Tuesday, May 20, 2014

staying at home.


there are so many thoughts i have swirling around in my head about staying at home with my kiddos so i'm sure this will be a jumbled mess but i wanted to at least attempt to get this all down in one place.  i've actually talked a bit about making the choice to stay at home before both here and here, but my story is that when avery was born i transitioned into a work-at-home mom when daycare didn't work out for us.  i worked part time, 4 days a week and it was amazing and crazy and rewarding and hard.  when she was a baby it was really, really easy.  and then as she got older things got harder.  i had 3+ hour conference calls at times, deadlines, and i felt the need to be available all the time even when i wasn't working.  getting work done was hard enough with a crazy toddler but talking on the phone was nearly impossible.  she would scream and cry and it was impossible to have a productive phone call, not to mention really unprofessional, so i started giving her the iPad when i knew i had a long call to make.  and then she started associating my phone ringing with her getting the iPad.  basically, to sum up, things were going to have to change.  i was either going to need to send her to daycare or quit my job.  when i got pregnant with ellie it was sort of assumed between charlie and i that i would quit because my salary wouldn't have covered two kids in daycare while i was working part-time and i couldn't really do my job at a full-time capacity and raise kids at the same time.  i would have had to be traveling at least once a month which would have been impossible to work out with charlie's schedule.  so based on everything i made the decision to quit once ellie was born and stay home for a while.  and honestly, i was really excited about it.  

when ellie was born the first month was a blur of christmas time, newborn sleepy snuggles, and crafting and coloring with avery in front of a christmas tree.  basically, it was awesome and amazing. we had family visit. charlie wasn't traveling for work that month and we had a ton of family time.  and then after christmas is when things started to get hard.  ellie was moving out of that sleep-all-day-and-night stage and starting to scream a lot, charlie was back to traveling, it was january and cold, and if i'm being honest i probably had a smidge of the baby blues, although i didn't really figure this out until later.  taking care of these two beings was a lot of work.  a lot.  before ellie was born i sort of figured that adding an extra baby would be the same amout of 'work' that my job was.  that was a joke.  babies are not jobs.  babies don't let you clock out at the end of the day, bosses doesn't scream constantly for unknown reasons (well, none that i've had), and work just isn't a 24/7 thing.  so adding ellie was hard during months 2 and 3.  she cried a lot.  she only slept in the moby wrap.  oh and we were all sick, like all winter long.  i felt like a shit parent to avery, i was tired, charlie was gone a lot, and i could not for the life of me figure out how to make dinner, bathe two kids, and shower without ellie losing her mind.  we ate a lot of annie's pot pies.  but then sometime in mid march we sort of hit our stride.  charlie was gone for a long trip but all of a sudden it was just fine.  we ate halfway homemade meals, ellie didn't cry as much, and i felt like i was actually interacting with my toddler in a positive way.  win!

since then things have really just gotten better and better.  i still grossly underestimated the amount of time that i would spend taking care of the kids.  i had this picture in my mind that the house would be clean, the grocery shopping would be done, the kids would be happy, we would do some homeschooling stuff, and i would start a garden this year.  and in reality, the house is pretty clean because both charlie and i do a lot on the weekends, the grocery shopping is done, the kids are pretty darn happy, we haven't done any homeschooling stuff, and we planted two tomato plants in pots.  BUT i am really happy.  i am exactly where i want to be and doing what i want to be doing.  i am forever grateful that it's been me holding that crying baby for months and not someone else.  i love being at home with my kids and i think just how lucky i am each and every day that i've been given this opportunity.  i love our family and i know that if i was working i would be spending all of my time at work wishing i was with my kids.  i love this current gig of mine.  i love that i get to watch avery go up and down the stairs for half an hour because she just figured out how to do it and is so darn proud of herself.  i love putting them down for their naps and running errands with them.  i am so thankful that i get to be the one to scoop ellie up when she's crying.  it isn't always happy or pretty, but it is always where i want to be.  

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