It’s a question I get asked from time to time.
And as much as I have longed to be where I am today, you’d think I’d be better at articulating just how much I love it.
Instead I usually end up saying something like this: for “oh yeah! It’s great! You know, it’s insane....messy....laundry, ecetera...SO MANY DIAPERS!! Dan cleans the kitchen 🐶... but yeah! I love it!”. Uhm reaaaaaal convincing Laura (and great sentence forming skills 👍🏻).
I don’t want to try to convince anyone that it’s all amazing all the time, but some people I talk with are genuinely interested in what it’s like, and maybe even considering giving it a shot themselves. What is it like staying home with young kids? And do you like it as much as you hoped?
When I first made this decision, I thought it would be temporary. In my mind, a 6 month maternity leave seemed way more acceptable than the tortuously brief 12 week leave I took with Ruthie. But then I wrote this post after being home for 7 months, so I started to think one year sounded like a pretty good plan. Welp we’re goin’ on two years now, and going back to a full-time dealio with a boss and a commute and strict office hours doesn’t look like its happening any time soon.
Truthfully, SAHM-ing is like anything else, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. It really is all the things I mutter incoherently to people when they ask about it. It’s messy and it is insane. It’s weird sometimes in that I’ve become friends with a lot of grandmas at the playground and the library, and there is a large section of my closet that is collecting dust. It involves financial insecurities I’ve never had to think about before. And makes me wonder if it might actually be impossible to keep the kitchen clean. But I definitely DEFINITELY love it as much as I’d hoped.
Gut feelings don’t come often for me. There have definitely been times where I’ve shouted “WHERE WAS MY GUT ON THAT terrible DECISION?” (Like my brief stint in sales, or the time I got straight across bangs and lowlights at the same damn time). But the decision to stay home was 100% GUT. Deeper even - soul, blackberry stained jeans, toes. Maybe gut-listening is a skill that develops as you get older. Remembering how badly I wanted what I currently have is humbling and important. It helps me focus on the good things and let the little things go.
It’s so easy to dwell on small, fleeting problems when you have little kids. I’ve fallen into the habit of texting my friends something along the lines of “they sleep for 20 minutes a night” or “someone pooped on the carpet” or “Bobby brought a dead toad inside and put it in the bathtub”. In reality, the good moments faaar out number the carpet-turds, but I don’t seem to share them as much. I’m a dweller on the things-gone-wrong trying to convert to a dweller on the things-gone-right.
Here’s a more eloquent response to anyone wondering how stay-at-home life is: I have a lot of help. I have amazing parents and amazing in-laws and they love the kids so much and hang out with them each week. On the afternoons they spend at mimi’s, I can cook a bunch of meals, clean the house, watch Gilmore Girls, listen to podcasts, write blog posts. Because of them I have the opportunity to recover from the moments that feel like drowning. The bottom line is I will cherish this time for-ev-er and I appreciate my gut for leading me here (and everyone else who supports my gut ‘n me).