I know that I am not the only woman who feels guilty if the house is messy. I don’t feel I can sit and write, or plan my next blog post or adventure, if my home is not how I like it. I realise that some mums can work and play around a messy home but I am just not one of these mums.
This week, I watched ‘The Biggest Loser’. I had said that I wasn’t going to watch the show at all this year, but now that the contestants have stopped whinging and whining about exercise, accepted the trainers are there to help them and push them, and are now starting to see massive results for their efforts – its starting to get interesting! This week the contestants have had their make overs, and one of the contestants – Janet, made the comment that she ‘was just a housewife!!’
Let me just say that I really would have loved to slap her! However, I have to admit that I understand where she was coming from. Many women (not all), myself included, have our children and then for some of us something happens to us. We sell our souls to the idea that sacrifice of ‘self’ is for the benefit of our child, our children and our families. I know many women don’t do this, but you only have to look around a shopping centre at 9.30 am on a weekday, and realise that you have in fact joined the ranks of women who have sold their souls for the stereotypical look of a t-shirt, denim shorts, a tiny splash of make up (if any), a child in a pram and either a coffee or a mobile phone in hand.
Now, I know the majority of women look forward to becoming a mother. I am not questioning the love mothers have for their children, my question really pertains to the reason as to why some women take on the attitude that they are in fact ‘just a mum or just a housewife’ once they have children? Have these women in question in fact become so self esteem challenged that they no longer believe that they are worthy of more than just a title of housewife?
My issue is the phrase ‘I’m just a house wife’, or ‘I’m just a mum’.
I wouldn’t swap motherhood or being a wife for anything, I have been a stay at home mum for the last ten and half years, and I would not swap my time with my children. However, I will say this. There was a time in my life not too long ago, where I looked into the mirror this one day, and I found that I really didn’t like the person who was staring back at me. When I say I didn’t like this woman, I mean – I really didn’t like her!
Sarah had become this old frumpy looking woman. She felt far older than her years. She was unhappy and wanted so much more for her life. Motherhood is and has always been rewarding, but neglecting myself and my desires for my life led me to a place where I felt as though I had begun to resent the people in my life that I loved the most. I know. Shocking!
This was the day that I realised that saying and thinking such things as ‘I’m just a housewife’, or ‘I’m just a mum’ was no longer going to be words in my vocabularly. My husband and I made the decision that I would be a stay at home mum. Motherhood, and the choice to be a stay at home mum didn’t just happen to me. It was a deliberate choice. I am living the dream I desired for myself in our family. My only regret is that I didn’t also nurture my needs as a person along the way. Its the little things that count the most… like making sure I put a little time and energy into myself. It doesn’t actually take long to exercise, freshen up a hairstyle, or get the old eyebrows tidied up. Its a matter of just doing it.
While making the decision to not to ever refer to myself as either ‘just a housewife’ or ‘just a mum’, I also realised at this same time that I needed to make some changes in my life. I might be a stay at home mum, but I needed some personal goals outside of my family, and in many respects – this was when I started my blog.
I have noticed that blogging has changed me. Writing has helped me identify who I am, what I want, where I am going in my life. I feel that I have really grown and changed since starting my blog. My family are still my priority, but by giving myself time and putting effort into ‘Sarah’, I feel like I am becoming the person I want to be. I feel that I am a much better mother and wife when I do things for myself. I have found that I talk a lot more about what I want, and what I want to know more about. I feel as though I have been able to articulate goals for many areas of my life, not just lose weight and get healthy. I now have goals for myself, my relationship with my husband and my relationship with my children, as well as my goals as a writer.
I found this image that really resonated with me, so I thought I would share it here in my blog.
At the end of the day whether we choose to be mums who also have a job outside the home, or we have chosen to be a stay at home mum, we are responsible for our happiness. We need to choose how we are going to live our lives. We need to nurture ourselves as well as nurture our families. We also need to recognise when the life we have chosen is no longer working for us. If its not working – change is a must. It may not be easy but it necessary for our growth.
I have come to realise that a mums life is split into phases. While our children always need nurturing, the type of nurturing we offer our children in their different phases of life can be somewhat different at times. Change is inevitable. It is always happening. We are always evolving, and as the children grow and evolve they are able to help out more at home, which in turn helps me achieve some of my personal goals, and this means I am not just a mum, or just a wife. I am a woman who loves her family, but also loves herself enough to give herself time and effort. I am now a true believer in that old saying – ‘happy wife happy life!’