I am not a natural stay-at-home mom.
I’m not saying I’m not a good stay-at-home mom; actually, I think I’m a pretty kick-ass stay-at-home mom. Every day, I wake up with the goal of making the girls’ day good and most days, I succeed. I have no problem saying that I am the best mom they have and spending all day, every day with me is good for them.
But, I’m not sure how good it is for me.
I’m not a particularly domestic person. Generally, Mark and I have a very equal relationship when it comes to managing the household. Over the past month, since I’ve been home, I’ve taken on the majority of the cleaning: the laundry, the dishes, the bathroom scrubbing, the sweeping, the tidying, the sorting, the organizing. And then there’s the meal planning, the groceries, the cooking, the getting dinner on the table before everyone melts down. With me home full-time, so much more gets done – the house is cleaner, our food is healthier, our household is running more smoothly.
Of course, there’s more to stay-at-home motherhood than never ending piles of laundry, but for me, it is that domesticity that I get lost in. It is that that makes every day feels like a slog and I am regularly searching for something more.
This is why this blog has become active again over the past few weeks. Spending hour after hour worried only with the welfare of my children and my family makes me feel a little lost. I need something else to think about, a project, a blog post on the go, a photography technique to practice, a book to read, something that has nothing to do with my children.
I expected this stay-at-home mom thing would last for approximately 6 months. Daycare is expensive and somewhat difficult to find for Eden who still qualifies as an infant at 15 months. When I left my position at one of the local libraries at the end of December, I applied for a couple positions that seemed perfect for me, but decided not to pursue much for now, planning a re-entry into something in September when Isabel goes to school. When I hadn’t heard anything about those application by the middle of January, I assumed that was how things were going to work out.
I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I was wrong. Over the past two weeks I have interviewed for and been offered two positions in school libraries. I went through a stressful couple days as I made a decision between the two roles and now, here I am: a week and a half away from the end of my stint as a stay-at-home mom.
On one hand, I’m excited to start a new chapter. School librarianship is a whole new aspect of the library world that I can’t wait to learn more about and gain some new experiences. I can make a difference in that world – I still have fond memories of my elementary school librarian and hope that I can play an important, formative, positive role in a bunch of kid’s lives. And there are so many perks – every holiday, PA day, March Break, Christmas, and SUMMERS off. This will be so good for us.
But. I feel like I had only just begun settling into this role as a stay-at-home parent. There was so much to heal between me and my children after a year of not spending time with them while I gained experience in a public library setting. There was so much yet for me to figure out and master as the girls and I navigated each day. I have been falling in love with my girls all over, watching them learn and grow with unexpected fascination.
I am going to miss them.
I know that, this time around it will be better. We will have proper weekends together, plenty of opportunity for that sense of unexpected fascination. And we will be back to developing as individuals again, Isabel at preschool, with all her school friends, Eden in daycare with her favourite providers, me at work, with my challenges and opportunities for professional growth. This time, it will be good.
(I do hope that, while I’ll be back to work more-or-less full-time, I will still find energy and inspiration in the evenings to sit down with this little blog and share snippets of my life. I have really loved getting back into it over these past few weeks. But, I make no guarantees, especially as we transition and settle into yet another new normal.)