Sunday, March 15, 2009

Staying Home

Some days I am impossibly lonely. Some days the choice to be a stay at home mom weighs on me. How could I have thought that this was something I would be good at, something I would be happy doing? No one tells you that spending day after day with only a baby for company is so hard.

There are a thousand books and none of them tell me what I need. How do I make it through the day with my sanity intact? To everyone, I say I love staying home with my daughter, and that is the absolute truth. But only half of it. I just don't know how to reconcile the other half. The half that says I miss daily adult interaction and the stimulation that my job offered.

This blog and my blogland friends do a pretty good job of filling in for some of that but writing posts and traded emails don't quite fill in for the challenge of a new proposal or doing my beloved NYT crossword with coworkers over lunch.

I glamorize my memories, I know, making my life before seem idyllic but the truth is there were many times where I was just as frustrated. Where long hours caused friction between Neil and I. When things went fabulously wrong and I thought I was going to lose my job.

I wouldn't trade these days with my daughter for anything, though. Despite the doubts and the fears and the loneliness, being with my daughter means everything to me. I will get through this time, just as I have gotten through others. We're getting into the good stuff now, how could I miss it?


  1. As a stay-at-home-dad, I know what you mean. After all, what can be easier than spending time with a little baby or toddler? And even more than that, what can be more fun?

    But it's still the hardest thing I've ever done. And reconciling these things still doesn't make sense to me. How can something be so easy and fun, and so incredibly taxing at the same time?

    It's just the constant attention he needs (and deserves) that makes me end the day feeling I could hear my heartbeats through my expanding brain that's about to explode.

    It's been a long day.

  2. Being a stay at home parent IS hard, and it's one of those frustrating things that you can't really describe to someone and make them understand unless they've done it too. You're being wise to do things for yourself (gym and your weekly ME time)--I know they can be hard to find, but have you looked into any mommy and me playgroups? That way you AND Sophie will have someone to play with! Keep on keepin' on. It IS worth it!

  3. I've struggled with this very thing since the minute my babies were born. I feel guilty about it. A lot. I wouldn't trade spending this time with them and being home, but there's little balance. Its all baby and little else. And there are no weekends. I hear ya.

  4. Being a stay-at-home parent is the hardest job ever! I did it for my year of maternity leave and let me tell you, as much as it broke my heart to go back to work a part of my was jumping up and down in pure joy.

    I would have slowly gone insane if I stayed home longer than that. It's not that I don't love my child with every fiber of my being, I'm just

    Does that make me a bad mom, I sure as hell hope not.

    I am so much happier since finding a good work/home balance and it makes the time I spend with Little J more even more special.

    Go out and make some mommy friends.
    Sophie is getting old enough to sign up in community groups/lessons, try story time at the library, walk the malls {I met lots of moms at the mall play-areas}

    Hang in there momma, you can do it.

  5. Oh, how I know. That feeling was much more intense when it was just me and my first kid... it lessened, I think because I'm busier, have more friends and my "previous life" feels much more distant now.

    Sometimes I very much miss the old me, but I wouldn't trade it for a second. Yes, actually, I would, for a second. Maybe even 10 minutes. ;)

  6. Find a local MOMS Club! It is a great outlet to meet new friends and Sophie will find some new friends too.

    It gets better.

  7. It's the hardest job in the world. Jenny is right, it does get alot better and I joined my MOPS group at my church. That really helps alot to find another group of mothers that feel exactly the same way you do. And believe me, we all feel EXACTLY the same way you do. You are not alone!!

  8. I totally understand where you are coming from. I don't know what I would do if I didn't get to go to work for a couple day a week.
    And the other commenter's are totally right, find a play group or something. I do this. The kids love it and i get to talk to other moms. Win win!

  9. It is hard to stay home...but if you were working you would be sad you were missing so much at home, right? :-D

  10. Being a SAHM is one of the hardest jobs! I have been one for 15 years! You have to find your own adult identity in there somewhere. It also can be very lonely.
    Others that are not, do not quite understand. They secretely can be resentful of you not having to work (just lost my best friend due to some of that) and they just don't "get" it. With a job you get a paycheck. You get noticed for the work you have done. You also have the pride of an education and adult interaction. You get acknowledge and praised if you do well. Not too many people around here are giving me a bonus because I cooked dinner, and have changed 4 poopy diapers:)
    But I know I would not trade it for anything! It means so much to me that when my teenage daughter gets off the bus, there is someone home to greet her...not an empty house. That my son can be involved in activities because I am available to do them with him.
    That when the school calls because someone is sick, I can be right there to pick them up and give them tylonel and put them in bed.

    Now this has NOTHING to do with families where finiacally both parents have to work! Goodness knows I am blessed to be able to stay home! I do NOT want to step on anyones toes. I am just staying with the topic at hand here which is being a SAHM.
    This is about a if you have a choice. This is about MY choice.

    The others are so so right. If you can join a MOPS group, and you are already going to the gym (that is great!). Just be sure to cut things out for you!

    Oh yea...this is YOUR blog...hmmm. I will end this now!

  11. It is hard, I was not a stay at home mom until my child was in his teens and only part-time then but I was a better person because of it and he turned out to be a great young man. I have been a full-time homemaker for nearly 7 years now with my son long gone to college, grad school, and his own family. It is hard to be out of the loop, but you must be yourself in the loop! You will never regret it when that little one is older. The biggest regret of my life has been that someone else saw my son do a lot of his firsts first. I cringe when I hear my neighbors complaining of being home with the children all day and eating peanut butter sandwiches; you don't have to eat what they eat or always only talk baby talk. Good luck, but embrace it!


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