This week marks 6 months that I’ve now been home full-time. I still feel incredibly grateful and still marvel almost daily at the small things that make me happy in my new life.
A year ago, I was stressed out, crabby, depressed and knew I needed to make a change. I was working 25 hours a week and although I was grateful for the reduced schedule, it still physically and mentally, felt like a full-time workload. I knew the pressure at work would increase and I also knew, I was not going to be able to handle it. It was time to make a decision but I agonized over it. I always had a feminist view of working moms. “We can do it all! We can have it all!” Sure, we can but at what cost? For me, I craved a more simple life. I craved a more old-fashioned life where I could just focus on family and my home. After many, many conversations with a trusted adviser and many friends and family, I got to work on analyzing the budget. Working with numbers is not something I enjoy but I knew how important it was to show my husband that we COULD do this and how it would benefit the whole family. I added up every single expense we had. Right down to the weekly lottery pool I was in at work! Every cent. Then I added up what we would save by my NOT working. The big ones being before/after school care and summer camp for 2 kids. I then estimated where I could cut costs. I knew I could save a lot in groceries because I would have the time to comparison shop and clip coupons. Previously, I just went to one store and bought what I needed, without any real budget. It took a lot of serious discussions but we finally agreed to give it a try.
I won’t lie and say it’s been completely stress free, I’ve had some form of a job since I was 12 years old, this was a HUGE step! It’s an adjustment and still is sometimes. But each month we learn more and more about what works and what doesn’t.
I love that when the kids are sick, I’m there to be home with them and don’t have to feel bad about calling in sick (again!).
I love that when I get a call from the school to pick them up, I can be there in 3 minutes to take them home.
I love that when a last-minute opening comes up for a guest reader in their class, I can say “yes! I’ll take it!”
I love that they get off the bus at 3:30 to a happy mom instead of being picked up at daycare at 5 by an exhausted and crabby mom.
I love that they can sleep in a bit longer in the morning because if they miss the bus, I can always drive them. Even though Avery is STILL not a morning person!
I love that Joshua can get some extra writing help he needs in the summer now because in the past, the weekday schedule never worked as a working parent.
I love that I can make a decent dinner and when Daddy gets home, we can all sit and eat as a family.
I love that after dinner, the kids get extra play time with Daddy because all those extra chores have been done already.
I love that I can run my errands during the day and not fight the weekend crowds.
I love that I can finally tackle my embarrassingly messy closets!
I love that this summer we could go to the beach on a Tuesday morning. I’m extra grateful for that because in my previous job, the summer was the busiest time and being able to savor the summer with my kids has been such a gift.
I love that I got to spend a whole MONTH celebrating my brother’s wedding in Wisconsin and visiting all my family and friends. In the past, I had to plan each hour of my week-long visit in an attempt to try to see everyone.
I love that when I have a friend in need, I have more energy to help them out.
I could go on and on. But what it all boils down to is this: Choosing to stay home is a choice I am grateful to have. I can’t thank Steve enough for the support he has provided in this choice-both financially and emotionally. Thank you!