“Aren’t you bored staying home with your kids all day?” I was surprised by the number of people that asked me this once I became a mother. I usually responded with, “I guess that depends on the mom. We all get to choose what we think about.”
And it’s true.
Boredom has little to do with our lot in life, and a lot more to do with choosing to think about interesting things. Folding laundry is pretty boring, but not when I’m thinking about something important and interesting. The monotonous aspects of stay-at-home mothering have actually gifted me more space to explore the things I’m interested in.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard a mother say — or maybe even said yourself — that she’s lost herself. That she regrets losing her identity to motherhood. This seems linked to the boredom question, because again, this is a product of what we do in our minds. What we choose.
I thoroughly enjoyed dating, and that was a big part of my life in my early 20s. Now that I’m married, I date only my husband. Have I lost myself? In high school I lived for the 400-meter race in track & field. Have I lost myself, or was that a wonderful time in my life that has now been replaced by something else?
This boring, lost life some of us call motherhood might actually be our most interesting, useful life. If we choose interest and curiosity over boredom, we just may uncover a spark that sets a fire of passion in us, where we feel more “ourselves” than ever before. Before children, I knew and cared little about nutrition or the body. Something about motherhood lit a fire in me and now I’ve been to conferences on nutrition and I’m taking an in-depth class on first aid, all so I can better care for my family and friends. Have I lost myself, or have I uncovered a deep interest I never knew was there?
Still feeling bored and lost?
Start here: think about what you fear as a mother. Do you fear it because you don’t understand it, or you know you’re not prepared for it? What can you learn about that fear? How can you prepare for it? And poof! You have something meaningful and interesting to think about.
There is monotony, and my children do indeed cramp my style, and when I focus on those things, resentment pours in. When instead I focus on the things I’m free to learn about because of this unique time in my life, everyone is uplifted. Mamas, let the gift of our children inspire us to learn. Each moment spent learning, even for the benefit of others, will only brighten and enrich our lives, and in turn, the lives of our children.