Where did my time go? For a little while I though I had figured out the routine with two kids. The house was relatively organized (for having kids standards), we had a nap routine, and the baby was sleeping mostly through the night. I though I saw a light in the end of tunnel until…
Baby L was sick for almost 3 weeks. It wasn’t anything serious, just a common cold virus, but it was enough to disrupt our nigh of sleep and her regular nap times. Toddler J also decided to make things a bit more difficult: “I don’t want to have a nap anymore” “I don’t want to go to sleep anymore” “I don’t want to… anymore” She was just not having it! J didn’t want to nap, and when she did, she alternated with baby L. No free time for the whole day for a couple of weeks…
Anyway, let me stop whining because it looks like things are getting back to a ‘new’ normal.
Being a stay at home mom with small kids basically means you are a mom 24/7. It is like living in the job. It is definitely rewarding to see your children grow and witness every milestone achieved. I remember that I felt sad for not seeing a lot of J’s first time achievements because she was full time at daycare while I was working. The teacher would come to me and say “Oh she said mama today” or “she is standing up!” My heart would be tight and sad because I missed those first moments. She spent much more time at school than with her dad and I – it was difficult.
The interesting side of it, is that I got to experience both situations. With the first child I was working full time since she turned 3 months old, but with the second child I have been able to stay at home so far. Besides, I’ve been following J’s developmental milestones into ‘toddlerhood’ very closely which is fascinating.
The difficult part of staying at home, is the lack of adult interaction. Although I have some great mom friends that meet for classes and playdates, being at home is still a lonely job and you rarely feel you are on top of things as the tasks are endless: the pile of laundry keeps growing, the diapers keep getting dirty, kids keep getting bored. You are always on the go, there is always more to be done and you wish there were more hours in the day.
Please, don’t take me wrong. Being at home is not terrible, but it is difficult. It is a hard job, it is commitment and compromise. I’ve always respected stay at home moms, but after I became one and experienced first hand all the ups and downs I respect them even more.
So, when you hear someone asking “are you working or staying at home?” it hurts. You feel underappreciated not only for the work are you doing but also for all you have given up to take care of your family. For some it was a choice, for others the only viable option. But no matter the reason that lead a dad or a mom to stay at home, the work they do is important and as valuable as the ‘money maker’ role.
The good side of things, is that I have seen many more dads engaging in the upbringing of their children and sharing responsibilities in the house chores. It is nice to have a partner that comes home and appreciate the work you do, that take the kids away so you can recharge your energy or sleep in a bit more. I can’t complain on that end, as I have been fortunate to have a husband that works out all day but comes home and supports me with the kids and the house.
So, cheers to all stay at home parents and their wonderful partners! 🙂 Let their children grow happy and healthy and eventually give them full restful nights of sleep!