When I even start to look back on the last six months, I begin to get a bit teary eyed...because it has been one of the best times of my life and I feel more than blessed to have this oppurtunity. When I quit my job at the beginning of the year, I was fully expecting to miss some aspects of working; having a career, interacting with co-workers, being productive in an environment outside of home, the money etc. I couldn't of been more wrong. In all honesty, I don't miss it in the very least; not even a tiny bit.
I've tried to ponder why this is. And the best I can use to describe it is the bond I have strengthened with Hunter, the freedom I have been given, and also being able to be able to dedicate 100% of me to my family. Please do not take these things as me saying that staying at home makes someone a better parent than a working one, but for me, personally, it does make me a better mom. Everyone is different, and this is where I shine.
Since staying at home with him, I absolutely love that I am with him so much and that I am constantly there to shape him into becoming a child of faith and eventually a man of God. Anything new characteristic that I see in him, bad or good, I can immediately reinforce or try to change immediately. Hunter is my buddy, my right hand man. I love this kid more than I ever knew I could. Sure I have my days, when I count the minutes until Jesse gets home because I'm about to pull my hair out with frustration from dealing with a stubborn toddler, but more often I can't wait to spend day after day with him and am just counting down the time until Jesse can come home and hang out with this awesome little guy, too.
The freedom aspect of not working is HUGE when living in a military family. Jesse goes on trips for 3 days or 2 weeks or 4 months. The days of the week he works or is gone, is not Monday through Friday. It is so nice to spend any day of the week with him that he has off from work. He likely will have training in the near future for a few weeks at a time and we now have to ability, when his work allows it, to pack up our family and all go to wherever he is going stateside. There's been talk of three weeks in Vegas later in the year and my first response is, "Sure, we'll just pack up the kids and come with," So nice!
My role in our family has always been being the rock that is constant. Jesse comes and goes for his job (and hobbies, ugh), and I've always had to be the one that can be home to take care of the bills, the dogs, the chores, etc. I'm used to that. What has really changed is finding joy in doing those things. Before they were tasks to do on my own while working a full time job as well, it was so stressful at times! Now, those duties are just the things I do during the week. I take pride in those things and I don't feel like I have to sacrifice all my quality time with Hunter to be able to get those things done.
I do get a lot of common questions about being a working mom turned stay at home mom.
People ask a lot if I miss the money. Yes and no, but mostly no. It was nice to make big purchases and now that we would be able to replenish our savings in a short amount of time. But...I'm finding that buying things was just filling a void. I'm perfectly content living more on a budget now and watching what we spend. We feel very blessed to be debt free, which gives us some ability not to count every penny and to do fun things as a family.
Do I feel like I'm losing a piece of myself in "just being a mom"? Haha, not in the least! I love it and I feel like I am finding out who I am as a person in this stage of my life way more than I did as being an employee to a company. I have time to find out what my interests are and how I want to use that time.
Do I get bored? I thought I would, but that couldn't be further from reality. I honestly don't remember the last time I've felted bored, it's been years! When I feel like doing something, I go do it. When I want to just stay at home and relax, I do that. It's awesome. Some weeks I get into cooking or baking or sewing or taking Hunter on outdoor activities or indoor activities or craft projects, etc. We just do what we want on any given day. Lately it has been more sewing and baking. So domestic, huh?
How do I do things for me when I'm with Hunter all the time? I just choose to do these things either while Hunter is napping, with Jesse, or I involve him as much as I can in the project I'm working on. For example, this week Hunter has made cupcakes, a fruit salad, and been my helping when sewing. With the cupcakes, I got him a stool and he helped me mix, measure, and pour all the ingredients, he did the same with a fruit salad. And with sewing, I've started feeling comfortable with handing him the pins as I take them out of the fabric and then he sticks them in the "tomato" and then pulls them out as I need more. He loves it.
This gig has blown my expectations out of the water. It's not for everyone, but I now know, we made the best decision for our family and I wouldn't want to be living any other way. Especially since summer has hit the Pacific Northwest, I feel like I couldn't be doing a better job in the world. It's amazing and I am SO thankful to be doing what I am doing.