Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtapositions (in a stay at home mom’s life)

January 27, 2014 — 27 Comments
Karen and Jamie's prints

When Karen was 3 years old and Jamie only 6 months old (June 1998), I wanted to juxtapose their handprints. Jamie was too young to keep her hands open for the adventure, so her footprints had to do. By June of 2000, we had success.

I don’t recall a time when I didn’t want to be a mom.  A stay at home mom.  Of all my dreams and wishes, this was highest on the list.

For the past 19 years, I have been living this dream come true, and nothing can make a dent in my gratitude for having the privilege of raising my 2 daughters.

That gratitude doesn’t stand alone, however.  Right next to it has been a continually changing pile of complicated feelings.  The unbridled joy of birthing my first daughter was only slightly greater than the abject terror of being responsible for a newborn (my husband sincerely asked one of the nurses if she would come home with us!).  The constant hugs and kisses from my sweet girls didn’t satiate my craving for adult company.  The unbearable lack of sleep was worth every minute of nursing my second daughter in the quiet nights, knowing she was my last child.  The panic of letting my oldest drive away after she got her license was swiftly brushed away by the freedom of no longer being her chauffeur.  

There has been only one constant juxtaposition in all these years, one that ebbs and flows, but has grown very strong in the past 3 years: the absolute certainty that I am still called to be a stay at home mom clashing with the anxiety that I should be doing something more productive with my life.  Something more socially acceptable, that helps pay the bills, and feels more challenging.  That proves to the world I am not a slacker.

These arguments have been at a feverish pitch for over a year, and have fueled several of my posts, where I have referred to feeling like I need to Do Something.  I fear I’ve written too much about this and am annoying my readers (please forgive me!), yet I must process it every time it rises.   This juxtaposition is my teacher – challenging me to accept and make peace with my highest choice, even as it means I must delay other good choices.

Well, after processing this once again, I feel peace with my highest choice.  I know that I am still meant to be here, even though my girls have passed the age of capturing their handprints.


This post its part of The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition.  For some truly delightful juxtapositions, please check out:

sky blue with daisies

Travels and Trifles

Calamity Rae

Clicky Chick Creates





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27 responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtapositions (in a stay at home mom’s life)

  1. You are fortunate to be able to stay home to raise your children. If that’s your thing and you want to help your household financially think about being a foster parent. Or a foster daughter where you take care of a senior citizen.

  2. Love those little handprints….you’re a lucky woman. :)

    • You’re right, I am lucky. We have 7 other sets of hand(foot)prints from 7 other years – they’re very precious. Thanks for reading and commenting, Madelaine.

  3. Listen to your heart <3
    Well I know you do that anyway!

    • Yes, I do – although there is often a fair amount of arguing first!

      • I hear you! Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we’d just drop all the fighting ourselves! I think most people do it – there’s what’s really wanted, and then there’s all the “shoulds”. How simple life would be if we’d all just drop all the shoulds and do what the heart wants.

        • You are so right. The trick is that sometimes the heart wants different things, at least mine does, and then that gets tangled with the “shoulds.” I guess that’s why I keep going round and round with this issue – because it’s complicated. But that’s where meditation and being present comes into play, always centering me and bringing me back to my truth.

          I’m glad you’re following your heart. It blesses us!

  4. Hi Kelly, first, thanks for the lovely compliment and the pingback. Second, I love your choice for the photo challenge, the hand/foot prints are adorable and perfectly juxtaposed. And third, I can appreciate your quandry. Most of us who make a major change find ourselves wondering about our path. Don’t make yourself crazy. It’s ok to let yourself relax. You’ll find your way, even if it means just doing what you’re doing now! Good luck with the blog – you’ll get lots of good ideas from other bloggers too–wait and see :-)

    • Thanks for such a thoughtful response, Tina! You remind me of the statement “All who wander are not lost.” Well, I do feel lost a fair amount of time, yet it’s my nature to be a wanderer. And when I remember and make peace with that, I enjoy it! Thanks for the encouragement.

  5. Great post! And so true. No matter what we choose, there are always other choices. The challenge is finding what is best for our highest & greatest good, and then trusting. But that’s so hard to do! I suppose questioning is part of the process, though… makes sure we’re on the right path and stay there.

    • Yes, questioning and then remembering our highest values. All the while staying open and flexible. Simple, but not easy. Love your comment – thanks!

  6. What a precious picture of the lovely memories that family can create for us. And I went back and reread your post to the link Do Something – it helped me to remember that sometimes the best thing we can do is to just be! Needed that reminder, thanks!

  7. Fantastic art:-) Really wonderful I think!

    • Thanks, Kerlund! I really appreciate you coming to my blog and commenting, and I enjoyed your pictures for this challenge.

  8. Thanks so much for the kind words and shout out! You take on the prompt is lovely! And I totally hear you on the feeling conflicted aspect – I constantly struggle with that as a SAHM : ) I look forward to poking around your blog!

    • You’re welcome – I really did enjoy your pictures. Very fun! I actually should thank you for your post, because I had countless technological difficulties with my site during revisions, and I debated deleting the draft, but I pushed through because I had told you on your site that I was going to give you a pingback. I’m glad you liked my post – I think it helps when we know we’re not alone in our conflicts.

  9. I love this post, Kelly. I would really like to feature it on one of my upcoming shout outs on Momaste, if you don’t mind… I love how honest and real it is. For me, I always wanted to be a stay at home soccer mom with the mini van and everything, but it so happened that the man I love and committed my life to is an artist, so I also have to work full time to pay the bills. This is one of the hardest juggling acts I can imagine, and every morning when I leave my house it just feel. . . unnatural for me. On the flip side, if I had been the SAHM, like you, i am sure I would have craved the adult companionship and identity that a career can bring. .. so might as well be happy with what I’ve got right here, right? Anyway, Thank you for this post and for always lifting my spirits when you stop by at Momaste! xoxoxo.

    • Ooh, it’s fun seeing your picture on my site! It must be very hard leaving your kids every day, and I feel it in your posts. It must be very stressful, and I’m grateful I have never had to experience it.

      I wouldn’t change being a SAHM for anything in the world, but there are challenges to it that I never anticipated and therefore couldn’t have prepared for. But I’ve tried to recognize that these challenges are growth opportunities. Since I don’t always get the lesson, though, they keep coming back!

      I would be honored to have you feature this post on Momaste – thanks!

  10. Oh Oh, lovely lady – this is a page right out of my pages and pages of journal writing during my stay-at-home mommy years. From my lens, I send you huge hugs of understanding. The pressure you feel seems from an external source, or it was for me, and now I realize how much one can bask in the spaciousness of where you are once you turn the lens inward. If and when you decide to switch up your rhythm and role for what you “do”, you can choose that from a place of internal clarity and rightness of the moment and not from any external definition of your time and usefulness. I wish I could have relaxed into that more, then. Now, I see the organic unfolding that my life brought me away from that space and into a new space came with the most beautiful shifting tides which were only clear as they were happening. Does that make sense? when I needed to move into a new “thing” – it was abundantly clear and a natural next step. I send a shout out for the overlap of raising 2 daughters (I got a marvelous 15 BUSY years at home) – I relish that we share an overlap of experience here! Peace and joy to you, Kelly!

    • Well, you just made my day, marga. I think you get me, and I love you referring to the spaciousness of where I am. Yes, I feel the slightest breeze of spaciousness at times lately, and it feels so good (so refreshing!), yet I return to my crashing and thrashing of anxiety to do something different. Even as I know I am doing exactly what I should be doing! And, yes, that pressure is primarily external.

      However, I feel like I have always lived a life of duality, often manifesting through other people, yet also always within myself. I’ve always felt very responsible, yet desperately wanted freedom, I have an incredibly strong intuition that comes as knowings, yet fight them with my analytical mind – the list of oppositions could fill a book. That duality (and fight!) is at the core of my anxiety, and is repeatedly triggered by external forces.

      Yet, yes, that spaciousness is presenting itself to me these days, and it’s a precious gift. It brings peace for now, and trust that, if I honor what wants to happen now, the next best steps will be revealed exactly when they need to be.

      Namaste, marga. Thank you for blessing me.

  11. Their hand prints will forever be in your heart and memory. Beautiful take on the theme. A moving story of what all parents go trough. Thanks.

    • Thank you for visiting and commenting, and your words of affirmation. After reading some of your blog, I know you can relate, and I’m impressed by your commitment to your family. We must all make choices that honor who we are, but of course, we are complicated beings, so those choices aren’t always simple or easy. Blessings to you on your parenting adventures!

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