In the spirit of honesty, I’ll shoot it to you straight. I was unsure if I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. There, I said it. I know, I’m a terrible person. Whatever. But I have been working for a very long time and I get a sense of accomplishment and identity out of it. That sounds pathetic, perhaps, that I’ve let my job define me in a small way. But my dad instilled a strong work ethic in me and I’m proud to be able to put it to good use and show it off a bit.
So these past six weeks, without spreadsheets and payroll deadlines and co-worker camaraderie, I’ve felt like I was missing something. Like I’m not contributing back to society or some bullshit like that. Not knowing what day of the week it is or being required to put on makeup makes me feel somehow lesser. But keep in mind, I’ve been post-partum and my hormones are just now settling back into normalcy. Now I’m getting my bearings and the fog is lifting.
So it was just today that it hit me, while I was running around the lake at 10 a.m., pushing a sleeping Holden in the jogging stroller. What job would let me do this? And I thought it again when I read Brandon Thump Quack Moo for the umpteenth time. What job would let me do this? And I thought it again when I sat down to write this blog while both of my boys are peacefully sleeping. What job would let me do this?
And of course, no job would allow me to do all these things. Jobs require your time, and that is the one thing I can’t buy more of. If I was working all day, I wouldn’t get to dance around to “the DJ Shuffle” with Brandon on repeat. I wouldn’t get to smash down his Playdoh for him or watch Holden as he smiled over and over, and then actually cooed at me. I have all the time there is to have with my boys now.
And I also have more time for myself. I haven’t had this much time to be myself since before having kids. I have mastered the art of getting both the boys to take naps at the same time and I use it to do Pilates and to read and to write. I have written ten pages of a novel this week. I feel myself again. I’m not anyone’s bitch at work any more. I’m not running errands for work over my lunch break (which used to be my only time to myself).
I am a mom who is also a reader and a writer and a walker and a sometimes runner. I can have my cake and eat it too. And I am certainly contributing back to society. What greater contribution can a person make in their life than raising up a child to be a responsible, kind, intelligent adult? I know I will go back to work when the boys start school. And then I will work from then until I retire, no doubt. So this little pause in that monotony is exactly what my boys and I need. This time we have would tick by one way or another, so I’m glad I’m able to spend it with them.