When I found out I was pregnant with Asher, the store that I was managing was in the process of closing down. My due date coincided with when the store would be closed so I new I would be a stay-at-home mom with my second baby. Won't that be wonderful, I thought. After all, Nathanael was a breeze to raise!
Oh, naive woman! I had conveniently forgotten that another woman had been aiding me in raising Nathanael thirty two hours a week. My goodness, days would go by when I wouldn't even have to change a poopy diaper! And, Nathanael was only one boy! Do you know how much difference there is between one boy and two boys? A LOT!!!
Staying home, mothering live and in person, 24/7. Oy! I still don't always get to go to the bathroom by myself. My "meals" are hit and miss. And, conversation? During the day, it's pretty surreal and rarely makes sense. (Just now, Asher started singing, "We're going to build a dam, dam, dam. We're building a dam! Dam, dam, dam, dam..." My ears are still ring from all of the sort-of profanity!) Being a stay-at-home mom is a bit like being in an absurdist's play. It doesn't make much sense, there's no way out, and your brain hurts.
BUT...It has truly been an incredible experience. I am grateful that I get to do this. My husband is working a lot so that I can stay home with our children and raise them, full-time. I get to experience every first of Asher's. We are very close and we will hopefully remain that way. I enjoy taking care of our home and my family. Hopefully they all feel like it's a good thing, too.
There are lots of positives to this staying home thing but it is very different. I don't have anytime for anything anymore. When I worked full-time and had a baby, I had time to do... stuff. Now that I am home and have added one more boy...where did the time go? Seriously, I felt like I was making it through each day by the skin of my teeth. I still don't quite understand how it works out like that. More time = less time? It probably involves math. I don't do math.
I also felt guiltier. Go figure! I felt bad about letting someone else raise the first baby and I felt bad about staying home to raise the second baby. I felt bad for my husband who works so hard. I felt bad for Nathanael who had to be with a babysitter. I felt bad for other mothers who worked. I felt bad. Anybody else feel that way?
A couple of years ago, I got over it! I figured things out. Like, for one thing, my husband works hard at taking care of us and I work hard at taking care of him in return. Nathanael had a wonderful babysitter whom he adored and missed a great deal when he had to leave her. And, on top of all of that, I work really hard here! I have no excuses now for letting the dusting go by the wayside. My work day begins a about 6:30 and ends at, well, it doesn't end, does it. I'm "on-call" when I'm not actually "on".
It goes back to choices, again. I made this choice to stay home with Asher. Now I'm making it work! There are lots of sacrifices I've had to make. My social life is almost non-existent. However, I no longer feel bad about leaving my kids with a babysitter once in a blue moon. My free time is pretty short, too, but I've learned how to make the most of it. I also keep my eye on the prize. I know the kind of men I'd like my boys to become. I know that my time, now, is important in helping Nathanael and Asher become great men, husbands and fathers. The example I set as mother, wife and woman will help determine who they will choose to marry, someday.
Someday. For now, I am making the most of this time I have with my boys. It goes by quickly and I'll never have an experience like this again.