“How are things going since you’ve stopped working?” My true answer is loaded and complicated, but to put it simply, “Fine!” I’ve learned a lot over these past four (+) months since I stepped away from working.
First, I’ve learned how hard it was to be a working mom. In some ways, what I’m doing now is much easier. I won’t say that I ONLY have to focus on spending time with Palmer, but the pressures of working a corporate job are no longer there and the stress of managing a team and students is also gone. My hat truly goes off to working parents who also maintain life at home…don’t even get me started on you gals who are working from HOME while raising children (school-aged or not!). It’s a beast, and you are a warrior! I wish I had recognized this years ago when I was doing it- I would have given myself much much more grace- so if you are a WFH mom, hear me say, BE PATIENT with yourself. Your load is heavy.
When it comes to my new role as a stay at home mom, there have been ups and downs. Palmer and I have a very lovely routine that we both come to expect and appreciate each day- though I’m sure my husband would prefer we maybe cut down on our shopping trips sometimes! I also appreciate the extra time with my older kids- we typically have two hours from the time they get home from school until Ryan gets off work. There are things I can pick up for them while I’m out during the day, or things I can handle for them since I’m free. I like being able to do those things for them, without feeling like I’m slighting someone at work. I love the time with Palmer- watching her learn new things, hitting milestones and being part of it, and just the extra cuddle time that I wouldn’t have if I was still working. It’s all been very important and special to me. I am thankful, I am, I am!
But there are some things that I wasn’t prepared for as a SAHM. Late in the summer I sat in our backyard with P, trying to read books to her, but more so keeping her from eating blades of grass. It took place for
hours probably 10 mins, but I thought selfishly “I gave up my career for this?” It hurt to feel that way…made me feel selfish that I was complaining about something so mundane, when my sweet husband would do anything to be home doing this exact thing with his sweet baby. Months later I got hooked on CleanTok (hear me say- DO NOT GO DOWN THIS RABBIT HOLE, ladies). I created a cleaning schedule (mostly so I could see my chores written down in my perfect handwriting, in list form) and got my gear (see also: Scrub Daddy and Scrub Mommy). A couple days ago, after I cleaned and (perfectly) organized the refrigerator, I thought “Sure, my husband is helping to run a multi-million dollar company, but if not for me, who would dispose of the expired condiments? *takes a bow* Just out here saving lives, ya’ll.
But really, I am cautiously aware of what sacrifice I’ve made to be able to stay home with little P. I am thankful for my husband to let this be my reality, but I also need to be sure I’m checking in with myself so as to not lose who I am- someone who worked hard to get where she was and be who she is. It’s important to me to keep the basic parts of “me” alive and thriving. Maybe soon I’ll focus more on my writing and less on keeping a perfectly clean house, I’ll remember the things that make me feel more like myself and less like JUST a SAHM!! That’s the goal! I truly am thankful for this season we’re in, and looking ahead I know we have more changes on the horizon with jobs and college and etc etc etc….so I am really thankful I get this time with my kids without any work distractions. I sometimes can’t believe this is my life and I just need to take a step back and remember where I’ve been and where I am now. Deep breaths!