Hello mamas! My name is Melanie. I’m a wife to a wonderful man, and we are going on five years together. We have two boys, ages 3.5 and 11 months. I’ve had the privilege of being able to stay home with our boys from the very beginning. It hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve had many moments of self-doubt in my role as a stay-at-home mom, but it was the right choice for our family for many reasons.
It doesn’t matter whether you work, stay home, or do some kind of hybrid or in-between — motherhood is no joke! And at the end of the day, it seems to me that self-doubt is a universal affliction of motherhood. It’s so easy to slight yourself and criticize the job you’re doing, or quickly compare your situation to that of another.
Just in case you haven’t said this to yourself today, YOU are the perfect mom for your children, and you’re doing a great job. Each time you go through the mundane, day-to-day menial stuff — you are loving your kids well. Did you give someone a bath last night? Drive someone to soccer practice? Did you take interest in your child’s day? Wash their dirty socks? Did you make someone a meal today? (This is a no judgment zone, so if it was mac ’n’ cheese or Cheerios, I still got your back! And I’ve done it too).
So now that we’ve introduced ourselves — I’ll get down to the nitty gritty.
Something that’s been on my mind lately is the idea of community — the kind of community that existed in the ’90s, and of course preceding the ’90s: You let your kid go outside, watch them knock on their neighbor’s door, and let them tear it up on your front lawn as they run through the sprinklers and play with the hose together. Or you host a very impromptu play-date with the neighborhood kids and feed everyone messy PB&Js in your backyard, not giving a lick if your table got sticky — because there’s a melodious hullabaloo of laughter and friendship, of a buncha’ sweet kids up in your home.
Anyway, I write about this idea of community because it’s something I long for deeply. It’s actually something I feel I’ve been chasing since I became a mother. And you know, I know I’m not the only one. You see, this motherhood thing — no one talks about the fact that it can feel lonely. It can feel scary. Little (or bigger) human lives are in our midst and under our care. Don’t underestimate the value of you, mama. Your kids need you — not the perfect you, because she doesn’t exist — but the best version of you. In order to do this thing well, we need to bring back the old idea of the village.
So let’s bring back the ’90s! Okay, we can’t do that. But, we can start to feel okay with the idea of being vulnerable with one another. Let’s create a genuine, authentic community.
Melanie Menon, her husband and two boys recently relocated from the Bay Area, CA. Melanie formerly worked in the mental health field and has been a stay-at-home mom for the last 3.5 years. She is fond of early bed times, wine, time with her husband, and Nevada sunsets. Melanie and her family look forward to planting roots and building community in Reno.