First, I am a stay-at-home parent. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be one. I didn't realize the transition from career wife to home wife would be even a little bit of a challenge, but amazingly it took some adjusting. In my previous life I was a Kindergarten teacher, but for a wide variety of reasons that career was deeply unsatisfying. For me. And when I became pregnant with E, C and I decided I'd stay home for at least a year. I was lucky enough to have a job in a district that would hold my position for two years. If, during that two year time, I had another baby, I'd get another year before I'd have to either go back or resign.
The extra year? Um, yeah. Didn't happen. And although I already knew I wasn't going back, it was a bigger shock than I'd thought sending in my letter of resignation. "Hey school district? You know how people are DYING to get a teaching job, and you're laying people off, and people are taking any jobs they can to bolster their resumes? Know how you're the top school district in the area? Yeah, well, you can shove it. Thanks." Or something like that.
Anyway, I'm now an official SAHM. So here's the typical day. C gets up with E on weekdays and Saturdays. Which, these days, can be anywhere from 5:30 to 6:30. They head downstairs, feed the pets, E has his yogurt--all while I'm catching a few extra minutes of sleep. I come down around 7:15, and C goes to get ready for work. Usually we watch a whole bunch of TV--E will have an apple, look at his magazines, watch a few shows, all while I have my coffee (that C made for me) and catch up online; checking email, blogs, FB, whatever.
After all that, we head upstairs so I can shower and get E dressed. He still sleeps in a crib, so while I'm in the shower he hangs in there with some books, trucks, magazines, his monkey--Pull (long story)--and his pacifiers (don't judge--they're just for in the crib). We get dressed, head downstairs, and start our real day. Usually this includes errands--today it was dry cleaners and the library--but some days it's the zoo, music class, the science museum, or a random trip somewhere. I prefer getting errands out of the way early, before the after-work-and-school crowd shows up. (Ever try going to the grocery store at 4PM? Horrors.)
We have lunch at around 11:45, then E goes up for a nap. He's--knock on wood--a really good napper, and he'll even tell me, "Mommy, I go up for a nap now." Bless his little heart. Any time in the crib usually involves books, trucks, or magazines (I swear, this kid LOVES looking through magazines/catalogues of toys, bedding, books--you name it). While he's asleep I get my only quiet time of the day--and to me this is sacred. I can nap, but usually I go online again, clean some things, usually vacuum somewhere, think about what to make for dinner, and, oh yeah, write (hence the name of this blog. Clever, no?).
When E gets up, we usually watch a little more TV, read some books, and, most recently, have lots of TRUCK TIME. This is what he calls it: "Hey Mom, let's have some TRUCK TIME!" So we play, hang out--we used to take the dog for a walk in the afternoon, before heaving myself down the sidewalk became too much of a chore. Poor Cosmo.
C gets home around 5-5:30, for which I am eternally grateful. I feel very lucky he's able to be home at such a reasonable hour, because by 5 I'm about at my limit. He takes E upstairs to change clothes and then I can make some dinner. We eat around 6-6:30. C takes E up for a bath, then when they come down E and I watch trucks on TV--YouTube on the BluRay player. E goes to bed around 7:45, where I read him some stories (recent favorites are Tom by Tomie De Paola, and Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins). The benefit of being a former teacher is the wicked library I accumulated --we have hundreds of great picture books, leaving out library gathering to the non-fiction variety.
So then I head downstairs, where C and I are so exhausted we watch TV, or "Dexter" on streaming Netflix, or now the Sabres games. Sometimes we read, sometimes we play games. I, invariably, am in bed by 10 PM.
Some of you reading this might think, "Holy crap, what a boring-ass day!" But I love it. Being a SAHM has given me the space I need to grieve--outside of people watching me, away from the tedium of a job I don't enjoy. I find my son to be funny, and a good conversationalist, and we have fun together. Is it monotonous sometimes? Sure. So we go to the playground or somewhere he can run around.
I hated the rigidity of my work schedule--thinking about working and having to make an important, personal phone call makes me break out in hives. Or, goodness, taking a day off? Scheduling a doctor's appointment? It's not as though I could leave my desk and catch up the next day. I'd always be more worried about what was happening in my classroom, how things were going down, wondering if I'd covered all my bases. I love the freedom I have now--that's just my personality. Do I like being busy? Yes, I do. I like having projects to work on and a to-do list, and I like being extremely organized. Only now it's for things that are truly important to me. And for this I a grateful.