It wasn’t always going to be like this, you know. I didn’t plan to live in yoga pants with my hair tied back. I definitely wasn’t going to have time to chat with other mommies while the kids played on the floor beside us. Nope. I was going to be the super-career-mom, living it up in a dual income family, maybe even wearing high heels. I was going to teach other people’s kids, I guess while my own were in daycare.
Then I had a problem. I had kids. Beautiful angels, sweet cherubs. I suppose I made the mistake of holding them, looking into their eyes. Suddenly, I no longer wanted the career I had put myself through university on credit cards for. I’m not sure how it happened. I know many moms itch for adult interaction while they are home with their infants. They can’t wait to get out of the house and back to work. I thought I would be that mom. Not so. In fact, I left my daughter once, for four hours, in the entire year of maternity leave (Yes, I am an eternally grateful Canadian mom). After returning to work, I counted down the minutes for the next 9 months, until my son was born. I still worked for a year after that, but had moved into a remote position where working from home was often possible.
I’m a bit of a control freak, so missing the important milestones likely would have driven me crazy. Thankfully, my babies seemed to take first steps, say first words and eat new foods in the evenings and on weekends. When I was finally able to make the move to S-A-H-M, I was ecstatic! I was so ready for it. Finally, I knew what they were eating, drinking, watching and discovering. I got to kiss their boo-boos and snuggle when they were sad. I was in awe as their goos and gaas turned into words and sentences and conversations. I have loved watching them grow and develop. Since we eventually decided to homeschool, I’ve also been able to enjoy learning alongside them and following their interests.
I love having the flexibility of taking a weekend vacation mid-week, the ability to drop everything to help out a family member, the time to put healthy meals on the table and the freedom to stay home when we are sick. I can’t forget the stay-at-home-wife part of this equation either. My husband has a flexible schedule which means lots of evenings out but lots of daytime hours in. The kids and I love being able to greet him and often get to spend short bursts of time with him throughout the day. I’ve been able to support him and be his computer nerd as his business has grown. I appreciate that we can share our faith and watch it grow in everyday situations. I love being there when any of them need me. Our family shares a bond that would be much harder to cultivate if only evenings were available.
I’ve known many working moms who have been able to build these relationships successfully and I know not everyone shares my feelings here. For some families, staying home with kids is an unattainable luxury. For others, it might be seen as a prison sentence. Me? I’m thankful for the opportunity. This is just where I want to be.
Do you stay at home? Do you work? Either way, I’d love to hear where you find your joy.