Right now, my life is a blur of nursing and diaper changes, snack requests and stories, groceries and laundry. My sweet girls are 5 years, 3 years and 9 months old, and leave me utterly exhausted by the end of each day (sometimes earlier). I’m striving to embrace this season of parenthood, but I admit to regularly daydreaming about the day when a dinner date with my husband won’t seem like such a foreign concept!
A few years ago, I never would have expected to be a stay-at-home-mom. I was working in a full-time, permanent government job in my field of study. I had benefits and pension. And I thought it would be irresponsible to walk away from something like that. So when my first beautiful daughter was born (we affectionately call her Monkey), I took a year of maternity leave and put her in daycare so I could return to work. It broke my heart. The only thing that consoled me was that I was already pregnant with my sweet Peanut, so I knew I would soon be home with my babies again.
When Peanut was only a few months old, we decided to sell our house and move across town to a much bigger home. There were many factors involved in the decision, but looking back, I think we got swept up in the excitement of “new”. The very first night we slept in our new house, I crawled into bed with a knot in my stomach, tears in my eyes, and a startling realization in my mind. I had never before admitted it to myself, but I wanted to stay home with my babies. And we had just bought a house we could not afford on my husband’s salary alone. I would *have* to continue working and put both my babies in daycare. I cried in my husband’s arms and we talked about it until the wee hours of the morning. We decided that I would finish my maternity leave, go back to work, and re-evaluate after a few months.
“If you want to stay home with the girls, we can sell this house and move,” said my darling husband. “It’s just a house.”
After returning to work, it quickly became clear that it would be better for all of us if I stayed home. So up went the For Sale sign, and we started house hunting. In the midst of this, we conceived our third sweet baby, whom we call Punkin (or Punkinator, or Punkin-unkin, you get the idea). So it was decided that I would continue working until she was born.
We moved into a lovely little home when I was 20 weeks pregnant, and set about getting things as ready as possible before Punkin arrived. In September, Monkey started school, Punkin was born, Peanut needed her Mama more than ever as she became the middle child, and it was evident I was needed at home. A few months later, when I was 100% confident in my decision to stay home with these sweet girls, I broke the news to my boss and colleagues that I wouldn’t be returning to work. I was absolutely giddy with excitement! A new chapter, new challenges, new plans to make.
We love our home. It is beautiful and cozy. It is filled with love. Some days it is filled with yelling and tears and too much TV, but it is always filled with love. And I love my new job as a stay-at-home-mom. I struggle, and I still have a *lot* to learn, but this opportunity is an enormous blessing.