We hear the above saying all the time – It’s a reminder that sometimes what we see as good may not always be the case. As a stay-at-home-mum or SAHM, Mabel shares her thought during one of that personal heart to self moments when the grass, for a few irrational moments, really does look greener on the other side.
Last night, as I cradled my baby boy, I silently cursed myself.
Everyone else in the house was asleep and rightly so. After all, it was 12:30 am and I was feeling the pain of having to handle a fussy baby who was going through a baby growing spurt. I rushed through dinner only to end up being imprisoned in the dark alone with a baby who didn’t want anything else but to be carried, gently rocked and sung to. All this time, mind you, everyone else could take their time with dinner, watch a movie and prepared for bed.
My energy and spirits were low, leaving me to wonder… “How in the world did I ever end up in this mess? What on earth possessed me to fight to the tooth to be a SAHM when I could be enjoying life as a full-time working mum?”
And yet, deep down inside, I knew why. Life – when you seemed to have hit rock bottom as I was last night – often is the case of how the grass looks greener on the other side.
I remember feeling the same way – but for very different reasons – when I was working full-time. After having taken care of Eva for a good nine and a half months, I was reluctant to hand over my reins to a babysitter. But I didn’t have a choice. We needed the extra income and so I joined some of my “full-time working mum” peers. In the beginning, it felt good – the time one has to enjoy meals, trips to the toilet, some adult interaction and well, things that are sorely missed when you are a SAHM.
A few months later, I clashed with the babysitter and therein, realized that being a full-time working mum has its drawbacks. You relinquish certain rights when you pass on the duties of childcare to someone else. You have to learn to close one eye to many things. Most of all, you learn to swallow the pain of time lost – all those times when your child does something awesome or says something cute. When I started questioning the logic behind being a full-time working mum, I was reminded gently about all those crazy moments I had when I was a SAHM.
Crazy moments like how I couldn’t even go to the toilet without Eva crying – I had to put her in front of the bathroom in order to relieve myself or shower and even then, I had to shower in record time. Crazy moments like how I cuddle Eva for hours at end and took her for bus/train rides during her first teething episode – she wanted to be carried, refused to nap, was fussy and weepy. Crazy moments like how I was glued to the chair in her room for hours at night, breastfeeding her.
These weird “wishes” that seem to be illogical and often contradictory is perhaps one of the few ways I retain my sanity. Wanting to escape from responsibilities for a breather is not unusual or wrong. The way I see it, it is perfectly human. I am not perfect and motherhood – especially to a toddler and a newborn – is not an easy feat. I can see that now. With every child, something is always different and for that brief fleeting moment, I wish that life wasn’t always like this – revolving only around diapers, children activities, breastfeeding, and so forth. Fatigue, lack of sleep and well, sometimes even lack of food can wreak havoc on one’s system. That topped off with a seemingly unfair lifestyle of a spouse, well, it is enough to drive any sane mother insane.
Then when this whole “grass is greener” wave and moment of insanity pass, I stare down on the cherubic face belonging to the baby in my arms and it hits me…
I would never really give up this life, no matter how greener the other side looks!