Recently, my husband and I sat together and talked about a variety of things. I mentioned feeling guilty because I don’t have a good schedule as far as cleaning and taking care of the kids even though I've been home for several months.

“But you’re home. You're  happy and so are our kids. That’s all I care about. We’ll figure it out.” He reassured.

I continued by saying that even though we’re still in this adjustment period, I love being home. Even on the worst of days when both kids are screaming or clingy and my patience is worn thin, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s still better than where I was before.

I feel pretty blessed to have been on both sides of the fence when it comes to being in or out of the home as a mother. I’m very glad that I did work outside of the home for three years because it gave me quite a bit of perspective.

Raising children is hard no matter how you do it.

It was hard when I had to get my little ones up early in the morning and get us all ready and out the door by 6:00. It was hard being away from them all day. It was hard rushing around in the evenings, scurrying to get dinner, racing from here to there. It was impossible to keep up with the house. It was hard.

Now that I am home, I see and understand what at home moms feel like. It is hard to be home all day long with needy, clingy little ones. It is hard to find a good balance between teaching and enriching my children and getting the house in order. It is hard to find a good time to shower, really. It is hard balancing the checkbook and worrying about coming up short. It is hard.

But as a mom at home, I know it could be a lot harder. It was a lot harder. When I was working I was in such a thick mental fog, I could hardly be the mother my children deserved. It was a turbulent and stressful time trying to juggle all those hats.

I’m glad I have that perspective because it keeps me balanced on the toughest days. I’m not much of a homemaker so there has been a bit of a learning curve for me in that department. When I’m scrubbing bathroom floors or wiping up crumbs for the hundredth time, I easily say to myself, “It could be worse.”

Sometimes it is nice to be on the other side of the fence for awhile. This cruel world offers a great deal of harsh judgment and little support, especially for mothers. Being on both sides has not only helped me with my own mothering journey, it has helped me be more supportive and less critical of other mothers around me.

The most valuable thing I've learned is that motherhood is hard no matter who you are or what you do. Still, there is plenty of joy in the journey.

Have you found yourself on both sides of the fence (be it motherhood or anything else)? What has it taught you?

Copyright 2012 Leanne Willen