In December, I quit my job.
There’s so much more to say about it than that. Those of you who know me in real life know that is wasn’t an easy decision. I walked through the Christmas season in a bit of a funk, part bitterness at a world that can’t seem to figure out how to keep women in the workforce, part a deep sense of loss for what I had begun to build in the year I spent working in a library, part wonder if I’d made the right decision at all. I worked my way through it all, allowing myself to feel everything I was feeling.
But this was the week to pull myself out of it. This was the first week at home, the first week being the girl’s main person again. So, pull myself out, I did.
We went somewhere every morning. Monday, the library, Tuesday, errands, Wednesday, playgroup, Thursday, the library again, Friday, my parents’. Every afternoon, Isabel had quiet time, Eden napped, I exercised. Every day, I did dishes, laundry, swept the floors, picked up toys, fluffed couch pillows, cooked dinner, did more dishes. I kept my hands busy and the girls occupied and somehow, the week passed easily with more sweet moments than difficult, more hugs and cuddles than tantrums, more fun and giggles than bare survival.
We did well for a first week together, me and the girls.
I am optimistic that I’ll be able to keep it up, but I know I’ll need more soon. I love how clean my house is at the moment, but how long before the domesticity wears on me? I need goals, something to work towards. I just haven’t quite figured out what those goals should be. Should I attempt to write a novel? Is it time for a new blog project of some kind? Maybe there’s a new skill it’s time to learn? Should I try to find a way to make money from home – writing, or knitting, or sewing, or some other skill I might already have?
I haven’t figured it out yet.
(It doesn’t help, that, with a few resumes floating around out there, it feels like I’m holding my breath, waiting for the chance that something new is right around the corner. I’m hesitant to start any new projects or find a new focus if it’s going to be interrupted by an interview and a job offer.)
So, how do I do this? What do I need to remind myself of on a daily basis as a stay-at-home parent? How do I survive, day by day? Fellow stay-at-home parents, throw all your advice at me.