I was home with my oldest for a year before going back to work. I was young and single and being a stay at home mom wasn’t an option, but it was something I dreamed about. Chris never had an issue with daycare and I didn’t have a problem taking him there, but picking him up was by far my favorite time of day. He had the sweetest chunky little face and curly blond hair. I can still see him looking up from his toys and seeing that big smile when he realized it was me who had walked into the room. I would call in sick more than I should have just to spend the day with him.
When I had my second child, I was married and we agreed I’d stay home that first year to nurse. However, five months later we found out we were expecting our second child. Lactational amenorrhea is not the best form of birth control, just an FYI. At that point it didn’t make sense for me work. Shortly after my daughter was born, we started homeschooling, and it was decided that I would stay home with the kids and support my husband in with our Real Estate business anyway I could.
I’ve always wanted to be home with the kids and now I am, so I should be happy right? Well, I am; however, as with anything, there are draw backs to staying home with kids.
Here are 6 truths about staying home that I wasn’t aware of until living this lifestyle
1. It’s a lonely job. Sure you’re with your kids all day but there is very little adult interaction unless you are intentional with it. I am convinced the alienation causes anxiety disorders if you don’t force yourself out into the real world. When your kids are young, you don’t see people for days, sometimes weeks, and after a while it’s hard to interact with people.
2. You lose your adult vocabulary and it’s replaced with toddler vocabulary. I swear, I say, “What’s that word?” so often that sometimes it’s just easier to drop the conversation. Also, I’ve told my friends that I need to go potty more times than I care to admit. Embarrassing.
3. It’s draining. You’re “ON” from the time the kids wake up to the time they go to bed. The cooking and cleaning alone is a full time job. Then you throw in the refereeing, schooling, nursing, cuddling, playing and consoling- It’s a lot. If you’re not careful you can find yourself drained and overwhelmed very quickly.
4. The kids don’t just come first. You come last, dead last. You make your kids three of the healthiest meals, with healthy snacks in between, then you shove a bunch of crackers down your throat with a hand that’s so shaky you drop half of them on the floor. Then for lunch you eat what’s left on their plate once they’re finished eating. Okay maybe not everyone is that bad, but you definitely don’t take care of yourself as well as you should. There is just so much to do that the thought of taking a shower or sitting down to a meal stresses you out.
5. Guilt. So. Much. Guilt. There is always something to feel guilty about. You spoke to harshly to your kids. You made them cereal for dinner. You haven’t read them a book all week. You realize you’ve been focused on one child more than the other. You said no to playing ball because you had to cook lunch. Susan’s kids can read Latin and you have to threaten to beat your kid with a book just to get him to open it.
6. You have more patience for your kids than your husband. I don’t know what it is. Either you’ve used up all your patience on your kids, or because you’ve been bullied all day by tiny humans, you in turn bully your husband. When your kids ask you for a something to drink, your like, “Sure, honey”. When your husband asks you for a drink, your like, “Sure. Honey,” under your breath and you glare at him the whole way to the kitchen. Hey, I’m not saying it’s right. It’s just how it is.
Staying home and raising kids is really the most amazing, rewarding thing you’ll ever do. Having picnics outside for lunch, making blanket forts in the living room, watching your kids learn something new, there is nothing better.
It’s just important to be aware of obstacles so you can hurl right over them as they come up. You have to make yourself a priority. Set time aside each day to care for yourself and pursue your interests. Read a book. Take a class outside of the home. Make time for friends. Release yourself from the burden of being perfect, and instead just be really good. Be intentional with your self care and your relationship with your partner.
I only named 6 truths about staying home here, what are some of your truths. What is your favorite self care practice?