I made it!! I made it through my first year as a stay at home mom!! I know that sounds funny, but when I quit working to stay at home, I really wasn’t sure I would. I was scared to death just wondering what I would do with a 7 month old and an almost 2 year old all day, everyday. It was an adjustment, a big adjustment. For several months, I was scared to actually stay home. That would mean I would have to entertain all day, and I wasn’t really sure what that meant. Do I focus on teaching them new things everyday? Do I just let them play in the playroom? Do I try and take them outside in 100 degree weather? I didn’t know. I knew I was doing this for a reason, but I really wasn’t sure how I would get through it.
My reason to quit wasn’t what you would think. I didn’t always want to be a stay at home mom. I liked working, I liked my co-workers, and I liked my scheduled day. I actually never wanted to be a stay at home mom. But when I looked at our finances, and figured I wasn’t taking home tons of money, maybe I should try it. In the end, it was a little bit of guilt, which I’m sure every working mother has, and a fear of regret that ultimately made my decision to stay home. I felt guilty and selfish that I wanted to work because I liked it, and I was putting my kids in daycare because, really, I wanted to. Because I felt the responsibility of staying home was bigger than working and I was scared of it. But I was also scared that I’d wake up one day and my girls would be 18 and 19, going off to college and what if I didn’t make that scary decision years before? I think I might have regretted working in the long run. So I did it, I quit my job last year, May 31. I blogged about it here and here and here.
So, now I’m here a year after this big decision, and I can truly say that I know I made the right decision for our family. It was a rough start, and like I said, we were out and about almost everyday, just finding things to do. I found a lot of things to do, but eventually we started staying home more often and it wasn’t so bad. Marielle started preschool in September, going 2 days a week and that helped break up our week a little. It took about 6 months for me to really get the hang of this and feel comfortable just staying home and doing housework. It’s a lot of housework, and I hate cleaning. I guess it’s a trade off. Jon and I have had a maid since we got married. I hadn’t had to clean in a very long time. We kept the maid for a while after I quit, but eventually it was more hassle to work around and I saw that we really needed to save the money we spent on her.
But even with that as one negative aspect of staying at home, it’s still worth it for us. I don’t have to clean or wash on the weekends, I don’t have to go to the store on the weekends, I don’t worry about those things or picking up the house until Monday, and I have all week to do it. Things are slower around the house. It’s easier on the whole family. The girls get up slowly, I get to make elaborate breakfasts and dinners; which I like to do. We aren’t so rushed. And even though I have 2 toddlers at my feet almost 24/7, it’s really a nice, relaxed feel around the house.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all sunshine and flowers over here. It’s a hard job and there are still times when I raise my voice (I’m working on that), and there are time outs and crying and fighting. There are times (a lot of times, really) when I just don’t know what to do. I wonder if I’m disciplining them right; am I too hard on them, am I too soft? Am I too rigid or WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING??!! I might go into psycho-mom mode and throw my own tantrum every once in a while. It’s a struggle. I just want to do right by them, and I don’t know when you become really sure of yourself and confident that you know what you are doing as a parent. I don’t claim to know what I am doing, but I try to do what I feel is right. And I believe that’s all I can do.
So all in all, after one year, I can say that I am happy I gave up the extra few dollars I was making to stay home with these two. They really make me happy – most of the time!!
Don’t you just want to eat them up??!!