Do I have you singing Aretha Franklin's song "Respect" now? That is what came to mind when I wanted to write about what my life has changed into since I stopped working at Pfizer. I am quick to say "working at Pfizer" because I know I am still working now, it is just that I am not getting a paycheck.
I have always had a huge amount of respect for stay at home moms, but now I TRULY know what it is like. The times I had a day off from work here and there and kept the kids home with me was only a small snapshot for what it is like to be home with my kids everyday.
It is hard to put into words the joy I have found being with my kids 24-7 for the last 3 months. Seeing my kids being forced to have fun that does not involve the TV or computer has been fun. When I turn off the TV and tell them to go play, Sammi first is reluctant and not really thrilled about it. Why would she want to play with an aggressive 2 year old boy? He certainly does not know the art of how to play with Polly Pockets, Barbie, or gently be a mommy/daddy to a baby doll. But after several LONG minutes, I see what she comes up with and it is so neat to watch. Everything from laying outside on a blanket with a book and umbrella to making a house for her small toys to singing and dancing to Hannah Montana and to showing Joshua how to set up the castle or barn for the Little People. I love sneaking up on them and just listen to them talk and play. My days aren't so rushed like before....I can slowly work on getting dinner ready, do laundry whenever I want during the day, walk the aisles of the grocery store at a leisurely pace, etc. Before, I sped home after picking up the kids, Jason or I rushed to throw together a decent, square meal for dinner, gave the kids a quick bath, changed everyone into PJ's, had them quickly brush their teeth, read books, then off to bed. THEN, picked up around the house, did dishes, got things together for the next day, then crashed for the night to start all over again the next day. I just feel that everything I do now is at a slower pace. My blood pressure is certainly lower. Saturday mornings were spent doing house cleaning and laundry. That was the only time I liked to do it on the weekends so Sunday was relaxed after we came home from church. No cleaning. For me, that is what I preferred. But on weekends that were busy or we were out of town, that just meant the cleaning and laundry piled up. Not fun!
Now for the flip side, the days can be mundane and feel like they run together. A few things that I complained about to my friends:
- the endless filling of sippy cups
- figuring out what on earth to feed them for lunch everyday. I feel like there is little option! Lunch is my least favorite time of the day because of this.
- much more cleaning and dishes to do
- changing more diapers
- constant interruptions while trying to compete a task (laundry, dishes, sitting down for once to watch MY TV shows)
I know to some that may seem like complaining about little things, but for me, that was a huge change. Monday thru Friday I filled my kids cups 2 times a day. A lot less than now! I would have changed Joshua's diapers 2-3 times a day. He is a day-pooper, so I even avoided changing a poopy diaper! I didn't have to figure out what the menu would be everyday except for dinner and a light breakfast.
My poor friends that call me must think I don't get to talk every because I talk on and on (more than my normal talkative self!) and completely jeopardize the conversation. For that, I am truly sorry and am working on it, for those of you reading this and nodding their heads because they have been on the other end while I talked nonstop. Sorry! My stay at home friends warned me that I would crave adult conversation. Now I know!
Ok, enough of this because this post went the complete opposite way I intended it to be.....I sound like I am whinning and complaining. Please don't take it that way because I am really enjoying it, but it is just a whole new world for me and I totally respect even more what my stay at home friends go through. No paycheck, no paid vacation, no personal days, so sick days. Wow! When I was sick and stayed home from work, I still took the kids to daycare so I could quickly get well and they wouldn't get what I had. Not so much now. I am dreading the day that comes when I get a stomach bug or cold. How do you deal with trying to get well while still being a mommy? Suggestions please for when that time comes!
So to all of you stay at home moms, I tip my hat to you (for me, that would be my fave baseball hats) and applaud you for doing the single most hardest job!
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