I had a difficult time deciding on the title of this blog post, I was going back and forth between using the word “thrive” and “survive”. The truth is, it changes from day to day. There are many days when I feel I am thriving as a stay at home mom; I love being home with the baby, the sun is shinning, my patience never reached empty, I changed out of my yoga pants, and I’ve gone to bed feeling great about the day we had. How I survive being a stay at home mom is mainly about finding my own happiness.
What I’ve learned in the past year and a half of working from home is that a lot of my happiness depends on me. If I waited for the day my daughter didn’t fuss, or toss her food, or refuse to take a nap, I would never find happiness staying at home. I would get lost in a world of diaper changes, laundry, preparing meals and frankly, what’s so appealing about that? I quickly realized I needed something of my own, a project or hobby that I could throw all the creative energy I had been fostering throughout college and my years in the work force. I am completely at peace with putting my career on hold for a few years, but I refuse to let my happiness go with it.
The key to surviving and hopefully thriving is to stay true to who you are and not lose touch with the world outside your home. I always try to watch or read the news, I work on my writing, I visit with friends without children and have conversations that don’t involve poop or sleep cycles; all of these things contribute to my happiness. But even still, there are days that I fail miserably and long for a chair in a quiet office sipping a hot coffee. After the tenth repetition of Caps for Sale, I wonder if I made the right choice in quitting my job. On those days, when surviving is my only option, I always go back to why and am instantly comforted when I look at my daughter’s face. The choice to stay at home or work from home while raising children isn’t for everyone, but I know it’s been right for me. I survive being a stay at home mom because I’ve chosen to be happy, I take one day at a time, and recognize a day will come when the book Caps for Sale will evoke the happiest of memories.
Are you surviving or thriving in your parenting role?