I’ve been a stay at home mom for a full week now. So far so good. No crazy mama moments. After spending the last 18 years or so working outside of the home, the transition has proven a little surprising.
Everyone’s got jokes.
Currently my unemployed status has been the butt of many a joke among the adults in the family. I don’t mind. It’s all in good fun. I especially like that my work from home sister and my work from home three days a week brother in law have jokes. I may not work for a company but I do “work from home.” Like now. This is me working. From home. (3 cents a month counts as a wage, right?)
Now that it’s my full time “job” to keep my house, I’ve felt duty bound to do the work myself and not ask for help from other family members.
Granted, my sister and brother in law were visiting from Charleston and on vacation for the holidays. My husband is home from a mentally grueling job in a war zone so I don’t feel like burdening him (much) while he’s home on R&R. My father in law is visiting from Colorado for the first time in years. I kind of feel like I get the privilege of spending time with the kiddos all year round. Why ask for help with dishes from loved ones, that don’t have this privilege? I like hearing the sounds of love coming from the kids as they get to spend time with absent loved ones.
Making three meals a day is hard work.
I did all the cooking when I worked my nine to five. Quick and easy breakfasts (gogurt and a granola bar) and packing my son’s lunch for school doesn’t really count as cooking, I had no idea. This week I have been making hot breakfasts, lunches, and dinner! I thought I spent all my time in the kitchen before…Surprise!
When I am not cooking, I am washing dishes.
So much so that I need to find a mat for me to stand on in front of the sink. I noticed my feet hurting after a few days and realized my days sitting at my desk at work are a luxury of the past. All this extra cooking has the side effect of extra dishes to be washed.
No excuse for a messy house
The flip side is that I no longer have the excuse of working full time and not having enough time to do anything. The surprising thing is that I really do want a neat and tidy home. I thought it would be a passing fad, like how I will wear makeup everyday for a week or so before I get “over it” and revert to my normal frazzled mommy lazy chic.
Started to think about “decorating”
I’ve always wanted to have a nice, decorated home. However since I struggled to just do the dishes, bathe the kids, and pick out their clothes for tomorrow, making the house look pretty didn’t really rank high on the list of the priorities. Lately, I have been wondering about how new toss pillows would change the feel of the room.
No rest for the weary
I haven’t been taking as many “relaxation” breaks this week. I don’t know that this is the new norm for me though. I have been working like a fiend getting the house in order for visiting family. I also want a clean slate before we start the daily routine (when school starts again.) Now that I am no longer leaving the house to be productive, I want nothing more than to optimize the house itself to help my personal productivity.
Self-imposed deadlines cause just as much stress as employer imposed deadlines.
Instead of worrying about what I have to do before work starts I think about what I have to do to get things “right” at home. For me, right is having the house cleaned and organized to the point where I only need to do housework a couple of hours a day to maintain it. I am done with marathon cleaning weeks (well—I will be after this one is done)
I will never be done
No really. There is no end to this project! I will continue to cook and wash dishes. There will always be a chore to be done. The bright side is that my home has never been as inviting. I used to get so overwhelmed I would just give up and accept that it would never be as nice as other people’s homes. It is a possibility now.
As usual, there is nobody putting any of these stresses on me or expecting me to turn into Susie Homemaker overnight, except for me. It is a personal flaw that I always want to do everything exactly how it “should be done” in my delusional mind.
I don’t know that this week is any indication of how life will be once it is back to the scrugglets and I trudging through our daily grind until Daddy is home again…next time for good. This house has been bursting at the seams from love and I am not looking forward to riding the emotional rollercoaster with the kids once their Dad says good-bye. But this time, I won’t have to divide my attention between the kids and my job. I will be there for the whole ride without feeling guilty for having to leave my crying emotional kids to go to work.
The grass is greener from the other side. The next few weeks I will be working on planning. Planning meals, cleaning schedules, writing time, and oh yeah…how I will juggle the three classes I am taking since I decided to go back to school with all this other Staying home stuff.
Veteran SAHM’s I salute you.
So do you have any tips to make the transition easier for me? Comment them below!