I've been a stay at home mom for a week now. On one hand, I have loved it. I have loved being home with my little girls (my big girls and Josh have been gone all day). I have loved the hugs throughout today, exploring different things with them, watching them interact with each other, listening to them while they play. I have loved "books" before naptime, first thing in the morning snuggles, time to listen to stories, the opportunity to listen to Charlotte's ever burgeoning vocabulary. I have loved not having to get up at 5:45. Not having to find something cute and flattering and appropriate to wear, and find two of the same shoes to match it. Not having to put on make up or do my hair. Being able to cook dinner, surf the internet, do laundry, all without being rushed.
On the other hand. ARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH! While I have had ample time to do laundry, I have also had an abundance of pee/poop/vomit covered clothing/blankets/pillows/sheets to wash. While I have loved watching them play, I have been amazed (yet not surprised) at the number of times Hannah can get out every single Barbie, and how quickly she is finished playing with them. Or, substitute Barbies with play doh, crayons, stuffed animals, or stickers. I have picked up the living room about eight times a day for the last four days, and somehow it seems to always be a mess. And while I have had time to do all the domestic chores that I have neglected since August 1 last year, I have had a sick toddler in my arms(or following me around crying/vomiting/whining) and not a lot has gotten done. We have not left the house in a week except to take/pick up the girls from cheer camp and that time has been spent fighting with each other and screaming that we're "stuck" in our carseat and gagging like we were going to throw up.
Don't get me wrong. I am so thankful for this time I have with my children, this time to be at home. What a blessing to have a job I love and 7 weeks every summer to stay home with my family. But at the same time, it only reinforces the notion that I have that I am not cut out to be a stay at home mom, that God gave me a calling to be a teacher for a reason. Maybe if I did it more often, I'd be better at it. Better organized, more patient, able to conquer laundry piles and cranky toddlers in a single bound. Maybe I'd enjoy the laundry, the play-doh mess on the floor again, organizing my household to run to perfection. I used to feel guilty that I didn't love it all the time. After almost 20 years of being a mom, though, I realize my own limitations, my own strengths and weaknesses, and that I can be a working mom and a good mom all at the same time.
To all you stay at home moms out there, my hat is off to you. You have the hardest job on the planet, by far, in my book...and you don't get to leave it all behind at 4:00. I'm hoping that the next 6 weeks will teach me how to do it better, appreciate the messes, and conquer my chronic disorganization. Suggestions, helpful hints welcome!