state of the, uh, union (?)

A friend of mine and I were discussing her recent decision to stay home with her children and I decided maybe it was time for a little state of the union about my own, uh, union: The Union of Staying Homeness. Before I begin I would like to remind everyone that this is my own personal experience/thoughts and nothing in the below paragraphs are meant to judge or critic or discuss the merits of staying homeness versus not staying homeness versus workingness versus blah blah blahbity blah. (Disclaimer done.)

So, yea, I've officially been a stay at home mom (SAHM. pronounced Saaaaaaaaahm. Long A. Bow down to Saaaaaaaaaahm. Ok, it's not really pronounced that way. And please don't bow down to me.) since May 2009. Gulp. We are approaching one year! Big Gulp. That is me out of the workforce for one year. Not a single "real job" on my resume since then. Sometimes it still makes me suck in my breath.

my adjustment phase:

("Adjustment phase" - ha! I'm such a geek. But there definitely was one. I still feel like I am constantly adjusting. Aren't we all? I hope so!)

The most difficult thing about this DRASTIC lifestyle change (for me) to get used to: the SLOWNESS and lack of daily structure. I've been working since 15. Even summers I had full time 8 to 5 jobs. (Well, except my freshman year of college. I didn't work that year and believe me it was a drunken, glorious, car-less (as in no vehicle) 365 days.) I've worked as many as three jobs at one time. I don't know why. I just have. I didn't really know what people that don't work "normal office hours" DO during the day and, when I first began staying home, I marveled at the sheer number of strangers ambling around the grocery and parks for weeks ! I still feel like I'm having to teach myself to SLOW DOWN and I attempt to be more of a homebody (because SAHMs MUST. STAY. HOME. lock the doors!) in a effort to further simplify. (It's okay to stay in. It's okay to watch movies during the day every so often. It's okay to sometimes stay in pajamas until noon. It's okay to occasionally eat popcorn and cheese sticks for lunch. It's okay to play on the internet during naptime. Aaaand REPEAT.)

Some days suck (especially rainy cold ones!). Some days are boring. Some days I wish TO GOD I had an office and (gasp) Outlook email. Some days I even wish for conference calls and slacks with a crease. Some days I would rather have my boss or my coworker yell/snark at me than watch my 20 month old throw one more piece of food or whine (or poop! ew. poop post! poop post! sorry for no warning!) one more time. When I'm having less than awesome days I try to remind myself that, if I were at the office, I would have days were I had to complete work I didn't love or deal with clients I didn't like. (AND I remind myself that I no longer have to write my name and DO NOT EAT on my lunch or store my breastmilk next to my bosses leftover spaghetti in a nasty office fridge!)

Mostly, we have great days. Nate and I run around so much visiting and learning and playing and laughing that we're both exhausted. We go visit Karl at work and spend time with Karl's parents and grandmother. Now that it is spring, we try to spend most of our daylight hours outside. He's at my favorite age yet and I intend to fully enjoy that this spring and summer.

Overall, I am just happy with my decision. Nate goes to school one day a week (soon it will be two!) and I spend that time recalling my inner-creative (that may or may not have gotten lost for a bit!). I ATTEMPT to spend my free time creating, designing, writing, reading, websiting, interneting and working with Karl on projects... and contemplating looking for more freelance or part time work. I like to think that if the right opportunity came along (part time, full time, or otherwise) I would consider taking it because I try to keep an open mind. (AND I'm getting a lot better about leaving Nate at school after the disastrous daycare dramas of past.)

Ahem. So, in conclusion, yeah, it's going pretty well. It's working for me and my family right now. I don't know what the next year is going to hold, but we're ready! We're constantly adjusting and reevaluating and working towards a happier, more balanced family life. What can I say? We work hard, we play hard, and we love it!

Evaluation OVER.


sdhorton said...

I think it is great Kat. I would ideally love to be able to do the same thing. I too like to stay busy so part time would be ideal for me so that's why the 4 days a week is the best I can come it with right now. They are so much fun and it's great that you get to experience that every day. Like you said you have to do what's best for your family. I am looking forward to all the outside play dates this spring and summer. They have been great already!

Sarah said...

love it - and love this post because i believe that what works for you and your family is what it is all about - and it truly seems thatyou guys are working this way and that makes me happy.

your state of the union - a great success.

Natalie and Matt Dill said...

Totally feel you on this one. It was REALLY hard quitting my job, moving to Singapore and then......nothing. I think the whole SAHM thing is the hardest job in the world! And at least you will never wonder what if?

Jennifer said...

I love that you are a SAHM because it allows me to make 5000 phone calls to you a day and I love that it goes like this..

me "oh shit gotta go, just walked into an account and the managers right here. I'll call you back"


you "oh shit Nate's trying to crawl on INSERT ANY LARGE OBJECT. I'll call you back"