I am a stay at home mom.
For real, though. I stay at home.
So many of the stay at home moms I know and admire do anything but stay at home. They’re stay at parks moms and stay at playdates moms and stay at libraries moms. They seem, to me, so ambitious and fearless and immune to worry. They may as well be superheroes.
And then there’s me, the introvert.
And introverts don’t get capes or applause. We get anxiety.
I know how hard it is feeling like everyone else is the same type of mom and then there’s you. We moved here eight months ago and I’m lucky to go to a church full of young moms. But somehow I still end up feeling isolated. Why doesn’t the playground seem daunting to anyone else? How does anyone ever feel comfortable enough to host play group? How do they know they have the right toys? How do they know everyone will have fun? The doubts are endless.
Then when I don’t go, when I stay in my comfort zone where no one can see me mothering, I wonder if my kids are getting a good enough childhood. How could they be, when their mother is imperfect? And then I wonder if I am getting the most out of motherhood. How can I be, when I am imperfect?
Don’t you wish that once you became a parent that you stopped being the flawed and fallible human being you’ve always been?
That feeling creeps up on me any time I brave the outside world with both of my kids in tow. Even after almost three and a half years of motherhood, and eleven months as a mom of two, I can’t quite shake it.
But here’s what I can do.
I push myself to do the small things. Maybe play group is too much for me; I can handle having a friend over. Maybe the park is too much trouble today; I can take the kids for a walk around the neighborhood. I turn the “maybe I can’t” into “maybe I’ll try.”
And the days when I just have to stay home, when anxiety or exhaustion or whatever keep me tethered to my comfort zone, then I can be a play at home mom, a make believe at home mom, a storyteller at home mom. The list goes on because there are a million different, good ways to be a mother.
I’ve learned that wanting to be a mom doesn’t mean everything will come naturally. But some things do, enough things do. The devotion came naturally. The commitment, the sacrifice, the reconstruction of my priorities to place them at the very top– all happened as soon as those miracles were placed in my arms.
And as a flawed, fallible human being, I know that I don’t need a cape or applause because my kids don’t need them either. They need me and I am here, almost always at home, doing my best to be a better version of myself.
Me, the introvert.