This month we have another guest writer talking about making that transition from the working world to the world of being a Stay at Home Mom! Something so many of us can relate to, find out how she’s coping and let us now how the transition was for you! ~Angie
Recently I survived my first week of being a stay-at-home mom to my eighteen-month boy/girl twins, though survived isn’t really the right word. It’s been great. I wish I had done this so long ago. I never thought I would be a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t look down on SAHMs, I just didn’t think it was my style. Of course, I didn’t think that I’d have twins either. Even if I only had one, I didn’t realize how much you miss out on as a mom who works full time. From 6am to 5:30pm every week day I was either away from my kids or in the process of traveling to or from work and daycare. That’s almost 12 hours, and it left about an hour and a half for quality time with my kids, mostly made up of bath and dinner. It was crazy. No time to sit and think, to clean, or to plan for the next day.
Now it’s completely different. The guys sleep till 6:45 or so. We don’t have to wake them up at 6 and dress them hurriedly for daycare. Then, we have a leisurely breakfast and I do some chores. But the biggest difference has been the weekends. They used to be filled with all of the chores and housework that could not get done during the week. There was no time for fun. By the time I was starting to feel caught up, it was Sunday night and the work week was about to begin again. This weekend, we went to the zoo. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a bit crazy. We planned to leave by 9am, but didn’t get out of the house till almost 10. We forgot the diaper wipes and the changing pad, and the kids refused to eat their lunch. Still, we made it. We learned things that will make a trip easier the next time around, and we were able to do something fun for a change.
Like it or not, there are certain things that we as women will always do, like being primary caregivers for our children (I say this as the wife of one of the most nurturing men I’ve ever seen), and other things that we’ll want to do, like maybe cook healthy foods for our family and/or keep the house in a somewhat attractive state. These things will need to be done regardless of whether or not we work outside the home. Trying to fit it all into a day is just plain hard, sometimes impossible. Life is still busy for me at home. My kids constantly want my attention, and get upset when I try to get other things done. Mostly, I enjoy spending time with them, but to be honest there are times when I wish I could have fifteen minutes to myself. It’s worth it, though, when I think of all the fun things we get to do together. This week, my guys have learned several new words, made drawings in celebration of the colors blue and yellow, and my son has started to ask to watch the PBS show Super Why! throughout the day by saying sweetly, “Why??? Why!! No why?” Silly things maybe, but fun memories I was missing out on before.
I’m not saying you can’t work and be a good mom. I still feel very strongly that we serve as better role models for our kids if we continue to pursue our own dreams and aspirations. However, I think I completely underestimated how much work it is to be a mom (and how much fun), and I overestimated how important it is to have two paychecks and a high household income. In the fall, I will start a full-time graduate assistant-ship in English at UAB. It will be better than an 8-5 job and I’m staying home with my guys two mornings a week, but I’m concerned that I will miss this precious time with them. It’s kind of funny considering that a month ago I was worried that being home with them all day all summer would drive me crazy. I guess this is the life of a mom, constant give and take, and we never feel like it’s enough.
How do you find balance? Do ever feel like you’re caught up? Have you had to make major sacrifices for your children or your career? Or both?
Lissa Peterson is a native of Montgomery, but has lived in Birmingham since 2004. As the mom of boy/girl twins, she stays very busy. She spent 10 years in corporate marketing and finance before losing her mind, and subsequently deciding to pursue a Master’s degree in English. She spends her time nurturing, cooking, cleaning, reading, writing, studying, and trying to be as involved in church as possible. She has no free time.