EMBRACING THE STAY-AT-HOME MOM STATUS
It has been one year since I resigned from my corporate job. Although I work from home part-time, most of my time is spent as a stay-at-home mom. The first few months of my transition where difficult as I had been working, sometimes two jobs, since I became of the legal age to do so.
I had grown accustomed to the rat race and always being in a rush. I wasn’t bothered by my phone ringing constantly, or by the dozens of people who needed me daily – all at once. My days were filled with presentations, client meetings, analyzing budgets and attending strategy meetings. This was my normal and I enjoyed it for a long time, however when my work-life balance began to fade quickly when my son was born – my priorities shifted. If I was going to bow out of the race for a bit, there wasn’t a better time to do it. So….I did just that, gracefully of course. Carpe diem!
At first I marveled in the thought of finally having time for me. I envisioned a life of leisure – spending my days working out, lunching with friends, running errands and doing things with my son. Unfortunately, this fairy tale never came to be. The reality was my frantic corporate job was much easier than being a stay-at-home mom. I am just as busy and my days revolve around entertaining a toddler. My presentations are now crayon drawings of stick figures labeled: Mommy and Sebastian. Boy.. are their attention spans short or what!? It’s a constant dog-and-pony show around here.
The days have flown by and we finally figured out a schedule, until we welcomed our new baby in November. Now I am back at square one. I’m hoping by his 10th birthday, I will have it together. All of this is a far cry from my life just a year ago, however through it all I have learned to embrace the benefits of being a SAHM.
Some benefits (for me) are:
More time with my little men!
This is obviously the biggest advantage of staying home. Before, I was lucky if I got to kiss them goodnight. Our weekends were often rushed with activities and chores, which translated into stress and anxiety. Now I get to hug and kiss them a lot more, which I am sure they love too!
First order of business after my resignation was to make other SAHM friends. It’s hard to have SAHM friends when you work because once you get home you are doing the same thing they’re doing: baths, dinner and bedtime routines. Making new friends allowed me to get adult time and give my kids new playmates. Plus you have someone who gets how being a SAHM is just as difficult as working in the corporate world. Trust me – adults can act like children just as much as your toddler can.
Embracing the yoga pant!
My first few weeks at home I dressed up – literally. What was I thinking? You are thrown up on all day, why would I wear something nice? Then one day I put on my yoga pants to work out in…. and they stayed on for the next ten months. First, yoga pants are extremely comfortable and second they make everyone think you are a regular at the gym. Suckers!My only warning is that yoga pants can somewhat trick you – we often forget they stretch. This means they still fit after you binge on cake and nachos. Then you act surprised when you put your jeans on and they seem a little tight. Ladies, don’t let the yoga pants fool you; you really do need to work out. Damn it – I thought I found a short cut!
HGTV/ Food Network
TV was a luxury I just didn’t have time for. On the rare occasion time did allow for TV, it was showing Disney Junior. Not that I have a lot of time for TV now, but when the boys are napping I can feed my obsession with HGTV and The Food Network! I learned to cook fromThe Food Network and HGTV brought out the designer in me that I didn’t even know existed! You just have to be careful not to get the bug to renovate your entire house from all the ideas you get. House Hunters International makes me feel like I’m exploring the world from my very own couch. Who says you need to pay for an expensive, exotic vacation? It’s all right there on HGTV!
VIP at Starbucks
Starbucks takes on a whole new role when you’re a mom – it’s your escape. It may be the only adult contact you receive all day, and they make you a delicious, energy-boosting beverage. The only way your beverage could be better is if there were alcohol in it! It’s also awesome that you don’t have to wait in line like cattle during rush hour! All the barista’s know me and are involved in my life. They know my drink and have it ready as soon as I enter the store, and they even act like they love my kids. I heart you Starbucks!
When I was working full time I always felt guilty. Do my kids know me? Am I neglecting them? If I went to get a haircut or went to the grocery store without them, I felt like it was one less minute I should be spending with them. In doing this I created more anxiety for myself. I needed (and deserved) that time for me too. Now since I spend most of my time with my boys, as soon as my husband gets home I have no problem running out the door for a pedicure. It’s a win-win, we spend time together and my feet aren’t hideous! I actually enjoy my me time without feeling like I have to rush home now.
I’m sure there are many more, but these are my top observations over the past year. As a work-a-holic, I thought I would absolutely hate staying home and it turns out – it’s pretty awesome! I have fully embraced this new chapter in my life. What are your favorite things about being a SAHM? Or a Working Mom?