It really is hard to believe that I have been “unemployed” for a year now. Time does fly. I just went back and read the posts I wrote early last year about becoming a stay-at-home-mom. A lot of it still applies. But there are definitely some more observations now. And just this past couple of weeks, three working moms asked me about my thoughts on staying home…so here are some updates!
- I imagined work clothes being a thing of the past. Well, jeans are a thing of the past. Pulled out on a rare occasion. I am a mom who lives in yoga pants – long or capri. And a bathing suit in the summer. Yesterday evening Henry looked at me oddly. I had on jeans, a sweater and jewelry. Andy was not home…so not a date night. Henry asked, “You going to a meeting?” BINGO! I “dressed up” for the PTA meeting. HA!
- I get a LOT less accomplished being home. It’s amazing the amount of things I could accomplish when I arrived to work early, used my lunch time wisely or ran a quick errand on the way to grab the kids at daycare. I start a lot of projects while I’m at home, but complete very few. Interruptions are endless.
- My house is ALWAYS trashed. Always. There is toy clutter everywhere. All. the. time. I guess when I worked, our evenings were busy and not filled with a lot of “play”. We had activities or the play was contained to one area since it was shorter time periods. And at the end of the weekend everything got cleaned up. Order was restored. Now? Play happens everywhere. Just yesterday Charlotte and Henry took over the dining room and foyer shown in the photo above. The red chairs in the dining room were an airplane. They “took a flight” to see the grandparents and set up a sleepover in the foyer. I didn’t complain because it occupied them for a good 2 hours. But everywhere I turn I’m tripping over a toy no matter how often I repeat “Clean up this mess before you move on to another mess!”
- I am on social media more. Because my “co-workers” are 3, 4, and 6. There is no “water cooler chat” during my day. No stopping by someone’s desk to gossip. So yes, I turn to social media to connect to adults. I’ve even participated in a few Twitter chats to connect with others professionally. Enjoyed one two nights ago about Goal Setting and Vision Boards.
- I’m still on the fence about who gets on my nerves more – whiny, complaining, demanding, ungrateful adult co-workers or whiny, complaining, demanding, ungrateful offspring.
- I raise my voice more (something I’m working on…aren’t we all?) and often feel unappreciated. Which is why I really liked the post on Scary Mommy the other day. The one people really love or REALLY hate. If people would just get past the language and the photo, they might see…reality. Motherhood is hard. Whether you work somewhere or stay home. At times it’s tricky, it’s ugly, it’s exhausting. And people don’t always put that out there. They sugar coat and make everything seem so perfect. Always. So I love that she was honest. We’ve all had those days to a certain extent. And I have learned staying home that I have to be more patient. Because these little people want my attention every minute of every hour.
- I can’t believe how creative my kids can be. They come up with the craziest things to do. Just last night they put together a show for my mom. When she arrived there were signs and a ticket waiting for her. Stella played on the piano and sang “Let it Go”. They even created decorations – snowflakes were everywhere. They have discovered painter’s tape and now my walls are covered in artwork. It was very thought-out.
Says, “Take me! Ticket to Let it Go.”
- I’m on that SAHM schedule – go to bed later and sleep in later. I’m kinda loving that. Although I seem to require a lot more sleep now. How I used to get up at 4:30…I’ll never know.
- I rarely watch “my” TV shows anymore. See previous bullet. I watched a lot of TV on that treadmill at 4:30 AM!
- We eat healthier. More thought is put into grocery shopping and meal planning. For me, this was definitely harder as a working mom. (Wildtree is still a huge help as well.)
- I’ve loved all the extra activities I’ve done with the kids – events at the library, play dates, hanging in pjs all day, playing in the snow, a summertime of fun, etc. Having Stella in 1st grade this year has definitely stifled our schedule!
- I value the 9 hours Charlotte and Henry are at preschool each week. The alone time definitely helps me to recharge.
- Although one of those mornings I volunteer at Stella’s school. But I really love that. And yes, the more you are at school, the more you may be asked to help out. Be warned.
- I can honestly say I still have zero regrets about the years I worked when my kids were little. I also have ZERO regrets about quitting when I did. And unless something catastrophic happens, I don’t plan to return to the workforce anytime soon. (I already get asked that a lot – “do you have a reentry plan?” – since it won’t be too long before Charlotte and Henry will both be in school as well!)
What’s your favorite thing about either staying home or working somewhere?