Friday, February 1, 2013

You Have Value As A Mom

In all my time as an organizer of a moms group, I learned a lot.
Right now, one of the most valuable lessons for me personally, and one that I am struggling with myself, is that being a mom doesn't mean you are just a mom, you have value no matter who you are and what you do, or don't do.
When people would request to join our group, they are required to fill out a profile sheet of a few questions. The first thing on the list is an introduction.  It can be simple, but we do request that you actually put something about themselves.  So many times, women would come in and their introduction would read something like "Hi.  I'm Jane Doe, and before I was a Mom, I was a ...." It wasn't simple a way to let us know their interest.  It was as though they needed to let us know that they did something before becoming a mom, that with out that, they weren't a valid person.
I realized, after talking to so many moms over the years, that we so often lose ourselves when we become a mom, and forget how important we are.
When you become a mom, everything changes, especially if you quit the work force to stay home with your children.  When you do that, you lose touch with so many people, and what could easily be called "the outside world", meaning anything outside your home, or the scope of what revolves around your child.  Your day to day life is determined by the child's needs and schedule, not what you necessarily want.  If you let it, it can become very overwhelming to find your life so turned on it's ear.  Especially because, though you are raising a child, probably keeping the home, and all that, you often don't feel that you make a real contribution.  Your life feels like an endless cycle of the same thing.  It's like the old Dunkin Donuts commercial, and every day you wake to make the donuts, except your feeding the baby, changing the baby, cleaning the house, making lunches in the morning, etc.

For me, when we moved, I left everything behind.  I had a great moms group I ran.  I had a Girl Scout Troop I loved.  I had friends that are really more like family.  I loved the area.  I could go on, but I might cry.  So, I find myself back in that position, as if I were a new mom, just at home, with the baby.  I live by her schedule again, and end up cooking, cleaning ,and doing those kinds of things all day.  Part of me hates it.

The thing is, even if what you are doing is just feeding the baby, changing her, etc, you are making a contribution that is more than you can possible understand in that tired moment.  You have a job, though often a thankless one.  You are the toilet paper fairy, the dinner fairy, and every other fairy that makes things seem to magically happen for everyone else in your home.  You are the reason it goes on.  Without you, the house wouldn't run, the baby wouldn't be happy, and life would be even more chaos than it already is.
So, don't feel like you aren't making a contribution, because you are.  You will get your own outside life back.  Search online for groups of moms that you can hang out with, with baby.  Take her to the park and hang out.  Take her shopping and play with her.  Enjoy this moment because it won't last long.  There will be a day when you aren't needed at home in the same way anymore.   There will be a day when you long for the moments where you were "just" taking care of things inside.
Until, know that your contribution is invaluable.
You are awesome.
You are a mom, and there are few jobs in this world as hard and yet as wonderful and rewarding as that.