I’m new to the stay at home mom game.
My kids are older. They are way beyond the toddler stage. They no longer need me to fix them lunch, or turn the channel, or get them dressed. My baby is 10. My older is in high school.
I was a single, working mom their whole lives. Almost two years ago, I married my husband, who is now their father. He is an amazing dad to them, especially for someone who never thought he would have children, and was already in his late 30s when they came into his life.
When he started his job, just over a year ago, I had been in stressful call center jobs, in many positions, for better than ten years. It was something that came easy to me, and I was good at it. It also tends to pay better than most jobs (but marginally). My health was suffering, though.
I have clinical depression and anxiety disorder. Not the best combination with that type of work.
His new job, though, was a great one, and allowed me, for the first time ever, to be able to quit my job, and stay at home with the kids. When this fist happened, I was so glad, but also so lost. This was all new to me!
What exactly does a stay at home mom DO when she doesn’t have small children??
I cook, and I clean, but honestly, once your kids are a certain age, there is not as much of that to be done. The demands on my time that most stay at home moms have are negligible.
Having worked for so long, I’ve struggled with feeling useless. They don’t need me like they used to, but I also don’t want to appear to be one of those “Peg Bundy” moms, who sits around and watched TV all day. My depression, of course, didn’t help this much. By the end of 2015, I felt that I had completely lost myself, and had no idea what to do, who I was, and what I supposed to be doing.
There were no blogs, articles, pins, podcasts that I could relate to, since they were all geared towards moms with little ones.
Logically, though, I knew why this was important. I’m here. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. When my 10 year old discovers something new, or just wants to be silly. When my teenager has had a rough day of high school drama, and just needs a hug. When he makes the team. When they want to play a game, or tell a joke, or just hang out and watch whatever Mom is watching. When they want a hug. This is all SO IMPORTANT.
The other thing I am realizing, though, is that it is important for me, as well. This is preparing me. Preparing for the day that they are no longer here, and are off living their own lives, with their own wives and kids. I’m being given the opportunity to figure out ME again.
I’ve been reading the most amazing books, that are helping me rediscover my lost confidence, and that are inspiring me to reach down and locate my long ago misplaced creativity. I’m indulging in my favorite paperback novels. I’m not ashamed to say that I am binge watching my favorite TV shows (including guilty pleasures!). I’m still cleaning and cooking, and helping with homework, and playing chauffer, and all of those mom things. But in the in between, I’ve started what is likely to be a magical journey to find myself, and what makes me happy and fulfilled outside of “mom” and “wife”.
And this is where I will write about it.