Truthfully, there were not many days that I didn’t love being a stay-home mom.
Even the monotony and isolation that threatened to take my sanity were worth the priceless moments I had with my children. I realize that I was blessed to be able to witness every milestone and “first” with each of my two children. I will forever be thankful for that.
I’m even grateful for the lack of sleep, the weird colored diaper contents, and red-faced, screaming toddlers on grocery store floors. Why? Am I crazy? Because those are the tidbits that parenthood is made up of, and I wouldn’t have deleted them for anything. The good and the bad is what life is about. The gross and the cute.
Life is also about change. If we’re not aware of it, change can sneak up behind us and pounce. Or it happen more slowly, say, over the course of 12 years. That is how long I was a stay-home Mom before I began to notice the need for change in my life, but with some reluctance. Even though I knew change and growth would be good for me, I found that I resisted losing that title; it was a comfortable and warm place to be. My children were at school and much less dependent upon me, yet I wanted to hold on to that part of life. Kind of like how many moms joke about putting a brick on their child’s head to stop them from growing; why can’t they (and I) stay young?
Luckily, and because I am not a fan of smack-in-the-face reality, “change” was subtle for me, but something that I welcomed. My children were nine and 11 years-old when I decided to get a part-time job, and I think it is safe to say that the transition was harder on me than it was on them. I went through the guilt phase and the sadness phase before I finally realized that the world wasn’t falling apart. I was simply not able to go on very many field trips anymore. All was
going to be ok.
After approximately eight months of working, I decided to return to school, as well. (Sure, more debt! Why not!) I wanted to finish the degree that I had started way too long ago - pre-marriage, pre-babies, pre-real life. I enrolled in a reputable school online, and since November, I have been, as I like to call it, “using my brain for more than helping with fourth-grade English and memorizing the grocery list”. It feels good to be working toward a goal for myself; one that I know not only will bring me pride, but my family as well.
So now, it’s part-time work, full-time school, full-time family, part-time cleaning (let’s be real, I have to let some things go), and little bits of whatever else is on my list at the time. Most days, I could use about eight more hours, but who couldn’t?
I will always treasure my days as “stay home Mom”. From the day each baby left the hospital, I always felt that I was right where I was meant to be. I still miss those days, and I truly believe that I’ll never lose that feeling of wanting to hold a baby or push a toddler on a swing (and for the record, I still cannot look through old photos of my children without turning to mush).
Spring is all about new beginnings, rebirth, and change. Babies grow, toddlers walk, children let go of your hand little by little, and go through their own growing-up changes.
I suppose it’s Mom’s turn now.