Writing this, I can't believe it's been six weeks - it feels like six days! I half expect to have to wake up at 5AM for my corporate job any day, kind of like how you feel at the end of vacation, except this is no vacation - ha! I can honestly say that I have found so much fulfillment in my new full-time "job," much more than I anticipated. It hasn't been free of the occasional Mommy and/or Kid Meltdown, but the good days outweigh the bad by a long shot. I do think it would be easier to start as a SAHM from the beginning, because we're all trying to figure out new routines and new normals, but overall, we're figuring it out and having a pretty good time while doing it.
Some of my favorite things about being home are:
- Waking up with my family. On work days, I used to wake up at 5:15 AM and leave the house by 6:15 AM. I never got to see Marc or the kids on those mornings. Now, I get to wake up next to the love of my life every single day. Sometimes we have a few moments to ourselves, other times we sleep in and wake up to the sounds of pitter patter soon followed by pleas to eat "breafasth" and read "bookths." Seeing and spending quality time with my husband and kids every morning is by far my favorite thing, and I don't see that ever changing.
- Being home when Marc gets home. Marc used to get off before me, would pick the kids up and then get home and start dinner plans just as I was walking in the door in the evening. We would both then rush to get out of our work clothes, finish dinner, eat, get the kids bathed, play for a little bit, and then put them to bed. Hardly quality time - and those were evenings nothing was planned (like mid-week church service or events). Now, for the most part, Marc doesn't have to worry about any of that and when he gets home, it's pure quality time.
- Being here for the kids. Living far away from family is tough. It's tough because close family is kind of obligated to be there for you. When you don't have that, it's like a huge hole that no other humans can fill. Celebrating events like first days of school, school plays, Christmas and Easter programs, and any other life accomplishments... they just have us physically here. Even little things like when they're sick, I will always be here for them without the stress of Marc or me having to take days off from work and/or finding someone to watch them. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be here for them and support them as much as I possibly can no matter how monumental or minute the reason.
- More time and opportunity for things that fill me up spiritually and physically. I love that I have time each morning and throughout the day to read my bible and/or devotion without feeling rushed. Work should never ever become an excuse to forgo prayer/relationship and devotion, but for me, it was a MASSIVE stumbling block in my priorities, and I paid the price for it - trust me. Even if I had to return to the corporate work force, I'll never again allow my priorities get out of whack... but for the time being, I'm beyond grateful for the time I have been given to devote to that part of my walk. My physical and mental self is also welcoming the break from sitting behind a desk each day and more routine yoga and exercise. Growing stronger and healthier in all areas of my life is something I hope to forever pursue.
- NAPS. Sometimes Mommy's need time-outs too, and other times that Netflix series cliffhanger forces us to watch "just one more episode" at 1AM earns me a good nap. I don't often take naps, but there are some days that I am so glad I am able to.
Some of the unexpected things I've experienced are:
- I still despise grocery shopping. I'm just not good at it at all! Marc, being the great guy he is, still offers to do it for me, but I refuse to let him. It's part of my "job" now, and I'll get better at it, right? Please tell me it wont always take me 4 hours! Oh, and the bill! Being home for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks... we obviously all eat a lot more at home - so the grocery bill is crazy different. But we hardly, if ever, eat out anymore.
- How truly terrible I am at ironing. Kind of like with the grocery shopping... Marc has always done the ironing. Even ironing my work clothes in the past because I was so terrible at it. Growing up, all of our stuff went to the cleaners - so it wasn't often we ironed. Marc on the other hand, went to seminary... so he ironed dress clothes daily. I had taken a batch of Marc's dress shirts and pants to the cleaners a few weeks ago, and of course, they did a great job - but that can be a big budget item when he works 5-6 days a week, you know? So, figuring that could be a part of my "job," I googled how to iron dress shirts and watched three different how-to videos. Yes, seriously. Laugh all you want, I know it's lame. Anyway, after an hour I had successfully ironed three... yes, only three... shirts. I can only get better and faster, right? I am actually quite proud of those shirts, no matter how embarrassing it may be! :)
- Potty training the second is not as easy as the first. Maybe because there is just another kid around that needs attention and also distracts the one potty training... but I think we finally... FINALLY have it down. My Ains baby no longer wears diapers - day or night!
- Learning how truly unloving I can be. Since love is very patient and kind, not touchy or irritable... whoaaah do I have a lot to learn about love, starting with the people I care the most about. I've always struggled with patience... but I didn't realize just how much until being home with a five and a two year old all the time. Am I kind, even when correcting? And let's not even talk about being touchy or irritable at the end of long days. Sheesh. I'm learning to love, and by His grace, I hope to love a little more each day than the day before.
- Time passes at warp speed. I have such good intentions every morning of things I want to get done... but sometimes the only thing that gets accomplished is keeping the kids alive.
- No matter how good or bad the day was, no matter now clean or messy the house is or what's for dinner, having the love and support of Marc has been key for me. He works such long hours for our family to be able to function as it does, and never expects to "not work" at home. That whole bullet point above about love? He's got it down so much better than I do. No matter his workload, he still comes home and unselfishly gives, serves, and believes the best in all of us.
I am looking forward to growing in all areas of my new role and I can't wait to see what's in store next for our family!