I never intended to be a stay-at-home mom, but extra ordinary circumstances led me to be home with my baby for the first year of his life. At first it was great, I never really had to get dressed; living in yoga pants and nursing tank tops, sleeping when I could, pumping on the couch whenever I needed to, and the best part – getting all the baby snuggles I could ever want. I was very spoiled with an amazingly good baby; he ate well, slept well, and barely ever cried. I was loving my time at home… until I wasn’t.
The boredom started setting in about week 5.
Feeling like the financial burden was all on my husband’s shoulders and I was not contributing hit me about 3 months in.
When the baby was about 10 weeks old, I went back to work for a month until we moved to the family cabin for the winter so my husband wasn’t driving 3 hours a day to go to work. We moved back to our house in Grand Rapids for the summer because no one wanted to buy it. I stayed home because we didn’t know what was going to happen or when our house was going to sell. That spring we had found the perfect home in Esko and I started spending my days hoping and praying that our house would sell so we could move and I could get a job; and my husband was hoping and praying our house would sell so I would find a job and stop bugging him at work all the time.
I did find things to do while I was home. The baby and I traveled back to North Dakota quite a bit to see my family and go to Bison Football games, we spent time outside walking and sledding, we definitely spent a lot of time at Target, and we even took at trip to Michigan to visit a friend -just me and a 6 month old on a plane… yikes! While we were at the cabin and closer to Duluth, we went to Stroller Strides class and joined a mom’s group at the local baby store. But I was starting to go crazy; the need for adult conversation and a few hours away not needing to worry about poopy diapers and being covered in baby drool was something I longed for.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my child unconditionally and truly enjoyed spending the first year of his life at home with him; but I wasn’t wired to be a stay-at-home mom. By the time he turned one you could tell he was getting sick of me, and to be completely honest, I felt like at times I was getting sick of him. He was a social butterfly and needed to interact with more kids his age and I just needed a few days a week where I could look and act like an adult; because crawling around on the floor all day in yoga pants and my husband’s old sweatshirt just wasn’t cutting it for me.
Then it happened, the call came in that we had sold the house! We were free to start the process of officially moving. By the time we moved to Esko in October, J was going to daycare just down the road and I had found the perfect part-time job, 3 days a week 8am-4pm. It was like everything was falling into place.
J loves daycare and the transformation has been amazing! He has come out of his shell and is showing us how smart he is and what a great little personality he has. He was learning sign language and making new friends within the first few weeks and after just a few months he moved to the toddler room and the amount of new things he learns everyday is truly mind blowing; these are all things I would have not had the patience or knowledge to teach him myself if he was home with me. We were truly blessed to find a place and people who really care for our child when he is at daycare – I mean he walks right in when I drop him off and I can barely get him to come home with me when I go pick him up. The best part is that he isn’t sick of me anymore! I guess the saying is true; absence makes the heart grow fonder. For me being at work three days a week has allowed me to have the adult time I so desperately needed and it has made me truly love the time I get to spend with my little guy. Daycare literally saved my sanity and made my relationship with my baby even stronger.
I know I am lucky that I was able to be home with my baby for a year. I know there are moms out there who would love the opportunity to be home with their kids and I know there are moms like me who were not wired to stay at home full time. What we all have in common is that we are all moms; it doesn’t matter if you stay home or go to work, we all love our kids unconditionally and we all work hard to care and provide for our families to the best of our abilities. So cheers to all of the stay-at-home moms and working moms because the other thing we all have in common is that we all deserve a drink once the kids are in bed!