The decision for me to stay at home with Adelaide was not an entirely intentional one. I mean, I had always felt that when I had children, I would want to be able to stay home with them, but I planned on going back to work by the end of August, at least for a couple days a week. But it never happened, mostly because of my postpartum depression. Josh and I talked about it a lot and finally we both realized that the little bit of monetary cushion I’d be able to provide by working in the evenings was not worth my sanity.
And so I’ve stayed home with Adelaide since the beginning, and despite its ups and downs, I really feel so grateful and blessed that it’s worked out for me to do so. I get to spend my days with her, watch how she grows each day, catch all of her little milestones (the newest one is pulling herself up on all the furniture!), and pour the bulk of my energy into raising my babe. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done, and we have a lot of rough days, but it is also so rewarding.
It took a long time, but finally, we have our routine down. Adelaide sleeps till at least 7, when she usually wakes up for her first bottle of the day, then she goes back to sleep until around 9, and so does mama. Then we get up, get dressed, and Mama has breakfast and watches YouTube or The Mindy Project while Miss Baby plays. She goes down for her first nap at around 11, and I do housework, blog, or take on a transcription or tw0. The first nap varies–it may be anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours (I’m a fan of those 2 hour naps, personally), and then we go about the rest of the day. I like to have her “help” with the housework, usually crawling around while I fold laundry or tidy up. Then there’s usually another nap before Josh comes home from work, and that’s when I get dinner started. Depending on her nap situation, we like to have her sit with us at the table with her food, and we feed her anything off our plates that’s ok for her to have (she’s a huge fan of egg drop soup!). We put her to bed with a bottle at 8, after brushing her teeth, and then Josh and I have time to relax together before we head to bed.
That’s a typical day for us. It’s not hard to stay busy, especially now that Adelaide is so mobile! I do try to get us out of the house at least once a week for a walk, just to get some fresh air. We have a great coffee place a couple blocks away, which is an easy way to tempt me outside.
Things I don’t like about staying at home? The fussy days, obviously. Those are the days that I count down the minutes till Josh gets home.Those days when it’s hard to get motivated or I feel like I can’t get anything done.The guilt that Josh has to be the breadwinner, while I stay at home and “hang out with baby” all day, and the sacrifices we have to make because of the monetary position it puts us in. I do make some money from home doing transcriptions, which helps a bit, and has been a real blessing to us. Oh and then there’s that feeling like because I’m staying at home, I should be able to do everything and the house should always be spotless and an amazing homecooked meal should be waiting for Josh when he gets home…and then beating myself up about that rarely being the case. I’m starting to get better about setting realistic expectations for myself. And lastly, the fact that I still don’t have my driver’s license, so if we want to go out, we have to walk or bus, and I hate the bus, especially since pot became legalized in Washington. Luckily, we live within walking distance of most things, even her pediatrician, and walks are good for both of us.
As a whole, though, I love staying home with her. There are those days, like when she’s teething and super fussy, when I just feel so done with momming, and it can be so, so stressful, but for the most part, she is such a sweet girl, and that makes up for the hard days. My current favorite thing is how she follows me around the house as I’m doing work. So cute.
For all the stay at home mamas out there, what is your favorite thing about staying home with your little one? Least favorite thing?