03/11/2015 06:04 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

I Don't Like Being A Stay-At-Home Mom, and That's OK

When I got married, I went the way of many girls. First comes love, then comes marriage and so on. I was 19 and didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life. So I did what I thought I probably should do: bore children and stayed home to take care of them.

But after about a year of parenthood, I started really struggling with being a stay-at-home-mom. I think it's a great thing for those who love it. But, I don't love it. I don't really even like it. It's OK because I love my kids and my husband, but as far as being a stay-at-home-mom goes, well, the job and I are not best friends.


To me, it's like being stuck in a career that I dislike, but can't quit. The problem started with the fact that nobody told me how challenging it can be as a stay-at-home-mom. I understood the general idea of stay-at-home-parenting and saw my mom do it all growing up, but had no idea what it would actually entail. And I know that's true for most jobs, but a job that requires your 24/7 attention should come with a clearer mission statement, as far as I'm concerned.

Being a stay-at-home-mom is hard. Period. There's no way around it. If you want your kids to be happy and healthy, you have to spend loooong days dealing with their various bodily functions, reading them books, feeding the little animals, cleaning up after them, all on top of a thousand other daily requirements.

Amongst all that, I just could not find the happy moments mothers need in order to continue caring for their children. So, a few years back I wondered what could be done about my super low morale at work. I decided I needed to do something outside the home (school, a job, anything), so I decided to join a gym with daycare to get my body healthy and have time for myself. That's how I found Karve.

Karve is a barre fitness studio. I was hooked after my first class so I started working in an office capacity there as trade for classes. After a couple months of that, someone suggested I teach it myself so I trained for it and now, I have been an instructor there for two years.

That, my friends, is how I am still alive and still with my family. For whatever reason, being a stay-at-home-mom is not fulfilling to me. It's probably because I'm just no good at it. The job doesn't come naturally to me. I love my family, but taking care of my children as my soul purpose for living has never been an easy pill for me to swallow. I find more meaning and validation by working outside my home, teaching people something I that love, than in making my children breakfast.

This is not to belittle those who do find purpose and meaning as stay-at-home-moms. I admire and envy those women. I would love for the thing that I have to do be the thing that I love to do. But it's not, and that's OK.

I feel lucky that I was able to find an outlet because the years prior felt very pointless and frustrating. It seemed like I could love my children, but not enjoy them one bit. Now that I have some space and feel more purpose with my life, I can enjoy them, and my time at home, so much more than I ever did.

How do you feel about being a stay-at-home-mom?

Read more from Melanie on her blog, Melanie Meditates.
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