So, yes. That happened. I'm employed again. I tried being a stay at home mom, or SAHM as they are known in the blogging community, and it didn't turn out the way it was supposed to. Basically, I completely sucked at it. There were a few weeks when I think I was mostly on the right track; I took the kids places and kept us all active and away from our home. However, I ran out of ideas very quickly. I thought I was a creative person, and maybe I am, but my creativity doesn't translate well into actual day-to-day functioning. (I'm still not sure if anything I do translates well into day-to-day functioning.) Basically, I had no freaking idea what to do with these two little people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Yes, sleeping factors in there somewhere but I was having really messed up dreams about Graboids eating my kids and reclusive old people kidnapping and murdering me so I have decided that my sleeping hours don't count. Something was stressing me out all the time.
So how is going back to work less stressful? Well, I get to talk to grownups again on a regular basis. As it turns out, that is really important for me. I started feeling both sorry for and resentful of Clyde when he came home at night because I would start babbling at him from the moment he walked in the door and I just couldn't understand why he wouldn't want to hear my stories about how many times Ethan pooped or the ferocious battle of wills that occurred between Ben and I at every mealtime. There was a small part of me that realized Clyde had just finished up a 12-16 hour day and the man needs at least a moment to unwind. But there was a larger part of me that just thought "OMG an adult! Must talk! BLAH BLAH BLAH CONVERSE WITH ME DAMNIT!!!!"
I also genuinely feel that my kids are better off at daycare. When they are there, they are interacting with other children, creating pictures, listening to stories, and just learning things that I lack the capacity and patience to teach. I tried to teach Ben how to write letters and numbers and just could not wrap my head around why he couldn't trace the dotted lines to make a letter "H" or number "9". After all, it's so easy for me to do it. Never mind that I'm 28 years old, have been through 17 years of school, and don't even have to think of how to hold a pencil correctly. My poor 4-year old son was frantically trying to live up to my insane expectations and we were both suffering for it. This is a HUGE failing on my part, I fully admit. Now, Ben is being taught by people who
aren't crazy know how to guide a small child and he's doing wonderfully.
I was raised by a SAHM and until I myself became a parent, it never occurred to me that my own mother could have ever envisioned another direction for her life. What she did for me, I could never possibly repay. I don't fully know what sacrifices and compromises she made, but I'm grateful to her. She did something that I now know I can't do. This doesn't mean that I don't enjoy being with my children. I swear to you that the best part of my day is having them run to me and hug me when I pick them up. I just acknowledge that there are people in the world who can be amazing stay at home parents but I'm not one of them.
So I'm back to earning a wage and I feel better for it. The boys are also doing great. Ethan is getting better at playing with other kids rather than just near them and Ben always has something to show me, something that he's very proud of. I think that if I've learned anything through my experience thus far as a mom it's that parenting is even more complicated than anyone or anything makes it seem. Every parent has to figure out what works and that process involves going through a lot of things that simply don't.
My hat goes off to SAHMs (or SAHDs), but I've got a nod and knowing look for those of us in the (paid) work place.
The stumbling continues.