A Working Mom: Staying Home

What you are about to read may just spark some Mommy Wars conversation. Don’t worry, I am armed with medicine, good coffee, and am ready to bring it on. Because I am in the midst of an internal Mommy Wars conversation with my angel and devil (not the kids! the conscious on my shoulders) about the right balance. And fair warning, I haven’t had my workout today, so the good mojo may not be within.

You’ve been warned. 

Take a glance into my current state. I am wearing a super comfy t-shirt, way too big yoga pants (that someone really should take away – they are plus size maternity – way overdue for being sent away), and my hair in a ponytail because it hasn’t been washed. Evan is beside me, covering his ears, yet not able to turn his eyes away from the tv (there’s something spooky on it). My laptop is on top of the blankets the cover us. Coffee (bought from the chain up the street from Arianna’s school to wash down the breakfast sandwich I bought) is by my side.

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The worst part of this working mom’s dream? It feels like a nightmare to me. I couldn’t imagine spending my every day like this (even if, I’ll admit, I imagine Greg spends a bit of his time doing this).

The thing is, I am a horrible stay at home mom, and I knew I would be. I am meant to be working, to get a “break” from having to be on 100% all.the.time. I learned this during my maternity leaves and days like today, even if only two hours in, make me realize that YES, I should be a working mom.

Major kudos to my husband. While I am sure he gets a fair share of snuggles, kisses, hugs, and giggles throughout the day, his bosses demand things NOW (whereas mine prefers to give me a deadline,  most of the time). Sure, he gets to browse the internet, but he doesn’t really have much time to wash the dishes that pile up from the 10 zillion snacks these kids want (maybe if the ‘lil one had ate his delicious dinner last night, hunger wouldn’t be an issue this morning?). He doesn’t have time because there’s always a ‘lil person demanding things be just.right.right.now. While some working folks feel tied to their desks, I am sure stay at home parents feel chained to their kids.

Even worse, he has to be sure Arianna gets to school on time. This morning was a struggle, so I am telling myself that snuggled up in bed with Evan (and my laptop) is justified. You see, normally she is pretty self-sufficient. Today, that was not the case. “Where’s my Daddy? He gets me to school. I am not going to brush my hair or get dressed by myself.” It went on and on and on. Precious minutes ticked away. We pulled out of the parking spot at 9:08. Her school door closes at 9:10. This was not going to happen. But somehow, thank you God, it happened. I got all green lights and the last three kids were walking in the door as I pulled Arianna out of the car.

I have no idea how Greg (and other stay at home parents) pull it off, being responsible for not only themselves but the ‘lil ones. And for them, I have major kudos. It’s just something I cannot do. I really think I was made to be a working mom, and truth be told, it’s probably better for all of us.

In all honesty and fairness, I should mention that I am very appreciative that Greg is a SAHD. He didn’t have to be, but he does it. And it (for the most part) works for us. And beyond that? He really deserves the Mancation he’s on while I’m spending vacation days with the kids. For reals. He should take one more a year…I think…

Stay at Home Family: The Pets

I really don’t know how traditional families with dogs do it. The past two days, I’ve felt so guilty leaving our dogs home alone while off to work I went. Coming home to them was a treat, they jumped and ran much more than I’ve ever seen them do.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t do pets. Don’t get me wrong, I like animals enough to have had a pet pretty much as long as I’ve lived (ah, fodder for another post!). As an adult, however, I get why my mom and dad really thought the pet thing through. Traveling is a pain, tack on a good $300 when you do because the kennels are not cheap (any good dog sitters out there?!?). Working full-time means leaving them home alone to get into trouble (like eating plastic toys…). It’s not easy.

And beyond the stress of leaving the dogs, there’s the whole they need fed and let out. I get it, it’s just so much easier to remember to do those things with a kid than a dog.

Lucky me, I have a great husband who loves animals and is quite attentive to them when he’s home. Being a stay at home dad, he has plenty of opportunity to love on them and be at their beck and call. I just can’t do it, and am so glad he can.

No wonder they’ve been circling at night looking for him!

Stay at Home Family: The Joys

Being a stay at home family usually has a lot more positives than negatives. Sometimes it is hard to remember that. Here are the things that we love about being a stay at home family.

Savings

I have no idea what the going rate for daycare is these days, but when Arianna was a baby, it was $600 per month. On a teacher’s salary, that plus rent and a car pretty much did my budget in. Two kids at $600 and then balancing schedules? It’s worth every penny saved.

Education

Daycares can be great places to learn and grow, but with Greg staying home we have a handle on the things the kids are learning. No worries about the influence (or germs) of other kids!

Lunch

Occasionally we get together for a family lunch. It’s a good break in the day to see Greg and the kids and motivates me to make to 5:00.

Experiences

If it’s a nice day, they can pick up and head to the zoo or aviary. (This makes me jealous!)

Jammie Days

So many days I’ve come home after work and slipped into PJ pants, might as well join the rest of ‘em!

Preschool

Arianna is able to go to a half day, three day a week preschool because we can pick her up. One of us can usually swing joining parties and events. This really means the world to a preschooler.

Package Delivery

People probably question what is going on at our house because the UPS and FedEx trucks are dropping off packages pretty much daily. Welcome to the life of a blogger. We had a bad incident last year when a box of Thirty-One items was stolen from us, so being home to intercept packages is pretty important to us.

Memories

First steps, first words, first fights…Greg’s been witness to all of it. I can’t speak for him, but that has to be an awesome feeling. I remember the first time I saw Arianna drink from a straw, and I was elated. Imagine that times 1000. Pretty cool job, I think!

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These are just a few of the pros of being a stay at home family. Sure, they are brief and may verge on cheesy, but they sure are cool to us. If you’ve been a stay at home parent, what pros do you have to share?

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(My hero of a SAHD!)