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The up’s and down’s of a stay at home mom

So here’s the deal. For the past two months I’ve been a mess. I’ve been trying to organize my life. I’ve  been dying to hang on to relationships that seem impossible to rekindle. I’ve been filling my to do list with random things that don’t REALLY need to get done. I’ve been over committing to lots of projects and people. And I finally had a big, fat, giant breakdown about a week ago. I mean, I literally thought I was pregnant due to the stress and hormones I was feeling. 

I have a really hard time with being content. I am being honest here. Here’s the thing: I am a stay at home mom, and I chose to be. I wanted to spend time taking care of my daughter, household, and supporting my husband. I knew at the time that for a season I’d be saying no to a paycheck, saying no to a ton of independence, and would battle the idea of what my new role and identity would be. After changing poopy diapers all day no one says- “Hey, you should get a raise! You are excellent at changing diapers!”. So I tend to find a ways to over commit my time and resources so that I feel accomplished! It is really backwards. 

I cried  at how I am feel mediocre at everything I do. I tried to make pancakes on Father’s Day and they turned out disgusting. Which made me cry about how I intended to play the guitar (and it hasn’t left the closet in over a year)… which reminded me of how I hadn’t worked out in a long time… which made me feel all gross and ugly.

But you know what? I can’t have it all. I cannot be the best at everything right now. It’s literally not possible (even though Pinterest likes to tempt us so). I only have so much time and right now my desire is that it would be filled with the important, eternal things. I realized how selfish I had been. I also realized how easy it is for my priorities to get out of whack when I am comparing myself to other people. When I prayed about my life and stepped back, I realized the solution is very simple. I needed gratitude for my situation, to spend more time daily with God reminding me of truths and changing beliefs in my heart, and to simplify my life so I have time to tend to these important things. 

This morning Brian and I worked out in our backyard. I filled the kiddy pool with water for Lillian to splash in. Well, she wanted IN- all the way in. Of course. So I took off her clothes. When her diaper hung down to her knees I decided it was time to take it off. She was a naked baby, having a ball. I threw my plans out the door for the next two hours and watched her run around in total delight, butt naked. She was running through the sprinklers, tossing rocks, and rolling around in the grass. There is something about watching a naked baby running around that let’s down your guard.  I walked into our house (which I had just tidied up) and saw toys and food and clothes and movies covering our living room floor. And the thought hit me: these are the sweetest days. The days when dirty socks and sippy cups remind me that the most precious moments are near me. I have all I need to be fulfilled. I don’t need a stellar social life right now. I have a toddler who wants to talk babble to me like there is no tomorrow. This is so fleeting and beautiful.

Why is chaos so scary? Why do I try so hard to organize chaos and box it up into a pretty package? Chaos can be so lovely, wild, and freeing. Running with the wind, being ready for change, and living life at the edge of my seat is a privilege I get to live right now. Seasons come and go. I find we are always looking forward to the next. Pumpkin lattes in the fall. Christmas carols in the winter. Flowers blooming in the spring. Each season reminds us of the season the year before. Sweet memories and scents we long to recreate. I want to be better at enjoying the season I am in, because I know I will deeply miss it when it comes to pass. 

This is my life now. It is difficult to raise a toddler. It takes sacrifice, a ton of patience, and a vision for the future. Yet there are so many funny, once-in-a-lifetime moments that happen in my home each day. I love my baby girl more than I could have ever imagined. She fills my heart with so much joy and happiness it is crazy! It is fun being a parent and watching my husband tickle her and his face light up around her. He loves that little girl, too. Being a parent has been the most fun, enjoyable thing I have done yet, worth every sacrifice.

I long to be present and content where I am at, knowing that it is the simple things- the smell of my baby after a bath, the look on her face after seeing her first bubble, hearing “mommy” for the first time- that I will look back on with fondness forever. The socks, toys, and silly cups won’t be there forever. Cleaning up is easy. Being present to sit down with my kiddo and love on her takes intentional living. I won’t remember how dirty my house was. I’ll remember how much love was inside it.

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  • Reply Tamara @ The Workout Mama

    I loved this post! Thank you thank you so much for sharing! As a new mom I feel the need to try and do it all, so thank you for the reminder to sit back and enjoy my baby!

    July 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    • Reply Tiffany Cutcliff

      Thanks Tamara! I am so glad you enjoyed it. I was afraid I was being too honest or negative- lol. 🙂

      July 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm
  • Reply Ginny @ Buttergirl Diaries

    Great post! I can totally relate and I don’t even have kids. I find that I am also trying to rekindle friendships (even family member relationships) that are fading. It’s hard to keep up relationships when you get older. I find that for some people it is easier but for me its harder. I don’t trust a lot of people as I get older and don’t like to OVER commit to getting together and going out. Sometimes I want a lot of fiends and then other times I’m like, “meh, i’m good” It’s weird.


    July 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm
    • Reply Tiffany Cutcliff

      I am so glad you can relate! Doesn’t it sometimes feel like we are all alone? It is SO hard to maintain friendships the older I get. I totally understand. Thanks for commenting! You all made me feel a little more sane!

      July 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm
  • Reply Sha

    Beautifully well written! I appreciate your honesty. I don’t have kids but I understand the concept of the struggle of finding balance. Especially when we’re so connected to one another and social media contributes to making everyone else’s life seem so much better than our own. Enjoy the richness of these days!

    July 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm
    • Reply Tiffany Cutcliff

      Thanks Sha! Balance is so hard. Social media does not help. I appreciate your comment!

      July 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply Jessica Knoetzel

    SUCH a great reminder! Seriously, thank you! I feel like this all the time. I’m a stay at home mom as well and there are days (most days)… everyday… that I feel like the house is never clean and I’m behind on laundry and I have work on the computer to do. But like you said these are the sweet days.. and I have a toddler and a baby who wants to play with me and spend their time with ME, the toys can always be picked up later! Very, very real reminder. <3

    Jessie @ Jessie Jo At Home

    July 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm
    • Reply Tiffany Cutcliff

      So glad to hear Jessica! I am so with you… it is so hard to juggle it all! I am so happy to hear your experience is similar.

      July 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply the florkens

    Such a beautiful post. Although I am not a mother yet, it was a startling reminder that I too need to slow down and enjoy what is in front of me. My wedding is fast approaching and somedays I get so carried away with worrying about the little details, or when we’ll buy a house, or pinning DIY projects for said house that we don’t yet own, oh yeah — and pinning nursery ideas for babies which are not yet in progress! Sometimes, I put the cart so far ahead of the horse that I forget to relax and realize that these days are special. There will be a day that I long for a quiet evening watching a movie on the couch, surrounded my love and my fur-children without worries of rooms that need repainting or babies that are crying in the next room. Whatever stage of life we are in, it is always a good reminder that it will end. That doesn’t mean that the one won’t also be exciting and awesome — but just to slow down and enjoy the current one because it won’t happen again.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Launching 8.1.13

    July 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm
    • Reply Tiffany Cutcliff

      How neat that you are already considering this! So cool. Congratulations on the wedding! What an exciting time! Thank you so much for your comment! What a lovely reminder you just shared!

      July 16, 2013 at 7:45 pm
  • Reply Christiana Marie

    Thanks for your honesty! You are working in the most important job of all:) be encouraged!!

    July 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm
    • Reply Tiffany Cutcliff

      It is the most important job! I totally agree! Thanks Christiana!

      July 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm
  • Reply Shannon

    I could have written this post myself. I have been dealing with the same emotions. I love honesty in blogs, thanks for being open about being a stay at home mom. It is difficult sometimes but we are so incredibly lucky at the same time. That is hugely important to remember. Our job is one of the most important too! I wrote a similiar post this month.
    Naked babies are the cutest too!


    July 16, 2013 at 4:19 pm
    • Reply Tiffany Cutcliff

      Oh man! Thanks for sharing! I will check out your post. Thanks again, these comments really make my day.

      July 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm
  • Reply Megan. OneFifteenDanville.

    This is beautiful! It is exactly what I needed to read today. 🙂

    July 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm
  • Reply Mary D

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    July 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm
    • Reply Mary D

      Oops, didn’t mean to delete that…let’s try this again 🙂

      Love this! I can totally relate and this was just what I needed to see today! You are right, we will remember the moments- not the messy houses. Although, I would also like to have someone once in a while praise my awesome diaper changing skills 😉


      July 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm
    • Reply Tiffany Cutcliff

      Haha no worries I have totally done that! Thanks! I know right (about the diapers!?).

      Take care!


      July 16, 2013 at 7:49 pm
  • Reply Sarah @ The Not Quite Military Wife

    So beautifully written. This is important to remember for all mothers out there!

    July 16, 2013 at 8:37 pm
  • Reply Marta Vodrey

    I guarantee you’re doing a FABULOUS job. I hear ya though it’s all tough at times, but definitely ALWAYS rewarding.

    Well said 😉


    July 18, 2013 at 12:17 am
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