I’m small. I’m 4”9 and in 6th grade, I’m also 65 pounds, I’m small for my age. Its because I have fast or high metabolism. Having a high metabolism means your body burns energy from food at a faster rate than your peers. My mother keeps getting a letter for my school saying that I’m ”Underweight“. To be honest, its kind of annoying because its just the way that I’m built. They keep sending it to her. Its kinda hard at school to be short and small Continue reading “Small & Short”
I have taken for granted the ease and grace for which I handled the chaos, the first three years, of day-to-day life with twins. Not just life with twins in those first three years, but life with twin infants and a toddler. Keeping one child alive was one thing, but keeping a toddler alive and two infants was a whole new set of balls to juggle. My first two requirements were always met each morning: keep the kids alive and keep myself alive. Mom success and I was winning. The number one question my friends and new mom friends ask is, how did I do it. How did I get up everyday and maintain a positive attitude, not completely lose my shit, and still manage to raise three really incredible people? Continue reading “Put on Your Best Face”
If you would have asked me how life with twins would look nine and a half years ago I quite possibly would have broken down into a pool of tears. The feeling of reality pummeling me in the gut, wrenching my comfortable existence, instantly changing life with one child to three overnight. However, I found this little piece of the world called blogging as my outlet to share the adventure of life with twins by simply posting updates. The updates were a genesis to keep family far and wide up to date on the excitement and novelty of twins, but eventually our tales became so much more than just updates. Stories about how real life happens in the most simplistic to the depths of emotional turmoil that shape who we are and who our children are to become. So far, that is what life with twins – nine years later – has been for The Chad and I. Continue reading “Life With Twins – Nine Years Later”
Growing up everything was literally an “even Steven” sort of situation. The oldest of three children, the middle grandchild on my mother’s side, both my maternal grandmother and my mother were obsessed with making everything equal. If you want to know about equality these two ladies have the market cornered for equality among children. Everything was fair and square, from each penny spent on back to school clothes to lunches and even Christmas presents. Continue reading “Even Steven Fair and Square”
Multiples are such a curiosity; twins, triplets and higher order multiples always garner childlike questioning from adults. Over the years I have compiled many of these questions, to this day they still make me giggle. During the height of the whole Octo-Mom fiasco, people flocked to the twins and I like a moth to a flame. The gamut of vulnerable, obvious, sometimes silly and sometimes outrageous questions presented themselves to the marveling passersby. Here is my top list of questions from people (and parents) without twins ask parents who have twins and higher order multiples: Continue reading “Top Questions People Without Twins Ask Parents Who Have Twins”
When The Chad and I married I knew I wanted to have his children. Hell bent on exactly two children, one boy, one girl. My plan was flawless, as was my ideal for parenting these prophetical children. I made egregious assumptions on how I planned to parent my children, based on how I was parented as a child. Wanting more for my children, wanting more than what I received, wanting them to experience more than what I had the opportunity to experience. My ideals were laced with sprinkles of pride and entitlement, did you catch any of that? What I did not realize in my assumptions was how much I would eat my words and plans. What I did not realize is how much we have to practice parenting like physicians practice medicine.
Parenting is not something we have completed flawlessly when our children are born.
Speaking with my mother the other day I was given a most beautiful revelation into parenting. In one of our many heartfelt discussions about parenting and my childhood, I shared my vulnerable feeling of how I felt adopted. She [Mom] asked me why. I explained how I felt so out of place in our family since I was so different from my siblings. I was an enormous ball of emotion (still am), I feel everything I experience, my thoughts are my emotions and vice verse. I process and see the world differently, holistically, with all the moving parts and pieces foreseeing the downstream affects of each action with people and anticipating their feelings. Knowing my present self and my child self, I asked her why I was treated so differently. My mom explained how she was so unsure on how to deal with me, my emotions, my ability to communicate thoughts, feelings, and experiences. All of this was unexpected for her and appreciably overwhelming.
Sobbing began on my end of the phone, my inner child grieved with my parental self, grieved with my mother. How awful for my mom to be placed into a situation where she felt so helpless and inadequate to speak to her child. I felt how she must have felt, that my abounding will, overwhelming emotions and stark ability to communicate, outweighed her ability to feel adequate as a parent. She went on to explain how my intelligence, even as a small child, afforded me the amazing opportunity to figure out every situation on my own, so she sometimes left me to my own devices in that regard.
My mom made me so proud in such a somber moment. She had the ability to admit imperfections as a parent, she could tell me that we are not all perfect, we okay to not be perfect. We do not have the answers when we are faced with unknown situations and moments with our children where we just feel helpless and out of sorts, but we make do and love our children through the seasons. So when mom shared this naked parenting moment I could not help to clothe it in love and know exactly how she felt when you do not know what to do for your kids.
I know those moments. I know those imperfections. I know that child. I see her everyday in the faces of my children, in their hearts, in their emotions, their trains of thought. I meet my kids in those moments.
Parenting is trial and error. A learning curve. We are like physicians who are practicing an art in an evolutionary society that is moving much faster than we anticipated. Media, technology, communication, the temptations, the drivers and motivators, everything has far exceeded simpler times, the age of innocence is no more. Our children are thinking today in ways we never thought 20 or 30 years ago. They are exposed to a world where virtue is on the verge of extinction and quite frankly this scares the hell out of me. I’m barely chartering the boat as an adult, let alone comprehending how a child stays afloat in the drowning sea of advancement.
Just a few months ago The Chad found our oldest son conducting a truly innocent search on the internet which opened a Pandora’s box of images, experience and explanations we did not anticipate so early on in his life. At dinner the other evening my sweet baby girl asked how babies are delivered if you do not have to cut open the mommy; like when she was born. Explaining inappropriate touching and how people hurt children by touching their genitals was another conversation in our pool another afternoon. Adult topics and conversations in which we were unprepared and inexperienced to find the words, but met our kids in those moments to educate them.
So we practice gentleness, tact and timing of these very adult topics to be catered to our seven year old’s and 12 year old, respectively. Educating them and informing them in a fashion that does not deter them from experiencing life, prevent them from creating an established opinion (positive or negative) that would discriminate or be hurtful to themselves or others. We practiced preparing them for this evolving world, realistically.
We want to validate their emotions and thoughts which is often the most difficult of all our practices as parents. Dealing with our own baggage that we travel with into adulthood can be an albatross legacy for our children. Such as with my mother and myself. In her home, feelings were never discussed, felt, experienced, and or validated. The legacy she carried was much of the same. At no fault of her own, she only learned what her mother taught her and my grandmother’s mother taught her. My desire was to end the legacy of oppression so that myself and my children could continue to grow and leave a better legacy for their future.
As parents we are often unaware of our traveling suitcase of faults. Often others are quick to point out what we are doing wrong without the gift of grace to help us unpack our baggage. People are messy, that is not always a fault. Others are also quick to judge how we should be doing it as if they have the answers; the lovely armchair parents or second opinion parenting, our Monday morning quarterbacks. What we as parents and people forget, or fail to realize, is that raising children is not a one size fits all t-shirt. Each child is different, each life is different, each experience is unique.
For example, my three kids, I say I treat them all equally. I don’t. Bear with me while I unravel the story. Each of my children has their own gifts, their own personality, this can at time pose difficult when you have twins since everything in the early stages of their life was done in tandem. IÂ do, however, treat all of my children equally based on their individual needs as people.
G, my oldest, is like myself, a walking ball of emotion who’s mind could be met with that of Neil Degrasse Tyson with the way he thinks about the world. He stuffs down his emotions because he is a young man coming into his teens and because of his size. He is a tall, muscularly stout boy with the strength of an ox. My gentle giant. I constantly pray with him and affirm the safety of talking with his father and I about feelings, events, moments, so that he can be free with his emotions and thoughts because he has yet to find his words to elaborate some of what he has seen or experienced. I give him what he needs based on how he needs me as a mother, parent and adult. I cannot treat him as I do his siblings because he is a different child, so I practice strength, support and grace for a young man entering a season of great uncertainty as a tween and teen. Reminding him of his awesomeness and reinforcing that in life we are okay to be different.
Seth, my youngest son, is a river of words, thoughts, emotions, feelings, activity; he is a whir of flowing worry and joy. I constantly pray with him and affirm that he does not need to carry such a heavy burden as a young man, that he too can lighten his load because he has his words. I have to catch myself to ask him to stop talking, I do not want him to stop talking. The day he stops talking is the day I die because that is the day I experience him die inside as a person. His uncanny ability to communicate to myself, The Chad and others is so raw, so beautiful, world leaders could only learn from my verbose little boy. I practice with him the ability to be humble and admit I do not know or have the answers to all the questions he has of this world, but that we will find them out together. I give him the gift of listening because he needs an audience and needs affirmation of his words.
Finally, my baby girl, whom I deny is exactly like me. She is a most beautiful writer, illustrator and artist where her words, her feelings, become art. Her “mess” litters my house, miniature books about the experiences she has had in her tiny life, colorful drawings, paintings, scribbles and tape are found in every corner. I practice patience to try to keep as much of her art and her feelings, I never want her to lose the ability to create works from words, feelings, experiences and thoughts. Her strength, tenacity and independence are a great spirit I never wish to break, so I practice teaching her how to use these gifts so that she is not trying to figure it out in her late 30s and into her 40s. I give her the gift of praise that even when we do it wrong, we tried and we can learn from the unbridled passion and spirit for life and expression.
Writing this I realize I am all three of my children as I practice myself to be a productive adult, loving child, and decent parent. Stuffing down my own feelings of insecurity and worry if I am doing this parenting thing right. Using my words as they flow from my mind, my mouth and they become art. I practice parenting so that my children will become better people in spite of me, not in spite of my upbringing. Just as a physician is skilled in his expertise, he continues to practice to get better. I practice parenting as a mom that wants my children to have more and experience more not because of my selfish desires or pride, but because they deserve more and want more for themselves. The practice of parenting is so that we can become better people for our children, ourselves and they too can become better people.
I was talking with my friend Joie the other day and I couldn’t help be taken back to the last seven years of my life. Tripping over those years of nostalgia I pondered where the time went. Today as I look over and I see two individuals, different yet similar, completely independent yet reliant on the other. Continue reading “Surviving Twins The First Year”
This week The Chad traveled yet again for work. A trade show in Tampa, really rough gig; shaking hands and kissing babies to the various vendors and clients. While this week is really no different from any other time he travels I personally am feeling rather “under the weather” to say the least, call it a funk. So in true fashion of a funk, my loving children have decided this is the week to test every boundary, push every limit, skirt every envelope. At the end of the day I just don’t have anything left. I hit the bed at 8:30 every evening and praise the Lord for that moment. Quiet. In that quiet I contemplate what am I doing wrong in raising my children, I judge myself in my solitude. Am I not stern enough? Hard to believe, I am a ball buster….or maybe I’m not with my kids. Maybe I am not nice enough? Should I raise my voice? I am not a screamer or one to yell, but maybe I could raise my tone another octave, that should do it right? Am I really being a good parent?
Struggling on where I am going wrong, I dismantle my parenting, myself and judge my ability. Even though I have small winning moments where I think I am doing things right when my children pray before dinner, thanking God for the nourishment of the food, thanking Him for their siblings, parents, grandparents, great grandparents; they show the most amazing kindness and love for strangers, exuding a strength in their quest for equality, standing up for what is right. All to be toppled upon by the simple act of defiance and disrespect towards me, I judge myself harshly in that moment. Am I really doing parenthood right?
Looking at professional fields, they seem to provide some form of training and formal education. Becoming a doctor is an arduous task with over eight years of schooling, then residency, all before landing at a local health facility. Annual training, certifications, re-certifications, more conferences, more training; I am always amazed at level of education and continuing education provided to professional fields. We often judge the accomplishment of a practicing physician based on their training and accolades, awards scattered throughout the office. One professional field I believe is always the most neglected is the parent. Scoff all you want, however I feel that this career path, because this is a lifelong career, provides the least amount of resources yet is judged and evaluated the most harshly. I stumbled across an article this week about how inhumane parents are to let a child cry themselves to sleep and learn to self soothe. When I hear inhumane I often think of the ill treatment of pets and not the ill treatment of children, to which I would correlate the word abuse as opposed to inhumane. I suppose someone was trying not to upset their readership. Why do we have such intense training and rigorous standards for the paid career paths but we lack proper training and education for the job of parenting, the basis for the future of humanity. We judge and criticize the ability to parent as if there is some grand handbook and training we are provided before, during and after birth.
At best, my first round of training came from a deaf nurse who groped my breasts shortly after I birthed my oldest son to show me how to properly feed my child and that if I didn’t breast feed I was a failure. Spectacular. Bar one had been set in my quest for perfect parenthood. Along came many other milestones, coaching from others who were clearly far more superior in their parenting, strangers in parking lots, Costco’s and even friends who had yet to rear children. All of which afforded me nothing, but more feelings of failure and made me question my ability as a parent, was I really going about this all wrong?
Where did the criterion for perfect parenting come about? Basic common sense tells me that we want the best for our children. Treat them with love, respect, no malice; we want to comfort them and ensure their safety, encourage their growth and development mentally, emotionally, physically. Somehow we don’t provide any basic training to parents on their emotional involvement of parenthood. At 25 when I became a first time mother I can look back now and think of how unprepared I was for the spirited toll to raising a child, a strong intelligent child, then add strong, intelligent twins later in life. The true meaning of double trouble. Our society has reared an ugly head in recent days that certain actions could be perceived as abuse, even called out for such actions when no harm or malice was displayed to the child.
Take for instance the new phenomenon of children who are left to play outside by themselves without adult supervision. Apparently this is the newest form of child abuse, to let your older children roam their neighborhoods on bikes and on foot to explore and play with their friends. The application of imagination is completely devoid, we must hold our children hostage to our homes. The daft choice of letting a child under the age of six (more specifically age two) roaming neighborhoods and parks unattended, this is unacceptable and a result of poor education, poor choices, and an invitational extreme where other parents (or people) take a singular event and are applying house arrest to all children. Even children who understand right and wrong and who have been afforded such freedoms to be about their neighborhood are at risk of confinement. Myself, I have let my children run like a gang of hellions. Each armed with their bicycle, helmet, and knowledge of our neighborhood and its inhabitants, their imagination the fuel for such adventure.
Call me reckless but I see a great joy and freedom for my children to be about their community, that the neighbors know my children, we have an understood respect for one another that in the event one of our children is injured or in need we would call to come to their aid. Not call the authorities. Humanity.
So why do we judge parenthood and create such unobtainable standards when we have no apparent bar for metrics? If we do have a temperature why is it that when I Google “parenting classes” and “education on becoming a parent” each result yielded advocacy, abuse prevention and my personal favorite, consultation. Not a single result offered simple classes on dealing with emotional tolls, psychological tolls, coping skills or even basic diaper changing. As a parent I judge myself with the utmost harshness, the last I need is some other parent with similar, or less than adequate coping skills determining my quality as a parent.
I berate myself on how poor of a job I must be doing as I compare myself to some imaginary standard. I tear myself down that I am not doing enough. I don’t volunteer enough in class. I don’t provide sushi in their box lunches on Fridays. I do not always read to my children. I do not always save my children, aid and abet them in a time where they need to learn for themselves how to complete a task and understand the value of singular or team effort. I guess I am not doing this mothering thing right. I must be a horrible mother for subjecting my twins to the walk in cooler at Costco when they were infants, in order to purchase organic milk, because I should have left them with the strange woman who accosted me before entering. I must be a horrible mother for loving my children unconditionally, no matter what choices they make and guiding them with love as they struggle emotionally. I must be a horrible mother by limiting screens in their lives and forcing them to play outside. I must be a horrible mother for wanting more for my children. I must be a horrible mother for waking early each morning to make my children’s lunches because I choose not to subject them to the poor food standards of public schools. I must be a horrible mother for enforcing rules and issuing personal restraint to not yell, scream, or inflict physical or emotional harm.
God help me that I am broken. God help others that they are broken too.Â By no means am I perfect, while I strive for improvement everyday, raising my children a different way than my parents, raising the imaginary bar. Parents, even people who are not parents, should be reminded that we are doing the best we can with the tools in which we have been provided. Some have become parents way before their intended time and were not even prepared for adult life let alone the responsibility of a child as they were still a child themselves. Others are dealing with truly unique situations, because parenting is not a one-size fits all standard. We tend to blanket or umbrella the imaginary parenting standard across anyone who has taken on the role as parent, blinded by the individuality that may exist and applying our standards or the imaginary standards to everyone.
Sometimes I wonder if we should apply the career of physician to parenting. Practicing medicine; practicing parenthood. Doctors do not always have the answer, nor are they the utmost authority. As technology and information progresses they[physicians] conduct themselves in an improved manner. Maybe parents should be gauged in the same fashion. As information is shared and provided in a manner that is loving and helpful we can continue to practice to be better, ending previous cycles of bad operations, seeking enlightenment and not entitlement. Instead of prancing around in a demonstrative manner of our accomplishments.
Being a parent is not easy. Issuing myself mental lashings to be feared by the most nefarious villains. How different parenting would be if we banded together as a community. Lifting each other and speaking life into one another and supporting each other as opposed to applying our personal judgment of the other. Unbeknownst to their battle, their struggle, their situation. Being a good parent is not something we learned before we had children, I am finding being a good parent is something I work at each day, with no manual, no formal education, no training. So the next timeÂ you think to judge a parent, consider what tools, education, training you received or maybe the ones they did not receive. Maybe offer that parent a moment of assistance or a friendly smile, pay forward practicing humanity instead of practicing judgment.
Prayer is a powerful tool, Amen. While I was dressing today, I realized how prayer has really transformed many of my life events. My most recent prayer was to escape the confines of my ever oppressive boss….and then I was fired.Â Prayer answered. Needless to say God has a way of keeping us on our toes with answering prayer. I began to timeline my prayers and how God is working in my life and that of my children. Only thinking about this topic as my grandmother posted a wonderful article to my Facebook timeline and from my recent attendance at a women’s conference. Over the years I never really stopped praying. Despite the fact that I did not welcome the divinely love of God and his son Jesus, I still managed to say prayers here and there, you know, being spiritual and karma and all. For years I prayed to become a mom, asking God, very specifically to allow me to become a mom and to be pregnant with twins so that I can “get it over with.”
As I mentioned earlier, He has a way to keep us on our toes, and specificity plus repetition equals passion. Oh did I have a lot of passion to become a mother. For three years I prayed. I prayed and prayed, I threw pennies in wishing wells, baited those same pleas on falling stars, you name it. Until one day in 2007, many years after I had prayed and after I had already birthed my oldest child, God answered my prayer to become pregnant with twins. God also answered me to become a mother.
I know this makes no sense considering my oldest was toddling and on the verge of entering kindergarten by the time my twins arrived in 2008, but I did not feel like a mother despite carrying him in my belly for ten months and delivering him in 2003.
For those early years I struggled to still be me. I struggled to be a mother. What is being a mom anyway? I changed my sons diapers, I fed him, rocked him, I loved and still love him with all my heart, I provided for him. Somehow I did not feel like I was a mother, I did not feel like mom. Going about my day-to-day I did not dwell on this feeling, but I know it nagged at my soul. Praying for strength, praying for wisdom, praying for the crying to please stop so I can sleep and praying for him to be potty trained so I could stop changing diapers. But those prayers went unanswered, for a bit, because I had the specificity and repetition to ask to become a mother. I asked for twins. I asked to get it over with. As I said, I asked for years because I struggled to get pregnant. God answered my prayer, my many prayers within a prayer.
In 2008 I delivered Seth and Sara via c-section in the throes of cold and flu season. My stint in the hospital was lonely, even though The Chad came to visit I did not have G with me to share in the love and experience of his new siblings. I could not talk with him and I could not share with him all of the happenings. I could feel his fear and sadness on my heart. At that moment I knew I had become a mom. I could feel the love transcend time and space for all three of my children. I knew my place in their life, I knew what they needed, I knew how they felt, I knew their voices, and I knew I was a mother. God answered my prayer to become a mom and to have twins, admittedly one boy and one girl and when I prayed to “get it over with” well that landed squarely on The Chad when he got a vasectomy.
Short of sounding crazy, delivering my twins changed my life in many ways; I stopped acting like a mom and became one. I was so busy trying to act like a mom and trying to be a mom. I was not grasping that being a mom, wife, and woman was all one person. I thought I had to sacrifice a part of myself , sacrifice one of those people to be the other. We talk about sacrifice as a parent that we would do anything for our kids, but a selfish part of us cannot let go completely. The sacrifice is that we let go of who we used to be, our former selves before parenthood. My evolution allowed me to let go…completely. I let go the ideal that this was about me and what I did for them and I accepted that this was about Him, them, and what I did for all of us in the name of love. Inconveniences of the kids bickering was not about their fight, but more about what was at the root of the argument between my children. The whining was no longer an inconvenience to my mood, but about showing my kids to speak assertively, stating what they needed and I was here to help fulfill their needs. Respect was no longer about what was right and if they liked the individual, myself included, but respect became about love, that respect is love.
God had a plan for me. His plan was more about self discovery, sacrifice, and above all else love. Today I pray for my children and their plans. I pray that He guides them in His divine plan and that He shows them the same humor he has bestowed upon me. I also pray for other moms. I pray for dads. I pray for those mothers who want to be moms without holding onto who they think they have to be rather than who they are becoming. I pray for those dads to become fathers and love their children without regret. His plan just happened to be different from my plan and the way I prayed to be a mom.
Our current economic atmosphere has evolved a new breed of a stay at home parent. Formerly mothers were the primary care givers in the home and the most likely proponent to attend PTO meetings, running the kids to sports activities, and doing the household upkeep. Homes used to be comprised of a working father and stay at home mother, very a-typical, very “Cleaver-esque,” very reminiscent of ourÂ grandparents, possibly our parents of theÂ baby-boomerÂ era. The idolization of the American dream of a stay at home parent to raise our children and the other parent in the workforce, “bringing home the bacon.”Â However, as aforementioned, the weather has shifted and as a society, more and more dads are in the home world heading up the household at her core. Now mom is the one who is bringing home, and sometimes, frying up the bacon too.
Yet how much credit is afforded to these men who collide head on with the “stay at home” job? Men are men, and they do not have the sameÂ nurturingÂ and caring as women do who often take to the stay at home career much more gracefully. Not to say fathers and men cannot be as effective, I am only indicating that the vagina is anÂ upper-handÂ in the soft touch of caring for a home and family. But again, who is to say that a man cannot keep his hardened parenting style as the brute force in parenting, and carry on a softness and tenderness that emanates greatness in our children.
My husband is one of these men. He is my hero. He was formerly a manny. A slapstick reference to his job by calling himself a male nanny (manny) where he was and isÂ much more than that. Gifted with a layoff leaving him unemployed, we thought to only be temporary, has become a full-timeÂ opportunity that has afforded him time with our children that fathers are not oftenÂ privilegedÂ to experience. He wakes with them in the morning, they ask for him at bed for good-night story time, and they are all different people, The Chad included, because of the power of daddy. Many men “claim” to be a stay at home dad, where mom works in the home and dad happens to stay at home and claim to be a care taker, but really he is a glorified babysitter, not a true parent, not a true parental caregiver, nurturer. I say that very cavalier because these men are aware they lack the nurturing gift of fatherhood, a gift and art learned only through precious time spent with their children. Face it, most dads fumble with the kids only because mom comes in and takes over, rules the roost, puts out any fires and calms all the storms. Moms have only learned this by experience, gifted again with precious time with the children, the nurturing that begins from womb to breast as we hold our babes tightly. Men have a different experience and much different than the woman’s, so some detachment can be expected, they do not have 40 weeks of bonding prior to delivery.
I say that men fumble because they do, at no fault of their own. I commend any dad who will spend alone time with his children sans mom. Sans a woman of any sorts to jump in with maternal instinct to care and nurture and fix the errors dads should be afforded to make when adventuring through parenthood, fatherhood. Ladies how many times have you bitched, moaned, groaned or carried on because dad served up peanut butter and jelly for dinner and didn’t prepare the three course meal topped with sparkling water in a clear glass tumbler? I have a few small words for you if they have done this – FUCK YOU and of course GET OVER IT. Admittedly you know you have had moments of weakness where a full meal was not served, you have half assed the house keeping, or best yet, you ponied up to hire a housekeeper because “you don’t have the time” or “the energy” or flat out you cannot handle the way your husband handles the housekeeping for you because its not “your way.” I pity you for your coarse and selfish behavior. I pity you for not appreciating a man who is willing to be that bigger man and take on a traditional feminine role for the greater good of the family unit. Given any amount of time men glide through the home calming any household storm, simmering a sibling bickering bout, and giving to his wife with the truest love and affection money cannot buy.
I could not be more blessed and more honored for my husband and all his struggles to take on his role as a true daddy in our house. We will be able to look back on these years and be thankful that each of us was afforded time to be home with our kids and watch them grow in different phases of their lives; no one ever knows how rewarding being a stay at home dad or a stay at home mom job really is until they have done it. We will never regret any sacrifices and or struggles during this time because we gave of ourselves to our children, selflessly and with the utmost love.