Being a stay at home parent was something I never considered. That was up until last year. In my 20’s I saw nothing exciting nor fulfilling in the Stay At Home Mom role. I was never the one jumping in line to “hold the baby” and even though my daughter was the love of my life, there was no way I was trading in my heels for an all day affair of baby talk and diapers.
Then at 31 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. From that point it was all about treatments, surgery and simply surviving for the next two years. The emotional dust from everything started to settle around three years after my cancer treatments and after having my little miracle man. I started to feel a mis-alignment with what I was doing and what was bringing me true joy.
Right around the same time, the company I was working for started going through some changes. These changes started seeping into my department towards the end of last year and unless you’re completely disconnected from your own reality, you pretty much know what’s going on. You just don’t know exactly when. My position was one of those, “not part of the re-alignment” and in March, this mama was home with her babies (16 months and 8 yrs).
While the title of this post says Stay-at-Home, it should be more like Work-At-Home. Thankfully, I started doing some freelance work last year so when I left the company, I immediately started working on creating my own company.
I just don’t know how much work was actually done during my first month at home to warrant the work-at-home title.
Week 1 of my first month as a stay at home Mom went something like:
No really, this is what I felt like! Plus, it was Spring Break (lucky me). We visited some friends out of state and for once it was great coming home and not stress about preparing for the week ahead. Lunches? Nah, I’ll do those in the morning.
Positives this week: Everything
Still in the honeymoon phase, I was eagerly happy to be fulfilling all the house duties that I would otherwise be neglecting had I been working my 8-5.
I’m not sure where the week went, but I only managed to do half of what I set out to do! Whatever! It’s early in my new role and I was still in the honeymoon phase. So I tell myself , “ It’s my first week, I’ll find my groove.”
The hardest decision for me this week was figuring out what to make for dinner.
Positives this week:
Waking up at 6am for some Mommy time, meditation, coffee and email check (ie. Facebook).
I spent time with my little man and I did school drop-offs and pick-ups. Some of you reading this probably loaf these duties but I’m new here, remember!?
The fact that I wasn’t coming home after 5pm also meant that the evenings were more enjoyable and my kitchen actually looked presentable the next morning.
Morning meditations ended here.
I wore workout gear almost everyday and while it appeared that I was headed to the gym after school drop-off, I wasn’t.
I haven’t gone to the gym – even once.
I’m still kickin’ it with my little man and chillin’ in my workout wear.
By week three I remember that I actually have work to do. At least now I have a good reason for going to Starbucks almost everyday – Mommy gotta work!
Dinner time and evenings were a piece of cake.
Positives: EVERYTHING! THIS IS AMAZING!
Negatives: I missed a submission deadline for a site I contribute to and I can’t recall why.
Another week passed without me me practicing my morning meditations. Sigh.
Husband says, you need to come up with some sort of schedule.
Me (completely on the defense): I am! This is about the time when I find myself on YouTube watching routines of other Moms who stay at home and work. Don’t judge me! Some of those videos get hundred-thousand views, so I know I’m not alone in this.
In my YouTube ventures I find that many times their little one naps for 2 hours. I haven’t seen a 2-hour nap from my wild 19-month old the entire time I’ve been home!
I’m hearing it can take me as much as 4-6 months to find my schedule. Yes, I Googled that too.
Positives: I’m alive and everyone is happy that I’m home more. However, this is starting to translate to: Mommy can do it all.
I’m making progress on my business and establishing a client base.
Little man now goes to Grandma’s 2 days a week so Mommy can actually get some work done. Is this a negative? I’m not so sure right now.
I’m on YouTube way too much.
My early 6am morning rise is starting to look more like 6:45 am or 7 am.
This month was everything and nothing that I had expected.
I quickly came to realize that staying at home with kids is much harder than any 8-5 job. At the same time, I realize that I never (ever) want to go back to the corporate world. It will take some major mojo, self-discipline and hustle for me to be able to stay home as I grow my business.
The second month gets even more interesting. I had my first Mommy breakdown, started second guessing my decisions and my self-assurance was tanking. Stay tuned.
I share tons more stories about my imperfect parenting here!