I have been a stay at home mom for 8 months. And I have to tell you, all those people who make it look easy are lying! It is hard. I had it easier when I had a full time job. My house is never clean, the laundry is never done, and getting supper on the table at a decent time is not a common occurrence at all. It really may be easier if my kids still went to school outside of the house but they don't. In addition to staying home I am homeschooling 4 boys. There are days that I want to walk away and not look back. I have days where I want to start looking for a job and send them all back to school. But I am learning a lot about my children and I am getting time I would never have gotten before. And I am learning a lot about time management and schedules. (Not that it actually happens but I see where it would be beneficial.) I am learning that following your dreams is not easy or a fairy tale. There is a lot to learn by staying at home.
- Your children are more like you then you want to admit.I have always butted heads with my second son. It seems like from the time he could talk he has had it out for me. In the past year I have learned something. He and I are a lot alike. We get mad at the same things, we both love to procrastinate, and we both like to have “me” time. He is still the reason that I spend most days feeling like a failure with his 6 year old brother coming in at a close second. And he is the reason that I yell ahout 90% of the time. But when it is just me and him he is the best child anyone could ask for.
- A house full of boys will only stay clean if you can afford to have someone else do it for you.The more I listened to all these other stay at home moms with clean houses talking the more I noticed a common thread- they ALL have a cleaning lady who comes 2-3 times a week. And they all send their kids to school or daycare at least 3 days a week. Then when I talk to other stay at home moms who don't do all that I realize I am normal. I would love for my house to still be clean the next day but until these boys grow up a little bit that isn't going to happen.
- Time Management would be great and so would a schedule but let's face it I AM EXHAUSTED!I actually did good with this at the beginning of the year. We had a schedule and we stuck to it and everything ran like clockwork. But then I went out of town with my husband for a week and when I came back the schedule was out the window. It is funny how no matter how hard I try to get it back it isn't working. And my 2 year old still has not recovered from that trip almost 6 months ago. He is clingy. He won't leave my side at night. And he wakes me up at least 3 times to tell me I am still there. (Because, you know, I didn't already know that.) My goal is to by the beginning of next school year to have a schedule that we stick with. I do have a couple of trips planned for next year but I will make it work out.
- I am not missing the little things anymore.I have worked or gone to school through all the baby years with my boys. So staying at home with my 2 year old is meaning a lot. I get hugs and kisses all day. He crawls up in my lap at the most inconvient times but I secretly wouldn't change that. I spend more time with my children now than I have their entire lives and since my oldest is 12 that is scary.
- Being a teacher is hard!After the first 3 days of homeschool I realized that I took all of our former teachers for granted. I really did. They work hard. By 3 PM I am ready to go to bed. And I only have 4 kids- they have about 30 to deal with all day.
- 6th grade Math can reduce me to tears.I don't know how they expect kids to do all of that stuff. I mean really! I don't remember half of that stuff from school- and let's face it, I don't use any of it in everyday life anyway. Or I didn't until I started homeschooling a 6th grader.
- 6 people + 1 income= hard timesWhen you are used to 2 incomes and having spending money it is hard to go to one. And I miss it a lot. I wish that I had the income back with the ability to stay at home. That being said, my kids have WAY too much stuff. I am working on going through it and thinning it out. And I am more aware of how money is spent around out house now. Which is a double edged sword.
- I really don't like to cookI would rather have someone else do it for me. As in if we ever won the big game I would hire a cook and a cleaning person in a heartbeat. And then I would put in a pool to sit by all day.
- I yell- Alot.I didn't realize how much I yelled until my husband pointed it out. Although he did say it was better after I had a night off to go do something without the kids. (Yes, he says that, and then since he works ALL the time I don't get to do it anymore.) I am actually doing this challenge called the Orange Rhino Challenge- no yelling in anger for 365 days (Um- I think I will try 30 days first).
- I love to write.I blog with more of an agenda now days. I try to target a certain audience. But I love to write. I may not be that good at it and I honestly hate grammer and editing so I don't do it that much, but I love writing.
So there are 10 things that I have learned in this first 8 months. I am debating on some changes with all of this but I do know for sure that until I have to or all of our kids are out of the house I will not go back to work full time. The time that I have with my kids is precious and fleeting. And spreading God's word through writing is important. I had all these grand plans about going on field trips and laughing throughout the day. But economy stuck their head in so we don't. And laughing only gets to happen if you finish your work without driving your mom to tears. I am living my dream of being a stay at home mom with a few twists thrown in. I am thankful for that. And I know they said that it was easy but they lied. It is the hardest job on this planet. And I am lucky enough to have it.