During maternity leave I would have done ANYTHING to be a stay at home mom and raise my sweet newborn son for years if not decades. I looked into how to pull it off financially with side jobs, etsy shops, even selling our home in our expensive neighborhood and moving to the sticks to raise our brood of children. My hormones were on fire and I was determined to be a stay at home mom.
Now I realize why 6 weeks, 8 weeks, or even 12 weeks is not enough maternity leave for new moms, we are hormonal, delusional, and not even in the right mindset to return to the workforce, but we do. We may cry on the way to work, in the bathroom, and even quietly at our desks, but we return to work before we are ready.
Days turned into weeks back at work and probably a month or so before my son's first birthday, everything began to find its balance. Bedtime for my son evened out finally to 7pm so he was no longer napping the minute he got home from daycare and mornings became an easy routine where we all managed to get out the door somewhat on time. Then when he started on whole milk & the school food plan at one year, all that time dealing with bottles and mini containers of chopped up f00d became time gained and we all started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Going to work started to feel like a vacation compared to staying home with my ever growing son who needed more and more stimulation as each day passed.
Today was the end of a very long 3 day weekend and I realize more than ever that for 40 hours a week, I am meant to be at work. I love my son...madly. I love every moment we have together. But taking care of a child, even if it is my own, full time, is truly not for me. Honestly, I feel it is way harder to be a stay at home mom than a working mom. I enjoy adult conversations. going to the bathroom by myself, and eating lunch. All things that do not take place at home with a toddler. Sometimes when I am on the elevator alone at work I can't help but smile, the feeling of truly being alone is not something that you come by too often as the mother of young children.
I am now a little excited for Mondays. Yes I am jealous of the stay at home moms for brief moments when I am tired and feel like I can't keep this life together anymore, but I know that this is the right life for me. And if you are a stay at home mom right now and happy with what you do, it is indeed the right life for you...we are so lucky that we get to choose our life. It wasn't that long ago that staying home with the kids was the only option for a mother.
As spring break approaches, I am honestly a little intimidated by a week off with my son as I know I can't provide him the stimulation and exertion of energy that he requires and receives at school in a classroom filled with 15 kids connected to a playground. But I plan to spend every waking minute with him and take in every second because I am a working mom whose time is limited with my son, but at the same time is just enough.