When I was a brand new mom, I wore the Stay-At-Home badge with quiet pride. I found that both camps of women were forever under attack so I chose to just own my own title and avoid talking about it at all costs.
One of the ways I personally judged, though, was to observe that there are stay-at-home moms and stay-at-mall moms.
In my naivety I made a very firm decision to be a stay-at-home mom.
I decided, as much as I hate to admit it now, that these other moms were in the wrong. They were off spending every penny their husbands were working to bring in. They were teaching their children to value materialism, running around all day and only breaking to pump their kids full of fast food.
Fast forward to now, three years later. The other day I made a negative comment about my mothering skills and Ryan said, "I think you are a GREAT mom who just doesn't get out enough."
It reminded me, for probably the 100th time, of how naïve I was at the time. I pictured every moment of motherhood being a gentle, blissful commercial moment shot right in the middle of my living room.
The reality is that sometimes I get stir-crazy. A lot of times my kids get stir-crazy. Sometimes being at home means seeing clutter or a laundry pile or a file cabinet I’ve been meaning to organize, then jumping into the task with both feet until I am annoyed and snap at my whining babies.
Sometimes we need to be at home. Sometimes the weather calls for it. Sometimes we can’t really walk anywhere and our frugal budget forces us to stay at home. But sometimes? Sometimes we need a break. Sometimes my little boy shouts, “Let’s have a ah-venture!” and I am like, “Yes! Great idea! Let’s have an adventure!”
Sometimes I am a stay-in-backyard mom. We kick a ball and we run around, gather brown compost materials and giggle while I push them in their truck.
Sometimes I am a stay-at-park mom. We sing songs and they kick their legs on the swing and I read to them while we picnic in the grass.
Sometimes I am a stay-at-bookstore mom. They play with the train table while I browse the nearby books and magazines, or occasionally even sip a chai latte.
If my town would allow it, I’d occasionally be a stay-at-aquarium or stay-at-zoo mom.
Sometimes I am a stay-at-library mom who enjoys a free shopping spree and whose kids get to run off some energy dancing around during the songs that accompany story time.
Sometimes, though my former self would scoff, we take a long indoor stroller walk or browse things we know we won’t buy because I am a stay-at-mall mom.
And that’s okay. In fact, it’s great.