At Home: the first SAHM weeks after working-mom life

As a stay-at-home mom, the days can be tedious and repetitive.  There’s the morning “activity period”, naptime for one of my kids and “quiet time” for the other, an evening “activity period”, dinnertime and bedtime.  Every day.  Motherhood can feel like a single scene caught in an endless loop.  “I’m hungry!” is usually the scene theme.

After 15 months of my full-time job, my memories of the SAHM life have proven accurate.  For nearly two weeks I’ve been back in my role as the full-time caregiver.  There’s lots of crying, ‘mommymommymommmymommy’ shouting, and fighting over toys.  There’s zero privacy, no meals of my own, and little space to write.

There has also been a whole lot of life to live.  We’ve made daily trips to the playground, ate lots of pizza, and played for hours in their circus tent.  It’s been the kind of new, exciting, lazy summer fun you think only exists on television.  Over the next few months I do hope to find a new routine.  Gavin will start school and I will once again be compelled to pour my soul out on paper.  For now, even with the lack of structure, the comfort of one another’s company is enough to keep us content.   Everything feels new.

When you are with your kids all day every day, you notice even the smallest changes.  I see C’s crazy streak has been tempered.  She is quick to grab my hand or ask for help when she’s beyond her limits.  Don’t misunderstand me: she’s still climbing ladders that my 3yo is scared to even approach, but she seems to be more aware of her own limits rather than jumping head first into every single step.  I see Gavin stretching beyond his comfort zones.  With mommy watching, he climbs to new heights, he jumps without needing to hold my hand, and he talks to other children without needing a prompt.

As for me, I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.  It’s been a struggle to explain why I left an ideal job.  It’s been a struggle to identify my future career path.  It’s been a struggle to look women that I respect in the eye and tell them “working full-time out of the house is simply too much time away from my young children.”  It’s been hard to see the judgment in their faces.

Yet, even with these external struggles, I feel more content than even my best day on the job.  Words cannot capture what feels right in my heart, especially when it makes no sense on paper.  My fears, my worries, my bad days — they haven’t disappeared, but, with my children and my family, I have the confidence to know we can handle whatever comes at us, financially, emotionally, physically.

I am at home and it feels that way.

Of course, always having snacks helps make a happy family

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16 thoughts on “At Home: the first SAHM weeks after working-mom life

  1. Oh happy! I’d been worried about you and you were having a ball in your circus tent. I thrilled for you. So glad you are doing what you need to do for now. The future will be fine. And y’all are gorgeous!

    • I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know how you can even judge when each situation is at least subtly different. So many factors go into these decisions yet people generalize to “did you decide to stay home or go to work?” It’s so much more complicated than that question allows.

  2. I love your writing and am happy and excited for you! Identifying what you want and taking action on those wants – those are ‘big girl’ moves right there! I can hear the joy in your words and I loved the last line – perfection! All that plus a really happy photo of you all – congrats!

  3. Good for you! As a working mom, I am aghast that other working moms would look at you with judgment in their faces. I bet that judgment is doing a good job of hiding the envy that is probably under it. As for me, I just feel guilty that I’m not at home with my 6 month old all the time. But I know that: 1. he is in great hands with an awesome caregive who teaches him Spanish and 2. I am not cut out to be a SAHM. We should all do what makes us happy and what is good for our kiddos. P.S. you and the kiddos are beautiful!

    • The spectrum of how we make these decisions is wide. Maybe if I had loved the job a little more, maybe if they bonded with their caregiver a little more – any shade of certain factors could have made my decision a different one. But alas, this is where we are now. I choose to cherish it and ignore the feelings in every other direction. Sounds like that is exactly what you are doing too. Good for you!!!

  4. I can so relate to this post. Especially this – I feel more content than even my best day on the job. Words cannot capture what feels right in my heart, especially when it makes no sense on paper. – I was just relaying this sentiment to someone tonight when she asked if I’m still glad I quit my job. I figure I’ll work on some sort of career plan eventually. Right now I’m grateful for the chance to take it day by day.

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  6. It’s good to be home! I worked until 2 years ago (I’m 48 now). At that point we moved from CA to NJ so I decided to stay home. I’m ok with early retirement because I worked a long time but this mother job is 24/7 and sometimes the fam doesn’t appreciate that. But I think despite the mundane, it’s the most rewarding thing you can do! ! I can’t wait to read more!

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