Avery & Brynn are 12 weeks old today. As I read back what I just wrote, it's a little hard to fathom - for a few reasons:
1. Holy cow, it's been 12 weeks!
2. If I were returning to work, today probably would have been my first day back.
3. Looking at reason #2 brings up a whole world of emotions about "officially" being a stay at home mom (SAHM).
So, with that, here are some of my thoughts about being a SAHM vs. being a Working Mom:
1. I am grateful to my husband for being able to stay at home with the kids. There is no way that I would have this opportunity without his support. Keep in mind, a lot of the decision to stay at home was made for us when we found out we would have 3 kids (daycare is EXPENSIVE), but there was a big part of me that really wanted to stay at home. Looking back, I am grateful the decision was "taken out of our hands."
2. It's a lot of work. There is no break. It's 24/7, and extremely demanding. To be totally honest, there are a lot of times I think it would be easier to be at a job. (Except for managing schedules and commuting and traveling and on and on...) Hence, for the time being, I am staying at home.
3. The guilt doesn't go away. When I went back to work after Evan was born, I felt so guilty about leaving him with "strangers." Now that I am at home, I feel guilty when I do laundry or dishes or anything other than spending every waking moment with my children. But the reality is, those things have to get done and if I actually spent every waking moment being 100% attentive to my children, I'd go crazy, and they wouldn't learn to be independent.
4. Who am I now? I would say I was a career driven person, I was happy with my last job, I was happy with where my career was headed, and I felt like I had an identity other than "Mom: butt wiper, diaper changer, meal preparer, kleenex-er." [Don't get me wrong, being called "mommy" is one of the greatest things on this earth]. I guess my new challenge (and I love a challenge) is figuring out the "new me" and how to balance that with being a wife and a mother. It's the same as every new stage in my life, I was a different person in the working world than I was in college, likewise in high school, etc., etc. Different because of my priorities, my goals, and what I find important.
5. What are my goals? When I was working, I had expectations and goals I needed to meet. That largely determined how successful I was. Well, what are the expectations and goals of motherhood? How are they determined? By society? By your children? By your family? By yourself? I understand why a lot of mothers feel like failures, because at the end of the day, it sort of feels like dinner should be on the table, the house should be clean, the kids should be happy, and you should be out of your pajamas. And when those things don't happen (most of the time in my case), you feel as if you have failed. So, I suppose my next challenge (remember, I like a challenge), is setting realistic goals.
[I should clarify that I have never been in my pajamas by the time Dan gets home from work, however, throwing on sweat pants and a t-shirt and wearing no makeup is a frequent thing now]
6. When do I go back to work? This is a question I often ask myself. I won't go into depth with all my thoughts on this (especially since this post is much longer than I thought it would be), but I am excited about the possibilities. It's one of the unknowns that I am looking forward to discovering (if you know me well, you know I have a fear of the unknown, so this is big), whenever the time is right and the opportunity presents itself.
7. Lastly, THANK GOD all 3 children nap at the same time! I have achieved at least ONE of my goals! I wasn't sure it would be possible, but I have managed to get them all sleeping at roughly the same time. If I didn't, I would never be able to have a blog. :)