This Month's Topic: Focus on Finance

Staying Home and Staying Sane

The other day, Kyle was grabbing a sleeper out of the dresser for Austin when he realized a sock was stuck in the foot of the pajamas. Our conversation went something like this:

Kyle: “Hey, I think there’s a sock stuck in the bottom of this one.”
Me: “Seriously?! Please tell me it’s the missing IU sock!”
Kyle: “Yep, it’s the IU sock.”
Me: “Yay! This is the best day ever! I’ve been looking for that sock for weeks now.”

End scene.Austin jumping

As soon as the conversation was over, Kyle suggested that this should be the subject of my next blog. He thought that it was hysterical that anyone could get that excited over a missing sock. I had to agree and was beginning to feel a little nostalgic for my working days.

I’m not going to lie, there have been a few times now since Austin’s birth that I have wondered if I should go back to work and what it would be like. I do miss adult conversation and my friends from work. I do miss feeling accomplished and feeling like I was contributing to the overall financial stability of our family. I will be the first to admit that when I was working I felt some judgment toward stay-at-home moms. I remember thinking, “How hard can it possibly be?”

I now know the answer to that question is hard! I’m not just talking about the taking-care-of-the-kids-by-yourself-all-day hard, I’m talking about the emotional and physical toll that staying at home takes on you. I have to say that I usually think about Austin and worry about Austin probably 98.9 percent of the day. The other 1.1 percent is generally spent thinking about dinner and the house. That leaves (and I’m not great at math), but I think that leaves about 0 percent for me.

I shower while Austin naps, pull my hair into a ponytail because he’ll yank on it if I wear it down and begin my day. It is my life now, and I love every single minute of it, honestly. I love putting Austin down for naps and being there when he wakes up. I love feeding him lunch and having him spit it all over the place (OK, so I only love this sometimes).

Yes, I know that if I chose to work, we would have more money for vacations, groceries and other necessities, and yes, I understand that if something in our house breaks, we are going to have to figure out how to pay for it. But, fortunately, I am lucky enough that Kyle doesn’t mind me staying home, and I consider myself lucky that I am able to have this time with my son.

So, I guess it does seem crazy and embarrassing for someone to get so excited over a missing sock, but you see, to me, this was another small accomplishment in my day. And all of those little accomplishments add up! I have so much respect for moms who are working. Being a mom is hard, and I imagine that being a mom who works is even harder. So I just want to say to all of the moms out there: Keep up the great work!

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