I’ve been home full-time for over three years now. I was in school full-time for the first year of that and added a child during the second year.
When Noah and Nora were tiny, I was home during the day, but truly hated it. I worked a menial job at Starbucks which I enjoyed and hated at the same time. I wanted to be doing more. I wanted to be in school, Patrick and I fought all the time and were unstable, so home wasn’t really a happy or healthy environment.
Fast forward 8 years and I had the opportunity to stay home again. This time was different; a new husband and a happy, healthy relationship and stable home. I was in school and supported to obtain my degree emotionally and financially, but I still had reservations.
The first year was easy because both the kids and I were in school, so most of the day was taken care of, thankfully. The second year was both easy and hard because I had new-mommy hormones on my side, but a five year old at home to entertain for the last half of that year and the beginning of the next. Lorelei got older and started to play with Nora more and Noah went to live with his father at the end of the Summer of the third year. I feel like the past six months have been the true test.
It’s just me and Lorelei all day long and she’s almost two. Thankfully she still naps, but it’s only for about an hour and she needs that hour. Some days are really hard, but most of them are nice. We have our routine of breakfast in the morning, getting ready for the day and she plays (or we play) with her toys while I do chores around the house unless I have errands to run. She’s an easy kid. She entertains herself if need be and I find myself not so hesitant to play with her. I have to purposefully sit down with her and play puzzles and whatnot, but it’s more than I did with Noah and Nora, I’m sad to say. Playing doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m not even sure I played as a child. lol Nora is at the age now that we can put harder puzzles together and play kid card games. We save the library for after school with Nora because Lorelei is a lot more active now. The afternoons are spent doing homework with Nora and teaching her to respectfully take care of her responsibilities like picking up her room and cleaning out her luchbox and such. Noah is getting into Pokemon, so I’m sure I’ll have to learn to play that when he is here.
I was going through my archives on this blog, trying to get organized and realized that I’ve come a long way. There is a vulnerability you need with your children in order to connect. I kept that wall up as long as possible mainly from circumstance, but began to open up with them the extra year Nora stayed home. I learned a lot from that year and am glad for it. I don’t think every year you stay home is the same, since the kids grow and hopefully, so do you. With the new baby coming in June I have reservations about having a newborn and a two year old all to myself everyday, but I’ll probably roll with it.
The longer I stay home, the harder it will be to go back to work or school, but I still want to finish my degree. My blogs keep me busy and learning in the meantime and I live vicariously through Jason’s management postion. I think I’m just taking this gig one year at a time and one day I’ll look up in a few years and think, “where has the time gone?”