At the point of writing this, I have been a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) for 40 days, and in a nutshell…it is way more difficult than I thought it would be.

One thing that has really surprised me is that I have no time. It truly is a paradox. I should have tons of time!

But between taking care of two children, acquiring all cooking and cleaning duties (we used to have someone clean every other week and yes, I cried on her last day), and being more intentional with my health goals, it has been pretty tough to find time for the odds and ends of my to-do list as our move inches closer.

I have to admit, taking care of these kids has been a mental marathon. The last month has seen our family through both girls with the flu (nasty), a two year old that has started to understand the meaning of “terrible twos,” and an “independent” six year old that believes whining is an Olympic sport and is going for the gold!

One night I actually had to excuse myself to go scream into a pillow. Anyone have tips to minimize whining? Please let me know!

One of my massive motherhood struggles has been not feeling like I am truly present or cherishing the majority of my time with my kids. I have always been very type A, go-go-go, school, activities, chores… stuff needs to get done people!! And I believed if I could just be home full time, this ache to not miss my kids’ childhood would go away.

Well, it hasn’t. I still have mommy guilt, and I still have a hard time getting on the ground and just being with my kids.

I believe God has been convicting me that this is not due to my circumstances, but due to my perspective. My mindset, more than my schedule, is causing this feeling and it isn’t dependent on whether I work or not. I have to create new patterns of intentionality and choose to be present. I have found that speaking truth and rewiring my brain daily, sometimes hourly, has helped me develop the focus to soak in all the moments I can.

In the mornings now, I actually say to myself as a reminder: play with the kids, be patient, act with love, treasure them, the other stuff can wait. I am being more and more convinced of the power of our words.

Us moms are so hard on ourselves and the bottom line is that none of us are perfect. None of us can be intentionally focused for every minute of every day, and we for sure need breaks too (um… hello self-care!). The feelings of guilt, distraction, impatience will come; but choose each day to be the best you can be for your kids.

Whether you have to work, choose to work, work part-time, or stay home, we have been chosen by God to parent the specific children we have. No other person was chosen for the job. I’m raising the bar for myself on how and how much I interact with my two little ones – choosing to enjoy every smile, every hug, every messy face, every high five, and even bedtime – well, ok, on most days.