Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Coming to terms with being a SAHM

I've been a stay at home mom for 4 years now. It wasn't exactly my dream to be at home with kids. I had envisioned my early adulthood working as a high powered graphic designer, working late nights and meeting deadlines, not doing late night feedings and changing diapers. When I met Mr. Wonderful, something strange happened, I wanted kids. (If you knew me at the time, you'd know that it was out of character.) Maybe it's some biological connection that you make when you meet someone right, or maybe my clock started ticking... who knows. When I found out I was pregnant, it's was the obvious decision to stay home. 1. As a child I had spent a lot of time in daycare and I hated it. 2. I didn't like the idea of someone raising my kid to be one of those obnoxious rugrats that I couldn't stand to be around. 3. We couldn't afford it. So, we maintained a simple life and I stayed home.

The first 6 months were awesome! I got to sleep in, relax... clean... stare at the walls... change diapers...  stare at a sleeping baby... feed the baby... stare at the floor... It got old fast. That first year, having 1 income couldn't even afford us internet and cable, I was bored out of my mind. What I would have given for a fussy baby... The following 6 months, I just felt like a loser. All of my friends were finishing their degrees and here I was, a couple credits away from a bachelor's degree, kicked out of art school, and being a "mommy". Nobody that we met even bothered to ask what I did, it was just assumed that I was some mindless housewife, and I felt small and undervalued. Depression hit hard and when the Wild Thing turned a year, I finally got a bug up my butt to try to work from home. I did research on what qualified me to be a graphic designer and I had enough credits between web design and graphic design to earn me the title of "bachelor's degree equivalent". All that I needed was a 20 piece portfolio. -- I think my computer crashed on purpose, it was like, you suck and you need to start over. -- At first I was furious to have to start over but then my new stuff rocked! I secretly thanked ol' mac for crashing. I did 13 pieces in a year. My plan was to start promoting myself after my 15th piece and do freelance graphic design from home. When I became pregnant with Twinkle Toes, I developed a serious case of artist's block. After she was born, I expected the fog to lift and I'd be able to jump back on the wagon, but 2 kids made it impossible to complete an entire thought -- Thus, I began hating being a stay at home mom. I wasn't crazy about it before, now I HATED it.

I just wanted a little job. A way to get out of the house, earn a little extra cash, and find some sanity. I knew that the kids needed me here, and I only wanted something part time. The other issue was that I still wanted to be able pursue graphic design... So, I decided to train to be a yoga instructor. I love doing yoga, I want to be able to share it with other people and the job has very flexible hours. Last November, I signed up for a course in June. I would have done it sooner, but June was the first available. Well... it hit me a couple of months ago, my days are numbered... I'm not going to be home all day forever... It's like a huge weight was lifted, and I could finally treat this like the vacation that everyone thinks it is. Haha! Yea... I'm not yet a working mom, but when I hear about them complaining about working and not being able to stay at home, I think, THEY have it easy! This sums it up perfectly: Stay-At-Home vs. Working Parents: Questions to help spouses bridge the communication gap. The only thing that I can add is, pretend you busted your ass all day and nobody noticed. Nobody said thank you and the world proceeded to move on as if you never existed. Maybe I'd feel differently in their shoes...

Now we are taking full advantage of this and we never sit still. We're either fishing, hiking, gardening, taking care of chickens, running errands, or going to yoga. I've given up having a spotless house because after dusting your entertainment center 1,460 times, you really just want to throw it out the window... and if your never home, it doesn't bother you. I'm ABSOLUTELY LOVING IT!! Why did it take me so long to get here? Why did I care so much about what everyone thought? And can I maintain this joy about it forever? We will see, we will see.

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