I am a stay-at-home-mom. This fact is still surprising to me. I have worked since I was 14 years old. I have babysat, worked at a grocery store, was a waitress, a teacher, and several other jobs along the way. During college, I worked weekends and Wednesday’s as a waitress. I often would not get home until 2 or 3 in the morning, and still managed to get good grades. I am a worker. It’s who I am. However, as this current moment in my life, it is best for me to be home with my kids.
Even now, I am not laying on the couch watching TV. Although, we do this a couple of times a week, for about an hour. As a stay-at-home, I homeschool my children, am going back to school, am a book reviewer, a homeschool curriculum reviewer, and help lead our homeschool co-op. I am always busy. My mind has to be always engaged. I have to be working at something. It’s just who I am .
With that being said, my house is always a mess. Always. I can clean it from top to bottom, and five seconds later it is torn apart. My kids are active. So is my dog, and cat. Our house is full of activity, and I am okay with that. There will be a day in the not so distant future that my kids won’t be here anymore. My house will be spotless, but I will miss the sounds of them clambering down the stairs. I know this.
I am tired. ALWAYS. I love my children more fiercely than I think is humanly possible. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do for them. Everything I do is for their betterment. However, I am ALWAYS with my children. I have to be “on” all of the time. I am exhausted. Which is why my hair looks like a birds nest on top of my head, and my makeup only happens on the weekends. I don’t have the energy to do anything different. It’s not that I have let myself go. My get-up-and-go has gone.
I am starved for adult interaction. Yes, even me, who is a self-proclaimed introvert, is in desperate need of adult interaction. At this point, I would be glad for a visit from my worse enemy. Of course, then they could use my unkept house and appearance as ammunition against me, but I am willing to risk it at this point. I talk to my mom a hundred times a day. I get excited when my sister and husband call me from work. I am even excited when my grumpy, older brother stops in for a few minutes. (Just for you Wilbur. Frankie, I know you are rolling at this point.)
Being a stay-at-home mom is a lot like being on homebound from school as a kid. For the first bit, you are excited. Everyone else is off at school, and you get to stay home and do what you want. Then the novelty wears off. Everyone else is at school, and you feel as if you are missing out. Your friends aren’t there, and may even forget about you. When someone plays “hooky” and stays home so you can talk to them all day, it is the best day ever. (This is a nod to you Nathan. You seriously made my day way back in high school when you did this.)
Despite these things, I wouldn’t trade this time with my kids for anything. I get to be the person who teaches them the things they need to know. I get to watch them when they have been struggling, and then they finally get it. I get to catch every smile, every laugh, every tear, and every fight. I could do without the fights, but it comes with the territory. This is the best thing for our family right now, and I am glad that I get to do it. I miss working. I miss having coworkers to converse with. I miss a lot of things, but I won’t miss my kids, or any of their amazing moments. That’s well worth it.