Well, it’s been over month since I last blogged – not the best way to engage an audience. But what strikes me even more is that this is the first time in 21 years I have not filed a W2. And yet, even though I did not make ANY salary last year, it was the hardest year of work I have ever done. Really. No sick days, no vacation days, no personal days, no raises, no performance reviews and certainly no accolades. It is an odd feeling, especially since I worked in my field for over 13 years then suddenly stopped. And “they” say that staying at home with your kids is the most rewarding job you will ever have. I bet it can be – waiting for that part to come in tenfold 🙂
So, it’s been almost 18 months since I have been a SAHM and what a whirlwind it has been. When I was working, I had a team to help serve the various clients that I worked with. At home, it’s me, with three very different clients. No admin to help, no VP to provide strategy. Just me, the Manager doing all the roles, without the salary. Looking back I can say we made the right decision, as I can see now everything I missed while I was working, but we did what we had to do. Now, it’s fun. Now that Penny is “older” things are really fun, most of the time. However, the first year was BAD. BAD, BAD, BAD. And I know things can always be worse, I do. “Managing” a 3 year old, 2 year old and a newborn, alone for 11 hour clips is HARD WORK. I don’t care how many press releases, plans, meetings or whatever else I had to contend with at work, it NEVER was as difficult as one day of that first year. I am sure a large part was because Penny never took a bottle – of anything – from anyone, so it was very isolating for a long time. That said, I remember the first day we went to the Y for one of the kids’ class. I got inspired and as soon as Penny was 3 months old, I started working out. And really, that’s when things started to look up. I mean, at first, it was only 10 minutes of working out before babysitting came to get me because Penny was crying, but as time went on, she lasted longer and longer. Then I started a kickboxing class one Sunday and never looked back. Working out and meeting wonderful people has really made a difference. And the free babysitting doesn’t hurt either :). So here we are a year and a half later and things are pretty darn good. Not always easy, but good. Everyone, for the most part, is happy and healthy. Staying home is NOT easy, and I think I thought it was going to be. Some days I would give anything to go back to work. Just the thought of going to the bathroom alone is enticing enough. But, for the most part, it is rewarding to stay home and I am so lucky to be able to and not miss out on these moments with the kids. And, I am proud to say we have done it alone – no hired help or dropping the kids off with people all the time. We believe in raising our own kids, not letting others do it. We may not go on vacation for many years, but we have each other. So, this is where we are at today, who knows what tomorrow will bring. Even though I am not big on change, it’s the one constant in life 🙂
Well, seeing how it’s been almost a year since I have last blogged and I am no longer actively in PR, perhaps I should change the title of this blog, just in case anyone is really reading it. I am not big on change, I have mentioned that before, so the past 6-7 months have been, well, let’s say, a bit challenging. Now, in the larger picture of life, the word “challenging” can mean many things to many people depending on their life circumstances. It can mean struggling through an illness, or training for a marathon or pretty much anything. What do I mean by challenging? I mean finding time to actually think. Time to make a complete grocery list. Time to pack a full gym bag that yes, includes soap and shampoo. Time to eat. All of these things seem so incredibly basic, but for some reason I can’t manage to find the time to do any of these things on a regular basis. In the large scheme of things, if this is all I have to worry about I guess I am doing pretty good. However, I miss my work. A lot. I miss talking with humans older than 4 years old. I miss going to the bathroom alone. I miss eating lunch, never mind actually going OUT to lunch. I miss taking a sick day when I am sick. Did I mention I miss eating? Anyway, that’s it for now, someone is up, again. Stay tuned for more from the home front 🙂
Ok, so first off, apologies for not posting lately. But this was worth waiting for.
Did you all see this post on the WSJ’s The Juggle last week? Please do click on it. Yes, it’s Dr. Laura talking about SAHMs. Fine, we all have choices to make. Key word is choice, right?
HOWEVER, some of her comments are truly disturbing:
“When your husband comes home, wrap your body around him at the door and look at his eyes. What people need to learn is that it’s not about the drudgery of housework — it’s about being at home for all of those incredible moments that make your life more valuable than the person who replaced you at work.”
This is not even worth a comment, but COME ON. If you are home all day with the kids, I am sure your disposition will not be ammenable to the above statement.
“For everything in life, you have to make a priority list. This must be done. If we truly believe in something and cherish it, we find a way to make it happen. Women go from making seven-figure salaries to staying at home, and things just start to be less important.”
Right, so I guess paying the mortgage becomes “less important”. Interesting.
I waited a week before I posted about this because I, along withe some friends of mine, we pretty riled up. Still am to an extent.
And hey, what about those of us who WANT to work because we LIKE OUR JOBS? What would Dr. Laura say to that?