It has been one year since I worked my last shift outside the home. I’ve been a full time Stay at Home Mom for one year. Time flies, as usual, but today when I thought about that little fact, I felt reflective. I feel like I’m a different person than I was when I worked. I was only working VERY part time at the end, but I still was a different person. I do miss it sometimes. My job outside the home was a break from the kids, a chance to talk to adults and a chance to shine in something I was good at. I mean, I WAS good at it (for real…you definitely wanted ME to take care of you!). And I got paid for it (nicely!). And people NEEDED me (my patients!). Those things are all still true. People NEED me (my kids). I’m good at this job: (Mom, housekeeper, cook, chauffeur, organizational guru, counselor, volunteer, event planner, etc etc etc….Domestic Engineer I guess). Oh but wait!!! I don’t get paid for it! And even though my kids need me, it’s different than getting paid or getting a good annual review or people just plain saying, “Oh good, we are SO glad to see you, we could really use your help!” or “I don’t know what to do…what should I do?”….and then totally having the answer.
So I feel a little sad I don’t have that anymore. But then I sit and think about what’s different now that I am a SAHM, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m around EVERY weekend to spend time with my family and my husband. I used to work weekends. For awhile, I’d work every Friday night, and every other Saturday and Sunday. My husband works every Saturday during some parts of the year and travels, so there were times when we only spent time with each other and as a whole family once or twice a month. Family meals didn’t really happen. Ever. Now, when there is an event on a weekend day, I can just say yay or nay….no trying to figure out a year in advance what weekends I would have off. I worked until 10pm sometimes and finding a sitter for that time frame was impossible. I don’t need to worry about that anymore. If a kid gets sick, I can be there the whole time. No scrambling to find someone to work for me. Weekends are RELAXING for us now. We can have our “Taco Tuesday on a Friday” and our weekend movie nights. My husband can make his french toast for us on Saturdays, and I don’t have to rush off for work. On Sundays, after church, I get to enjoy the family traditions that my husband started with the kids while I worked. It often involves downtown Madison, the terrace, coffee and lunch. Or sometimes a trip to museum. Or a Packer game. Sundays are all about the 4 of us.
So what did I do today for my SAHM-iversary? Well here’s the randomness that is a day in the life of ME:
- Up at 5:30, got ready for my day, made bed, etc.
- Got kids ready, lunches made, and kids to school
- A brisk 4 mile walk at the Conservancy through the snow with a great friend
- Stopped at the Co-op for a couple of things and tried kombucha for the first time
- Worked on laundry
- Emptied dishwasher, picked up living room and kitchen
- Went through some kitchen cupboards as part of a “minimizing my stuff” plan
- Ate some lunch
- Crafted in my craft room…my sanctuary
- Picked up the kids from school
- Made Pioneer Woman’s Tres Leches cake
- Agreed to my husband’s last minute idea to take the kids out for dinner and to see Paddington
- Hauled sleeping children in from the car and put them to bed
- Putz on the computer!
Well that’s it. I did nothing special today, but I was Mom and I was happy. I’ve been happier this year than ever before, so I think I made the right decision when I quit my job. I think I’m due for another “day in the life” photo shoot. I did that once when the kids were really tiny and made a fantastic scrapbook spread out of it. I need to document these days now. I’m a proud SAHM.