Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Thursday, August 2, 2012


It is hard to imagine that in 2 short weeks I will have both my kids in school for 3.5 hours a day, 5 days a week.  That means that for the first time in 8 years I will have the house to myself and alone time every day.  For those of you without kids, I recommend you stop reading now.  You will most likely not enjoy the rest of this blog. 

When I found out I was pregnant a little over 8 years ago I went through the confusing and arduous task of finding out out the following:  what kind of coverage my employer had for maternity/disability leave, how much daycare cost, how long I could stay home before I needed to go back to work so I didn't lose my job, how long women in Denmark get to stay home after they have a child, how much they get paid, what kinds of daycare’s were out there for 4 month old babies, how much time my husband could take off, how little money he would be paid to stay home for a few weeks, what my commute would be like to drop off baby, go to work, pick up baby and come home. 

Shortly after I had put in for my maternity leave everything changed and we decided to move to California so that my husband could go to Veterinary school and I decided to become a stay at home Mom.  And let me tell you that it was life changing.  Not in a good warm and fuzzy way, I fought it tooth and nail.  I missed my job, I missed my friends, I missed my work life, I missed everything about it.  But 2.5 years after baby #1, then came baby number #2 and we were knee deep into diapers and all that great stuff and I started to warm to the idea of just being Mom. 

Don't get me wrong, it is work, lots of work and exhausting work and time consuming work.  And to offset the cost of having a husband in Veterinary school and then residency, I did lots and lots of babysitting.  LOTS.  And nothing teaches you patience like doing lots of babysitting.  And nothing teaches you to love the professional world like doing lots of babysitting.  When people say, "wow, good for you, I could never do that!" they really mean it.  But it all allowed me to stay home and just be Mom. 

And when I walked my oldest child to kindergarten that first day I cried like a baby when she walked into that classroom, a big girl going to learn new things.  And I missed her!  And I imagine I will cry like a baby when my baby walks into that classroom, finally ready to learn new things and separate from Mom.  I am going to miss her!  

And everyone keeps asking what I am going to do with all my free time and what kind of trouble I am going to get into.  While I'm not really sure what I'm going to do, I know it will take some getting used to, the 3.5 hours alone.  But the best part of the day will be when I get to pick them up and we get to talk about the day and what was learned and how many atoms were split and all the hugs and hand holding and skipping we will do as we walk home.

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