There were a few months in between my departure from the full-time job I had before having my baby that I'd gone back to after maternity leave, and my when I started working again in a new field, and during those months I was hardcore, full-time, stay-at-home momming. And I'm not gonna lie, most of the time it was glorious. If they're anything like I was, the things stay-at-home moms think about are mostly related to how much they really like what they're doing, despite all stereotypes about being bored, resentful, and drunk all the time. I felt like I was living the dream as a stay-at-home mom. I’d rock my baby to sleep with gentle dance moves, appreciating the afternoon sun that came in through the kitchen. How had I never noticed it before? How had I never noticed how effing beautiful my town was? How quaint and homey our neighborhood was? How gentle and cuddly my son was when his dad and I weren’t stressfully handing him off in between meetings? How crisp and fragrant the autumn air was? Everything was amazing and there was nothing wrong with the world.
And then...reality hit. A couple weeks into my SAHM career, I caught the mother of all colds, and it knocked me on my ass. I barely had energy to blow my nose, let alone tend to my six-month-old. All of a sudden, I understood what other moms meant when they talked of being in the trenches. And even after I got better, it grew clearer and clearer that being a stay-at-home mom isn’t all sunshine and snuggles. Allow me to share the full spectrum of what went through my mind on those early days at home:
"This Is The Best!"
Life is awesome! Here we are, just me and my baby, in our home, being awesome! Woo hoo!
"This Is The Worst!"
Ugh, this is so boring. Here we are, just me and my baby, in our home, and it’s so boring. Boo.
"How Is It Only 9:00 A.M.?"
I wonder how many more rounds of pat-a-cake I have before I can switch to itsy-bitsy spider without causing tears.
"My Kid Is The Cutest!"
Wait, what am I complaining about? I’m getting gummy smiles on the regular.
"What Day Is It?"
Actually, I’m not sure that it matters.
"Do We Need To Leave The House Today? (Or, Do I Need To Put On A Bra Today?)"
Do I have something today? No? Does the baby? No? Guess it's time for more sweatpants.
"How Close Are We To Nap Time?"
I mean, Facebook isn’t going to check itself.
"How Close Are We To The Arrival Of Another Adult?"
Only five hours until someone who can talk gets home!
"If I Still Worked Outside The House, I’d Probably Be Running Late For A Meeting Right Now."
Instead, I’m inside the house, running late for lunchtime. Now that I work from home, I actually still think about my old work life all. the. time...but with no regrets (at least, not so far).
"Why Did I Sign Up For This?"
Typically, this one always strikes as I’m trying to make a snack for a desperately hungry little who hasn’t eaten for, oh, 20 minutes or so.
"I’m The Luckiest Mom Ever."
This is the feeling I keep coming back to. Cheesy? Yes. But oh so true.