This morning, there are too many tragic headlines to count in our country– but the most imminent problem here in Chicago is all the rain and mass flooding. Highways are shut down, roads are flooded, flights are cancelled, a sinkhole just swallowed up three cars, trains are delayed. A lot of people are having a dilly of a time getting to work….but not me.
My commute from the bedroom to the living room went just fine. My breakfast meeting agenda of waffles and apple juice went over well with its attendee, and the rain was a non-issue. My bathrobe didn’t even get wet.
There is so much debate over who works harder: the SAHM or the Works-Outside-the- Home Mom. I won’t say for one second that I don’t work my butt off day in and day out. But would I prefer to be dragging my butt into an office everyday? HELL NO. And that’s the truth.
I am not saying my life is easy. Not at all. But not having to deal with a commute every morning is just one of the perks I retain in my life these days. And while some moms might not agree– or think I’m trivializing what those of us who stay home do all day– I’d like to run down a few of the other benefits I enjoy. And yes, I mean ENJOY– and don’t take for granted.
- I finally had time to re-train my hair. As in, I don’t have to wash it every day anymore.
- Got one “good” outfit? Me, too. And I can wear it four days in a row.
- Omelettes for breakfast. Or homemade waffles. Or whatever. There’s time.
- If my daughter is up all night, I don’t have to stress about being exhausted the next day. I mean, I AM exhausted, but it doesn’t affect meetings or deadlines.
- Better control over my health: No stress-bagel binges, monthly birthday cakes, and the gym is now a place I WANT to go because it’s a reason to get out of the house.
- I can stay up late watching TV.
- I appreciate time with my husband more. I look forward to him coming home form work every day like a puppy.
- We eat together as a couple now. When I worked full-time, I was rarely home for dinner. That’s important.
- I can schedule doctor and/or hair appointments whenever. Tuesday at 1? Sure. Thursday at 10:30? I’ll be there. Total flexibility makes life so much easier.
- Shopping during a weekday is peaceful. No crowded stores. No long lines. Having Trader Joe’s all to yourself is practically a luxury spa treatment. Was I supposed to rub my face with that lamb vindaloo sample? Cause I did.
- I’ve diversified my friend group. A new schedule means meeting and spending time with people like me, and it’s opened me up to some great new or strengthened relationships.
- Because I have such a supportive family, I’ve been able to explore new career paths and goals that were always just a dream for me. And…
- I’m closer with my family, who I never had enough time for before.
- I know my daughter better than anybody else. I’ve been with her almost every single day of her life, and no one can ever take that away from me. However, I was not there to see her take her first steps… because she hasn’t yet. PLEASE JUST WALK, KID!
I’m lucky, and now more than ever– I’ve been counting my many blessings every day.
I recently posted Posey’s Wishlist. And now… here are a few things that could solve my (superficial) problems this holiday season. Something to think about for the stay at home mom on your list this year.
- Oprah gave away these delightful Tempur-Pedic Cloud Supreme beds to heroic military spouses on her Favorite Things show. I ooh’ed and ah’ed so much that Beef asked if it was worth him enlisting. Maybe.
- If that’s not in the budget, might I suggest My Pillow? I watched the infomercial last month and fell in love. Plus, who wouldn’t want to drift off into ZZZland thinking of this guy’s face?
(It’s important for me to note here that Posey sleeps through the night like a champ. But the cat does not.)
I Look Bad.
- Not getting dressed to go to an office every day means that some days my face slips through the cracks that are, strangely enough, now on my face. That’s where the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette comes into play. Once the salesperson at Sephora told me she loved her original Naked Palette so much that she brought it to China. I didn’t buy it, because I wasn’t going to China, and all the blue didn’t appeal to me. But this one? 12 pretty eye shades. One for each day of Christmas! (And their 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils are the best.)
I’m One-Third of a S.I.F.
Beef coined this term to stand for “Single-Income Family.” Staying at home is a blessing that means I get to spend every day taking care of my sweet baby and making waffles with the waffle iron more mornings than not, but it also means not doing everything the way maybe I used to. So don’t get her something practical. Get her something nice. Cause, you know, she’s nice.
- Boots! This weekend, I used a pair of pliers to repair the jagged metal zipper that probably will give me Lock Jaw one day on my almost decade-old Target boots. They’re fixed, and they’re fine. But that doesn’t mean I can’t dream. Before I quit my job, I was on Year Three of The Hunt for New Boots. My options are limited because I’m cursed with super-skinny calves. Hey, people who got here by Googling “boots for skinny narrow calves?” Try these Calvin Klein Herminas. I didn’t get a chance to before the new world S.I.F. order.
- Yes, I know that getting a gift certificate to my hair salon or nail place is kind of like handing over an envelope of cash. But it would be a nice gesture to say, “Hey, Wonderful Wife– you deserve it!”
- An envelope of cash. Just kidding. The second-best part of Christmas is knowing someone cares enough about you to think of something thoughtful. SO BE THOUGHTFUL. What’s the first-best part? That’s easy.
When I quit my job last fall, the main reason was to be a stay-at-home-mom. But the other reason was to have sort of gap year, I guess I’d call it. If I were 18 and British. I wanted to have the time and energy to do and try all the things I’d been talking about for years. As my old job was quite demanding, I had very little of myself left at the end of each day to devote to other, more personal creative projects. Like this blog.
You may have noticed I’ve slowed down with the posts. It’s not because I ran out of things to say or I’m bored. Quite the contrary. I’ve been working for several hours a day on material for some writing program applications. I won’t go too into it because:
- I don’t want to jinx it.
- Nothing will probably come of it.
- As someone said to me at a party last weekend, I might be afraid to succeed.
But today marks a big milestone. Not for Posey, but for me. I finished the applications, and I sent them in. Cheers to me. Now what?
I think I may have been devoting so much time on this one thing to avoid another thing. I need to start looking for a job soon. Maybe.
When is the right time to go back to work? I’ve had so many interesting conversations about this topic lately…
Stay tuned. We’ll be right back.
#1 If I said– “I’ll get that taken care of for you right away!”– but didn’t, in 18 years there would probably be no college fund.
#2 If I avoided eye contact for the entire duration of our transaction, I might have a kid who never learns to smile.
#3 If I never came to take your order, my baby would starve to death.
#4 If I gave you a different answer or conflicting information every single time I spoke with you, my household (and bedtime) would be chaos.
#5 If you paid me to fix the same problem over and over and over again without me ever really finding the real reason for the leak/funny sound/malfunction, we’d probably be at the children’s hospital ER for the hundredth time.
#6 If I just didn’t show up for our appointment, my husband would be a single father.