Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thoughts on being a SAHM/ returning to work

I'm not going to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) - I knew that way back when conceiving Scott was still on the "to-do" list - but I've had the past 6 weeks to get a little taste of what that would be like.

First, being a SAHM mom is hard!  Scott is by far the most demanding boss I've ever had to answer to.  You want to go to the bathroom before you feed me for 1/2 hour?  "WAAAAHHHHHHH!"  You want to eat the last 2 bites of your dinner before you feed me?  "WAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!"  Tiny babies don't understand "just a second," and it was a real change to go from basically being able to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to having to make every decision based on what he needed or what I perceived he would need in the future.

It's also been hard because - due to the cold weather, my initial driving and carrying restrictions, fear of the flu, etc. - we haven't gotten out much.  I really wish I'd been able to take him out for more walks, but so far the weather has only been nice enough 3 or 4 days.  And by nice I mean "high 30s".  He's not getting much sunlight.  I also don't get much human interaction.

It can also be hard to figure out the best way to manage my time.  I'm fine with being a mom when he needs something (food, a diaper change) and when he's sleeping (frantically do some laundry and maybe check e-mail and write a blog post), but I have a really hard time figuring out what to do when he's awake and alert (but not crying to be changed or fed).  I've been putting him on his tummy and have been reading to him from books and magazines I'm reading (right now it's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) but honestly I'm at a loss for what else to do, and it concerns me that he's not getting appropriate stimulation.  We've also been listening to music and dancing around in the afternoons when he's more awake (and fussy).  Is it easier when they are older and more interactive?

But on the other hand, I love never having to worry about missing a moment with him.  It's a strange, selfish urge.  I love holding him and carrying him around and experiencing all the funny faces and noises and smiles and cuddles.  He's MY baby, and I don't want to share him with anyone*.  I'm also worried that he's going to get sick once he starts spending time around other kids (can I please listen to the news just one time without having to hear about flu deaths?) and that he's just on the brink of "waking up" and being super cute and interactive and I'm going to miss out on all of that because I'm at work all day.

Now that I've read back through this post, it's a lot whinier than I intended it to be, but it's my honest feelings and observations.  I do want to say that I'm so so so so so thankful that I was able to take all this time off to be with him, and I'm even more thankful that I'll be able to work part-time through February so I can ease into our new routine.  I'm also thankful that I have a job that I'm actually looking forward to returning to.  Having to leave him to do something I hated would absolutely break my heart.  And I'm thankful we have arranged for him to be cared for by people who I trust also have his best interests at heart.

I guess, when it comes down to it, I wish I could both stay home and work full-time.  Unfortunately those things are mutually exclusive.  For now, we've made the choice that we think is best for our family.  Any words of wisdom from moms who have been there and done that - either working moms or SAHM moms?

*That's not really true.  I'm very happy that there are so many people in his life that love him and want to hold and cuddle him.


  1. Kristen LandrevilleJanuary 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    I don't think I can make you feel any better with my thoughts, but I can completely understand how you feel. When I'm at work, I'm thinking about the kids. When I'm at home, I'm thinking about work stuff. Ugh! So frustrating. But, I try to remind myself to live in the moment with what I have here, in front of me right now. Enjoy it and appreciate it. Yes, you will miss some of Scott's milestones. And that's hard. You may want to consider if you want daycare to tell you about his milestones or achievements, or if you'd rather not know and pretend the first time he laughs/crawls/walks, etc. is THE FIRST TIME when YOU see it. I always wanted to know their achievements to know what was coming. And, I also tell myself that I'm gradually learning the lesson of letting go, letting go and letting my kids be their own person, have their own identity, friends at daycare, etc. It's hard hearing that when Scott is still so little, but they grow fast! And gosh, Claire starts kindergarten in 7 months!

    Oh, and the sickness stuff at daycare...I don't have any words to make you feel better about that. They get sick, and get sick A LOT! Claire was sick nearly every month to 6 weeks during her first 18 months at daycare. Rose is 7 months and has been sick 4 times already. And we just found out that we were exposed to the flu virus because another kid had it at daycare on Monday. Crossing our fingers that what we just had was the flu and this isn't a new virus. It's one of the hardest things about being a parent away from any family. No help with tending to sick children or yourself when sick. And parenting while being sick sucks, but you just suck it up and get it done. Again, not happy thoughts, but I'm being realistic here so you know what's coming. I had no clue. Well, I guess the positive thing I can say about sicknesses at daycare is that they either get sick a ton while little at daycare or when they enter kindergarten when they're older. My friends who were SAHM and then had kids in kindergarten said their kids got sick way more than kids that had been in daycare growing up. I guess a good thing? Maybe? :-) I'm trying...Good luck at work, Chelsea! You can do it! :-)

  2. I like this post. It's so honest! Hang in there--I'm not a parent but I sure do have lots of the same fears for when I have a tiny little baby.