I recently had a friend and former co-worker announce that she was planning to stay home. Her announcement brought me back to a very raw place in my life about 4 months ago, when I was delivering the same kind of news. Pouring your heart and soul into something for over a decade, at a company that is very much about family, hard work, and camaraderie…well, it makes leaving very difficult. There were tears. Lots of them.
OF COURSE, I have no regrets being home with my kids. My husband remarked that we are going to look back, and I’m going to remember these as the best years of my life, and it is amazing to know that you are living in what might be the best time of your life. When I was a working mom, the days where I actually had my child all day long on a week day were called “vacation days,” and now those “vacation days” are my 9 to 5. Actually, make that my 24-7! That fact is not lost on me. It’s an incredible blessing, even on the hard days.
I was thinking recently about some things I’ve learned along the way being home. For instance, it’s easy to fill up your time with all kinds of “stuff,” and I don’t mean the kids’ stuff. Yes, we get out of the house once a day on a normal day, but I find that the times when I actually escape on my own are for busy things. Meetings at church, commitments for organizations, running errands that are best accomplished without children. They’re all good things, but I don’t have much time to just “be” like I did when I was commuting 2 hours round-trip to Dallas for work. I didn’t realize how much I would miss that time of quiet reflection and decompression.
Another completely unexpected thing: how much rising earlier than my children can make or break my day. I always thought that staying at home meant that I could sleep in (and really, I do a little since I was getting up at 4:30 AM to be in the office by 6:30 AM when I worked). However, it’s imperative that I not let the little one who’s tugging on me every which way be the first thing that awakens me if I can help it. My attitude is so much better when I have gotten up because I wanted to, rather than because I had to. I usually start my days before 6 with a good workout (which any mom knows that’s the best time since the husband is usually home and we can get it over with!).
I’m still learning this stay at home mom gig. I learn something new everyday. It’s just a matter of having time to sit down and synthesize it since I stay so busy!
What unexpected things did you encounter when you made the transition to stay home?
Whew, Emily, you morning person, you. 🙂 It sounds to me that you’re are doing just great with the transition and settling into your new phase. Hats off. (But do not call at 6 a.m. Zzzz over here. Teehee.)
Oh girl, I am NOT a morning person. It’s so tough for me to get up! It was a joke in my office to not talk to me before 9. If you needed something, send it in an e-mail or wait until 9. My kids haven’t gotten that memo!
Thank you for the encouragement!
I can’t agree with you more about rising early. I started dragging myself out of bed at 6:30 this month in an act of much needed newly found discipline. And it has been more beneficial than I can say in words. I forgot to set my alarm today and was reminded why 6:30 has been so precious to me. The goal is to up this time each month. I NEED this. It’s so good.
It’s a great discipline, although it is hard work. Way to go, on getting on up!
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