficult pursuit. We all have our challenges and we all have our victories.

It doesn’t matter which side of the fence we’re on. It’s easier to focus on the crabgrass poking the soles of our feet than it is to see the soft green tufts all around us.

We need to remember that the grass isn’t any greener over there because…we’re all standing in the same field 🙂

Pop on over to Rebecca’s blog for more.

——————-
Does moving so much in the military mean family gets left behind or falls apart? I say the opposite and explain why here.

How do you prepare a biological child for an adopted one?

We haven’t heard from our social worker – and it’s been a month. Now what?

11 Comments

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife

    August 8, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I struggle with jealousy of SAHMs constantly but then I find reminders like your post that it isn’t a vacation…it’s work and it’s hard work.

  • Ashley

    August 8, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I feel exactly like the first part of your story, Except I actually do know the grass isn’t greener since I’m a Nanny and get a little taste of sahm life. But I am excited to have kids and be a sahm. I’ve been working at my career a while and my husband has been floating around trying to figure his out. He finally has decided to go into the medical field and with all the school I am adamant we won’t have kids till we can afford a comfortable living without me working. So it’s nice to see someone went through what I’m going through:)

  • Kiki

    August 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I am a SAHM. I do think that we women are all special, no matter what we do (home/work). I know that for some women (my sister is one), being a working mom makes them a better mom. We all NEED to support each other no matter what we do (home/work).

    1. Rebecca

      August 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      So true, Kiki! At the end of the day we’re all standing in the same field (motherhood) and we need to support each other 🙂

  • elizabeth

    August 7, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I’d say the grass can get pretty dry and brown on both sides.

    1. Rebecca

      August 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      AGREED! It’s been an eye-opener for me to be on both sides and see that one really isn’t better or worse than the other. Pretty obvious to most, I’m sure. I guess I might have a thick skull 🙂

  • Arnebya

    August 7, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Thank you. We are all standing in the same field, but it is hard sometimes, for me, not to be jealous. Oh, believe me, I know staying home isn’t just staying home. I know full well what it takes to run a household, especially all damn day, especially with no break from the kids. In all honesty, I only look forward to this job I hate because it provides me with time away from home. At the same time, I long to be able to escape this desk, this office, this 9 hour day schedule at a computer that limits my internet access so I’m forced to pretend to not be reading under the desk. I long to not need before and after care, to have dinner on the table before 7 (yes, I know this might not always happen just because I was home). But still. I want it so badly. We’re trying to find a way to make it happen but it won’t for a while yet. In the meantime, I’m trying to be thankful that I have a job, especially one that pays moderately well (even if it isn’t “exactly” utilizing my degrees). That grass sure does look greener. But I know better. It’s all in the vantage point.

    1. Rebecca

      August 7, 2012 at 10:29 am

      It’s SO HARD not to be jealous. In fact, I think it’s just human nature. There were parts about working that I absolutely LOVED, so I know there’s good and bad on both sides. At the end of the day we’re doing what needs to be done and we’re all mothers which is such a blessing. Thanks for your comment 🙂

    2. Kiki

      August 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      Hi. I wanted to suggest some small ways to save $ so you can stay home. My husband was making just above poverty level when, after 5 years of trying to get pregnant, we found out we were expecting. I really wanted to stay home, but my salary was a necessity. We decided to be drastic. We cancelled cable, ended all of our subscriptions, decided to never eat/order out and gave up alcohol. You would be surprised how much we saved just by doing without these not-so-necessary things. Hope this helps (a little).

  • stephanie

    August 7, 2012 at 8:18 am

    This is beautiful! I’ve been mostly a stay at home mom now for 12 years. After reading this I really need to go hug on my kids. It’s sometimes easy for me to see them as more of a problem to be managed than what they really are to me. And, that is my everything.

    I loved seeing all your pictures of you and Diana at BlogHer. Especially when you ate that pizza. That looked amazing!

    1. Rebecca

      August 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Thanks Stephanie! I loved your comments on our IG pics throughout the weekend 🙂 Being a SAHM rocks, but you totally know what I mean about it not being perfect either. We’re all mothers; therefore, we’re all awesome. The end.

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