I’ve been a stay at home mom (ha!) for almost exactly four months now. It’s definitely been a learning process, and I keep waiting for “normal” to set in, for me to have a routine and a day to day that doesn’t constantly change. I’m beginning to decide that this isn’t something I will ever have, and I’m slowly becoming ok with it.
A big part of the reason I am ok with the inconsistency and the lack of routine is because of the fact that I can have inconsistency and things will still be ok. I look at this week as a perfect example of things that couldn’t have happened were I still working.
On Monday, the wee ones had a birthday party immediately following school. When I was working, I needed them to come straight home, and I couldn’t drive them – or their friends – places after school to do fun things. While my mom potentially could have covered for me and taken them, it was nice to go and to get to know some of the other moms in Mister Man’s class better. Not having those relationships as much last year was a bit of a challenge.
Yesterday, Little Miss was sick. Instead of scrambling and trying to figure out who was taking Mister Man to school and what I was going to do with a sick Little Miss in the house while I tried to work and be on conference calls, I was able to drop everything to be with her.
When she’s sick, she’s needy, and I can’t get anything done. I cuddled with her, played Uno with her, read books with her, worked with her on her homework, took her to the doctor, and more. I didn’t write any blog posts. I didn’t hang out on Twitter. I didn’t even get the dishwasher emptied. I’m pretty sure that taking care of Little Miss is far more important, and I’m glad that I could be there for her.
With her being sick, she missed a gymnastics class. When I was working, we would have had to eat that class, as there was no way that I could find a time to get her to a makeup class. Gymnastics is her thing, and she loves it. The fact that she was willing to miss it was my huge clue that she was seriously sick.
Today was more of the same. I have a great person who carpools with me who was able to drive both ways, meaning I could let Little Miss sleep in and not worry about getting her moving and out the door. I again got nothing done – it’s 7pm and I’m only now sitting down to write a post I had intended to write days ago – but my view of “nothing” has changed.
My getting nothing done means that I spend quality time with the wee ones and have a consistency in their routine – even if not in my own – that they thrive on. My getting nothing done means that we talk about all sorts of things, and I don’t feel the need to rush to finish the conversation because I have to finish a project or get on a call. My getting nothing done means that I join my family for dinner every night instead of watching them eat while I edit a presentation or sit on a conference call.
I asked them recently if they liked it better when Mommy worked or when Mommy stays home. Hands down they were happier with me at home, and I’m happier, too – something no one should discount. My mom, especially, has mentioned that Mister Man seems to be so much more at peace and regulated than he was when I was working. While some of that is undoubtedly due to his getting older and the therapies we have him in – again, something that was a huge challenge to do when I waws working – I have to think that my being home and him having a consistent routine and parenting style makes getting through each day just a little easier for him.
I lasted six months when I tried the stay at home mom thing previously. I had the itch to do something – anything – way before then, however. Someone recently asked me if I was ready to go back to work. While I would debate whether or not I’m working raising the wee ones, the answer is a firm no. I’m not ready to take a job outside the home right now. I know where I’m needed, and my family is better and happier for it.
And that? That is worth more than any paycheck I could bring home.