April 14, 2011

Staying at Home

Over the past week or so, I've been asked multiple times about me staying at home with Bradley full-time. I've been asked whether or not I enjoy it, how I cope with no adult interactions, will I ever go back to work, what I do in a typical day, how can I not keep my house clean staying at home full-time... Yes, it has all come up. So, I decided that I should blog about it. I mean, why not, right?

Let me start by saying that in a million years I would have never, ever thought I would choose to stay at home with children. I honestly think that Jeremy and I both laughed out loud when I first asked him what he thought about me staying at home. For one, I love being busy. I try not to be and yet somehow my calendar still gets full.

Take April for example. Jeremy and I have not had any real alone time with Bradley since he's been born. With him coming around the holidays and our families' crazy schedules and being split in a million different directions, we seriously had not had a weekend to ourselves. So we decided that the best thing we could do for our family was to tell our family not to come visit during the month of April. We needed a month to ourselves. However, I completely forgot about my schedule in April. I had this huge event this past weekend that literally took up the entire weekend (Yes, I was simply a wet nurse to my son for two days and, yes, we survived, and, no, I probably won't ever be that crazy again.) And this weekend  I have a fun shower to attend and a church-wide picnic... You see, what I mean?? Even in my month off my calendar is booked solid.

I also love adults way more than I love kids. No offense to your adorable little ones, but if I were to be completely honest, I'm just not much of a kid person. I'm the person who rolls my eyes at a crying baby in a restaurant, whispers under my breath about how annoying it is to walk over kids while trying to shop for clothes, and doesn't make eye contact with kids so that maybe they'll think I'm boring and ignore me. And, yes, I'm pretty sure if I met me randomly on the street I would roll my eyes at myself. Bradley even came with Jeremy and I to a cocktail party on Saturday night... I was the person I get annoyed by.

However, for some reason staying-at-home full-time became an option.

We never really moved in that direction. We toured daycare facility after daycare facility, researched moms who would keep him with their kids, got tons of advice from other moms, but nothing felt right. At every single place we went to I found something wrong. "It smells funny." "She didn't look excited." "Pumping at work seems like a pain." "It looked dirty." "One of the kids had a runny nose." "There's only white kids there." Seriously, none of the places made me feel good about leaving Bradley.

Then, Jeremy said it. "You should stay at home if that's what you want." And in that instance, I knew he was right. I should stay at home.

Was I worried? Heck, yeah! I kept thinking, "what will I do with all that free time??" "What will I do for entertainment?" And rightfully so. When I first moved to Macon, I worked from my home... and hated it. I was bored. I had no friends. It was disastrous.

But, today, I am in a completely different place.

I go to a wonderful church with some amazing women, many of whom stay at home as well. They go to the park, eat lunch, are in bible studies together. It is a great network of friends.

I also am involved in the Junior League of Macon. Talk about some great people. It's a mix between young, single women to working moms to a few stay-at-home moms. And that's what makes it fun. I get to still go out for girls' nights or talk to other moms about their kids or talk to the working women about their jobs and the business world. Plus, I get to help our community and try to make a difference.

Then, I have my bible study. These women pray with me and encourage me and laugh at me when I complain that I have tried to clean out my underwear drawer three times- all of which have ended unsuccessfully and this justifies how badly I need a maid. These women are all newlyweds and it is a joy to hear their stories and to walk beside them.

Truthfully, though, Bradley makes staying at home the easiest decision I have ever made. It is amazing to me how busy I am with him. We play all day long. We are on the floor, reading a book, in his exerciser, outside, chasing Parker, cooking... I seriously get very few moments of nothingness... and when I do I am so worn out that all I want to do is lay on the couch and try to get a little rest.

Like I mentioned above, I do like to be busy. And if I ever get in a fever because of being in the house too long, I'll load Bradley in the car and we'll go out. We'll go walking, or to the mall, or to the grocery store, or out to eat, anything to get me out and about. Plus, he loves the change of scenery.

However, I quickly realized that if I did insist on going and going all day long, I would miss out. I would miss out on the way that he follows me with his eyes when I am trying to tidy up after him. I would miss out on recognizing when all he wants is to snuggle. I would miss out on way too many conversations. I probably wouldn't know just how much he likes farting sounds. And I would miss out on that first little hug he gave me. I think the biggest lesson I have learned in these short four months is how to cherish every moment... how to sit still and just enjoy him and enjoy this time in his life. He might not remember any of it, but it's definitely something I will remember for forever.


Jennifer M said...

That was wonderful and very, very enlightening! Thanks!!!

Celestine Weaver said...

Good job Jessica! I certainly can relate since for the most part I was a stay at home mom. Once they were grown, I never regreted a second of it. Also never thought I would do it again..lol! Now, I am a stay at home Mimi to a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a 1 year old! BUT, even on days that get tough (like today), I would not change any of it. Keep up the good work!!!