Working mom to stay-at-home: 10 things I have learned

It’s been six months since I left my job to stay home with Anna, and I’ve learned some things.

1. The moments I really want to be around for do not adhere to anyone’s schedule. Period.

2. Life at home is repetitious, yes, but in six months it has not once been boring. (Cleaning my own house, however, is. B-O-R-I-N-G.)

3. It’s an unbelievable luxury to devote each morning to getting my child to preschool and my husband to work without having to go to a job myself. This thought still strikes me every single day.

4. A stay-at-home mom has no excuse for not exercising regularly. The YMCA is affordable and it offers FREE  CHILDCARE. A half-hour on the elliptical machine with a magazine and my Ipod isn’t a chore; it’s a holiday.

5. Messy and dirty are two very different things. My sanity depends on knowing the difference.

6. Counting dollars until he gets paid does indeed suck.

7. Preparing dinner every single day can flummox anyone. I’ve got six go-to dishes to anchor meals and we always have the fixings on hand; I consider myself a raging success if I score two original meals a week. Our house is never without beans and rice, vegetable stir-fry, pasta, eggs and toast, grilled cheese, or loaded baked potatoes. We always have Irish oatmeal and cous-cous and almonds and granola-yogurt parfaits and bananas, apples, and berries in our kitchen, and we keep a frozen pizza around for emergencies. Always. We’re not exciting, but we’re fed.

8. There are few day-to-day problems that can’t be solved with a good nap.

9. Money and sex aren’t really the subjects of everyone’s fights; the true culprits are time and energy. If we had unlimited quantities of those, finances and romance would be easy.

10. There is no greater gift than to be able to spend life simply living.

I especially mean that last one. I’ve learned that when there is no externally determined purpose grabbing at my time, the meaning of each moment can take full shape. While I have no idea why it feels so very fulfilling to watch our garden grow, I do think I know why it is so much easier to do the things I struggled to get to when I was working full time. When I don’t have to sell my time, nothing feels more natural than to volunteer, to teach Anna how instead of doing it for her, to consider the social good, to research products, to sort-and-donate, to attend every performance, to bake from scratch, to stop and explain, to compost, to dance in the kitchen.

It’s beautiful, and it’s a blessing.

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Published in: on February 22, 2011 at 9:19 AM  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is absolutely inspiring, beautiful, funny, and smack-my-forehead thought-provoking. Thank you for this.

  2. Beautiful post, Kendra. Time and energy — SO true!!!

  3. Excellent blog!! The point about energy/time is very accurate and sums up a lot.


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