Dear Jane, I’m a happy stay-at-home mom, but something’s still missing
In a former life, I had aspirations of being an artist and one day opening up my own art gallery, but those dreams got deferred when I married my college sweetheart followed by the arrival of our beautiful boys and then our lovely little girl.
I’m grateful for my family and I know the privilege that I have, enjoying a nice lifestyle on just my husband’s income. Since I don’t have to work, I love having the time to be fully present with my kids, but at times it just doesn’t feel like enough.
My friends who have careers seem so fulfilled and I find myself feeling like an outsider because I don’t feel like I have any value outside of being a wife and a mother. When I was younger being ‘a home-maker’ wasn’t on my bucket list and I feel stuck in the monotony of breakfast, laundry, lunch, homework, dinner, dishes, and repeat.
How do I get my fire back while being a stay-at-home mommy?
– Missing Something Mommy
Working and having a career isn’t for everyone, and most importantly, a job or title outside of the home doesn’t define your worthiness as a human being.
Dear Missing Something Mommy,
Your letter says so much about why you’re stuck. But don’t worry, I have a few ideas on how you can get your groove back. The key reason that you feel like something is missing is because you’ve forgotten how valuable you are as an individual person. Your identity is so enmeshed with being a ‘wife’ or a ‘mother’ that you forgot who you are as a woman.
It seems to me that you’re a smart, loving, kind, and creative person. So it’s time to tap back into your creativity, take a Hello Mellow capsule to calm yourself and open up your creative chakra, and get back into your flow.
But before you do that, remember that there’s no shame in being a stay-at-home mom. In fact, it’s probably the hardest job in the world. Working and having a career isn’t for everyone, and most importantly, a job or title outside of the home doesn’t define your worthiness as a human being. Now, let’s get your fire back.
Find Purpose in Your Passion
Start again. Start painting, sculpting, or drawing again. You said that you’re an artist, so whatever is your creative outlet, get back into it. Tell your husband you need an hour on the weekends, or dedicate one evening a week post-bedtime to rediscovering your passion. Start slow, but take the intentional time to reconnect to your artistic side and do it for yourself. Remember, this is for you, to ignite your own passion, not to prove to anyone else that you’re valuable and productive.
Teach your children
Since you’re home with your children, find the time to teach them your artistic skills. Paint, draw, sculpt, and create with them. It can be a powerful bonding moment between you all and a way for you to show your children that Mommy is more than just the cook, bookkeeper and the maid.
Join an artist community where you can draw, paint, or create together online or at a safe social distance so that your support system can expand to other people who can understand your artistic side.
You can also reinvent yourself as, ‘The Artist,’ rather than, ‘The Wife and Mommy.’ It’s a safe space to redefine your individual identity outside of the home.
Creating a new community for yourself doesn’t come with the same pressures of having to feel as though you have to impress your current friends – which you actually don’t, as I’m sure they find you pretty amazing even without a fancy job title.
I’d also bet that once you build your self-esteem, confidence, and worthiness as your own individual person, you won’t feel like the odd-woman-out with your friend group because your validation will come from within rather than needing someone or something else to validate you.
Remember, there’s nothing missing from you, Hot Momma.
Jane is the fictional heroine of the Betoken lifestyle blog, Good For Jane. Think of Jane as your virtual BFF. She lives a healthy lifestyle, but not like, over the top. When it’s not a pandemic, she loves hanging out with her friends, dating and exercising in public. Throughout the pandemic she has baked her fair share of sourdoughs, gotten more than her fair share of takeout to “support her local restaurants”, ordered wine online and taken plenty of CBD to keep the anxiety at bay.
Jane is also the editor of the “Dear Jane” column. If you have a question for Jane, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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