Friday, October 15, 2010

My New Life

This afternoon Cole and I drove up to the Northside of Indy to visit Allison, my former co-worker, and give her one of my freshly made Snickers cupcakes. It was so awesome getting to see her, even if it was only for a few minutes ;-) On our way back home I started thinking about my old life...and my life now.

I left my job on July 10th, 2009, two weeks before Cole was officially due and one week before he actually entered this world. Contrary to popular belief, the main reason I left was because I was unhappy (and apparently not alone in that feeling)...and I will leave it at that. The second reason is obvious: I want to be a stay-at-home mom to Cole, my very passionate, intense, and intelligent little boy.

Let me first say that we are beyond blessed for me to be able to stay at home with Cole every day. I realize that this is something that very few people are able to do and we thank God for this privilege every day. That said, staying at home is more difficult that most people would ever dream. Don't get me wrong, I think working AND being a mom (essentially having two full-time jobs) is difficult, but staying at home is a chore for other reasons. For instance, when (more like "if") I clean, the house immediately gets messed up because Cole and I are living in it almost 24/7. I am used to cleaning on the weekends and then heading to work...coming home to a (fairly) clean house.

Of course having a clean house is not the be all end all. One of the bigger stay-at-home mom hurdles is maintaining contact with the outside adult world. For the first 10 months of Cole's life I definitely felt like I was a hermit whose only job consisted of nursing, changing diapers, rocking, shushing, swaddling, and bouncing...anything to stop the crying. The only time I felt vaguely human was on Fridays from 10:30 to noon at the St. Vincent breastfeeding support group. It was there that I could actually hold conversations with other adults...specifically moms who had kids about Cole's age and who were struggling with some of the same issues that we were. This was my solace.

I now know that in that first year I should have made more of an effort to establish and maintain relationships with other moms in my situation, whether through standing weekly playdates or monthly mom's night out events. Connections to other adults is what can help balance out a stay-at-home mom's seemingly endless every day existence. I will certainly do things differently this next time around in our second child's first year of life.

I desperately miss talking to my friends/former co-workers like Susan, Allison, Wendy, and Emily on a daily basis at work, but I do still get to talk to them occasionally...(waiting on Allison to have a kid and join one of our playgroups). No matter how tough it was to get through, however, I don't regret Cole's first year. I traded in my suits, oxfords, and board meetings for stretch pants, T-shirts, and park playdates, but I know it is worth it. I wouldn't trade this life for anything.

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