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I recently left my beloved 8 year career as a high school history teacher, to become a stay-at-home-mom. I had an immense amount of anxiety when I made this transition.
Questions that I couldn't help but ask...
1) Will I feel fulfilled?
2) Will I go crazy?
3) Will I be able to make my kids happy?
4) Will I be bored?
5) Will I get sick of my kids?
6) Will I ever live up to the stigma of being a great "house wife?"
7) Will I lose my identity?
8) Will I resent my husband?
9) Will I stop getting ready in the morning?
10) Will I fail?
After 6 months of being a stay-at-home-mom, these are my honest answers:
1) Yes, I feel fulfilled by serving my kids every day. My three boys have given me more satisfaction in the last six months, than I was ever able to get from other peoples children. Don't get me wrong, my career was all that I ever imagined it could be. I LOVED being a classroom teacher, and I will go back some day. But, having Joey, Luca, and Matteo as my only students, I feel an enormous sense of responsibility for their well being. They are undoubtably the best students I've ever had.
2) Yes, I have gone crazy! There are great days, and there are crazy days! My husband is in law school, and home only for a late dinner and bed time. Which is more than some husbands, so I feel grateful. But, I have on occasion, when he has walked in the door, given him a kiss and said, "tag you're it!" and left to go see a movie by myself, go on a drive, or go shopping. I have never felt guilty about needing some ME time. In fact, my husband is really good about watching the kids at least a couple times a month, while I have "girl time."
3) I think I make them happy. There are days I feel like I am a super star and that I can do no wrong in my kids eyes. And then there are days where I think they look at me like I am their worst enemy. This is usually made apparent in my three year old when he wakes up in the morning. Sometimes I'll hear him on the monitor calling out for me longingly with excitement to see me, and other mornings, I can hear him screaming like a t-rex, "mommy, I don't want you today, I want daddy! WHERE IS DADDY?!"
4) NO, I have never felt bored. I know this might sound strange, but I have really enjoyed not having deadlines. In the work place, I loved the rush of a high stress environment with seemingly unachievable expectations. Now, I love the quiet time I get, before the kids get up, where I can just sit and be still. I've also been able to pick up hobbies and have the time to do them. It's great!
5) Haha, No! I really did think that I'd loath the sound of my kids crying, complaining, fighting, and whining. I actually think it's awesome. Years of eating in the teachers lounge, gave me the tools I needed in order to survive all of that and not poke my own eyes out. I love my crazy kiddos.
6) NO! I will never live up to the AMAZING mommies out there...and that's ok! I do love to peruse blogs, pinterest, and instagram. You moms inspire me every day to be better, but I have come to the realization that I will never be what you are. I am satisfied just being me.
7) Yes & No. My identity has been redefined. I am no longer an AP World History teacher, Government teacher, cheerleader & songleader coach, working 70-80 hours a week. Instead, I work 168 hours a week as Joey, Luca, & Matteo's mommy.
8) NO! I do no resent my husband. This one gets me excited because I was SO wrong. Being a stay-at-home-mom has given me the time I needed to see my husband in ways I never had. I see Paul now for all of his attributions to the family, rather than what he wasn't able to check off my list before as a working mom. My husband works tirelessly as a student, spouse, father, and son. He is all that I am not.
9) Yes, I will admit, I do not get myself as dolled up as I used to. I need to work on this. 2014 is the year to recommit to being my best self. Updates later...
10) Yes, I will fail and I do fail, nearly every day. However, my kids are so resilient and forgiving. They love me no matter what. They have taught me that it's ok to make mistakes and not have a clue what I'm doing. As long as I get back up and try again. I have embraced the fact that there will be days that we go to museums and experience DC the way it was meant to be seen, and then there are days we don't even get out of our pajamas.
My new role as a stay-at-home-mom is everything I thought it wouldn't be. E' perfetto.