Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 17 - This is where I want to be

I had a nice conversation with an old college friend yesterday. Well, nice until it got awkward.

We were talking about what we were doing with our lives these days, and of course I got all exited telling her about leaving my job to stay home with Cecilia. There was a long, long pause, and then finally, she said, "Aren't you bored to tears staying home with a baby?"

That got me thinking. Is this how most people without kids feel, or is it just part of her personality? I am thinking it's probably the latter, but I would love to hear all of your experiences with similar trains of thought.

The bottom line answer for me, of course, is "NO." No, I am not at all bored being a stay-at-home-mom. It's not like we sit around in the house all day doing absolutely nothing. That would have both of us stir-crazy in no time. Cecilia's a social baby; she really likes being around other kids and adults. We go to playgroups, we go shopping (or browsing when we don't need to shop), we go to the library. When the weather is nice we go to the park. We do tons of stuff outside the house.

I believe that this is truly where I was meant to be. All the years prior to having Cecilia where I worked countless jobs, some better than others, in all of that time, I never felt passionate about what I was doing. And trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I "grew up" was a fruitless endeavor, because being a mom was the only thing I could ever think of that really resonated with me.

I am thankful every single day that we are making this work. It's certainly not easy and we're totally broke, but I feel like the benefits for all three of us greatly outweigh the loss of income.

4 comments:

  1. I think it's just a personality thing. There are people that would go insane being stay at home parents, and there are people that adore it.

    My sister and I talk about how dumb it is that in the US you pretty much have to go back to work after 3 months (she's dealing with that right now) but how crazy it is that there are people that go back after 6 or 8 weeks- sometimes less.

    It is worth mentioning that I think some people think of stay at home parents as staying at home and never leaving the house ;)

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  2. I've had moms say that to me too, so I don't think it's just single people. I think my favorite awkward question is "but what will you do when she's in school?" As one of my teachers pointed out at one point "only boring people get bored". I think your friend's comments and others like them speak more to her values and creativity and are backed up by the common societal view. I wish more people realized how fun it can be to stay home, or how much work it is when you do it right (meaning when you hold and interact with your child instead of leaving them in the swing or bouncer for hours on end). It can be really hard to get by on one income, but family is more important than stuff. It makes me happy that more moms are choosing this path. Thanks for writing about it.

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  3. "only boring people get bored..." I like that. I also think there's that idea that "stay at home" means you literally do stuff in the house all day; um, no. We rarely stay in our house for a full day, and it isn't all about the playdates and park times now that I have some bigger kids too; we do things that adults think are fun, like going to the beach or hiking. There are definitely adults out there that would happily watch a whole gaggle of kids if it meant they could go adventuring every day; we just don't really think of it like that.

    I don't get bored, I just get restless. I think it's a personality thing; I like to have multiple projects going at once, too, and maybe it's like that; I need to be a parent AND have something else I'm working on.

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  4. I went back to work part time after a year (thank you nice UK maternity leave laws!) and I don't think I could hack it as a stay-at-home mum, but not through boredom. Having experience of both, I think being at home with a baby is much more difficult than sitting in an office!
    Everyone is different, you just have to make it work for you. Don't let anyone tell you you should be out at work! Or, if you want to work, that you shouldn't.

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