I am sitting at the computer chair fragrance ing the air with my new Banana boat aerosol self tanner. My shirt literally reads "SAVE ME" with a droplet of water, pony tail and new 'mom' jeans.
I have been thinking a lot lately and at times too much lately of how hard it is to be at home with my kids. I used to think that if you chose to stay at home it was because you were happy enough to do it, that your husband made a ton of money so you were never stressed and your kids would be happier. I was wrong.
I am grateful and proud that I have the opportunity to stay at home with my 2 kids, but it is extremely challenging.
When Andrew was 3 months old I dabbled a bit in working with my previous employer. I remember the conversation I had with my Dad about whether, or not I wanted to work.
"Well, do you feel like you are going to go crazy"
"You know you are going to have thousands of more hours with him even though you are gone for a few"
So even though I felt guilty because I had the opportunity to stay at home, but was not happy with what I was doing (no help from post partum depression either).
I worked until basically was told they were cutting back which after working in HR new was going to happen and was OK with it, but sad because I looked forward to dressing up and putting my face on and wearing pretty heels. It was my special something.
It takes a lot of prayer, a lot of support, and a lot of courage to stay at home full time. I hear from people many of which I admire for other reasons say "I could never stay at home, I need something else I would go crazy". I nod my head understanding what they mean, but I do agree that there is something greatly lost when you choose not to.
I learn over and over that I cannot judge. I know that place, I am not in your skin, but I want to say
"Buck up! Yes, its hard. Yes, you will go crazy at times. But your kids are little, they need you and they grow up so fast! Your life will not be over or any less important because you are not recieving credit from the world, or a paycheck"
Because these are the things I think and say to myself.
Will my kids still have issues when they are older even though I chose to stay at home? Probably.
Will my kids be constantly happier because I choose to stay at home all day? No, but I think it helps.
Did my husband make a ton of money and life was grand when I chose to stay at home? No way, but you sacrifice.
Am I an extremely happy person and that is why I choose to stay at home? No
But I have realized the value of my children's time . When I am old and look back I want my kids to remember me being physically and emotionally available to them. I want them to remember that I chose to stay at home and be there after school to help with homework because I wanted to show them I wanted to be with them and I hope that when that time comes they will know that I did it with Sacrifice, not because I need their kudos, but because I want them to know how much they are valued.
So lessons learned,
my kids go crazy and have really rough days with me, but after 8+ hours by myself with them their ear bleeding screams don't bother me so much--so I know I am becoming more patient in general
I do go crazy quite often and wonder what it would be like to be able to drop, or leave your kids with someone and being able to go a paycheck job and not having to deal with the daily crazy--but I have learned that I can do it--I am continually become more courageous and self assured
I do wish at times (ongoing since Andrew was first born) that we had more money that didn't go directly to living expenses, but that attitude doesn't change with pay increases it comes from within--I have learned you can go without and that it forces you to find happiness in family and in moments when your kids smile at you and say 'I love you'--Its OK to sacrifice
I don't think I am a great example of an at home mom, but I do my best. Its a choice what you are willing to sacrifice and I guess I chose to sacrafice some of my sanity. And if asked to do it again for my children the answer would definitley be yes. That being said I would start seeing a therapist a lot sooner.