Stay At Home Mom
As many of you know, I was laid off from my job when I was about halfway through my pregnancy with Evan. The pregnancy was high risk as we had a previous premature delivery with our son, Sam and a couple miscarriages, so while I was devastated at losing the job I loved I was also thinking that perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. Had I continued to work, how early would my water have broken? Would I have gained more weight with the pregnancy due to ordering out at the office? Would my house have been ready? Would I have been able to create those crockpot freezer meals? What would have happened?
While I enjoyed working, my husband and I decided that it really was not a good time to go looking for a new job. 20 weeks pregnant in a high risk pregnancy where you went into preterm labor at 33 weeks previously didn't seem like a combination that screamed "go start working, you're just pregnant". So the plan was that I stayed home. Now I love to shop. So being more frugal has by far been the HARDEST aspect of our situation to adapt to. I love a good deal!
Originally I was going to stay at home with our 2 year old. Naturally if you are unemployed you'd actually be home with your child, right? No. He had just turned 2 and was a complete nightmare. Insisted on being carried places which I was not allowed to do. Resisted naps like they were the plague. Pleaded for me to lay down with him in his crib. As I got larger this was just impossible to do. Don't judge me, the kid wanted to cuddle. So did I. Anyway, it was just TOO MUCH for me. I couldn't stand more than 5 minutes at a time. I was completely exhausted. So, we made it work with keeping him in daycare. At first we just had him go half days and I would pick him up after lunch. But then I'd have to get him down for a nap. I went as far as driving aimlessly just to tire him out. The decision was made that he needed to attend full time. Which I'm glad for. The structure of the daycare and the interaction he was getting was worth it and was much more than I could offer him being pregnant. So off he went. Every day. This was even exhausting to just get him up and ready and to the daycare. I would often come home and nap every morning because I exerted myself too much.
Being At Home With #2
So as expected I went into preterm labor when I was 30 weeks and 6 days along. Going for a record, apparently. Being unemployed really was wonderful at this point in our lives. I was to sit in the hospital once they stopped labor for at least 3 weeks or until labor began again. Can you imagine wasting 3 weeks of maternity leave without a baby in your arms??? That would have sucked, to be quite honest.
Then when he was born 1 week later, he was in the NICU for 17 days. I don't know about you, but wasting maternity leave in a NICU kind of sucks as well. (Side note, I truly enjoyed being at the NICU all day. It was fairly quiet and I could nap when I was tired...heaven!) Anyway, not having to worry about a going back to work timeline really helped me to just take each day as it came. I didn't feel like the clock was ticking. I just kind of created a routine. In fact, each morning my husband and I would wake up, get ready, get Sam off to daycare together, then he would drive me to the hospital and then go to work. On his way home he would stop in, see Evan and then we would pick up Sam and go home for dinner and all of our other household chores each evening. It was perfect. We had a system.
Then Evan came home.
Whoa. Having a toddler and bringing a new baby home is scary. But bringing a premature baby home is SO MUCH SCARIER! Not only was Sam at daycare all day and around all those little germ-monsters there, now he would come home and run directly in Evan's direction. SCARY. I made him wash his hands, face and change his clothes when he got home. At first things were a bit scary. He attempted to whack Evan several times until he got used to him. To be brutally honest, we are like "flies on shit" when the two of them are home. Evan is never out of our sight. You just never know. Sam is now in LOVE with his baby brother but he's a rough kid. Not that he's trying to be rough, but he just is. He doesn't realize his size and strength. He's not a small kid, either...
Now that things have settled and he's more used to Evan things are actually quite enjoyable especially when Sam is around. When I nurse the baby, Sam is usually snuggled up right at my hip as well. He often reaches down and kisses the baby on the head and lays on the Boppy pillow with him while he nurses. These are my absolute favorite moments. I have this serene feeling permanently engrained in my mind that I will never ever forget. The joy I feel when Sam shows affection for his brother and me is just undeniably blissful. I can't get enough of it. But I still can't have 2 kids at home. No way, no how.
Each morning, Tim gets up and gets himself ready for work. I get up and get myself together to nurse Evan. Then Tim makes me a cup of coffee (bless his soul) and gets Sam up and ready for daycare, or shall I say "pre-school" now. He started in the new room this week. He takes him to school on his way to work each morning. Then it's just me and Evan all day. We do a whole lot of snuggling on the couch. I do try to get housework done. Sometimes I am able and sometimes I just can't get to it. It depends on Evan's mood and my own mood. Sometimes I just don't want to. So what. I have a new baby. I need to enjoy him while he still wants to be snuggled 24 hours a day.
Anyway, I do try to get out of the house and run errands. I like taking him places but I am terrified that he will insist on being snuggled while we are out and it is completely inconvenient. This has happened twice. Once in Target....I had to carry him in one arm and maneuver the cart with the other. Those carts do not take corners as nicely as one would like them to while steering one-handed, FYI. The second time was at the Christmas Tree Shoppe just yesterday. Little bugger got hungry. So I held him in one arm, held the bottle with my chin, and pushed the stroller with the other arm. Not ideal, but it worked for us.
The hardest part of being at home is showering. He seems to always want to scream when I'm showering. Despite being fed, changed and napped, he screams. The kid just wants to snuggle his momma. Period. I usually try to talk to him and reassure him while I'm 2 feet away in the shower, but it never works. He just has to cry for 10 minutes while I get a shower and brush my teeth. That's all.
Overall I adore being home with him. I like being able to snuggle with him and watch the news. I've never been able to watch the news before and therefore had no idea what was going on in the world. Now I know everything! It's awesome!!!!! I miss dressing up and putting makeup on every day. My heels are just distant memories now. I've traded Ann Taylor for yoga pants and t-shirts and I miss them, but I'm content at the same time. Truthfully I don't really ever want to go back to work. I would be so happy to be a stay at home soccer mom forever. Get the kids off to school each morning, have a cup of coffee, workout, clean the house, buy groceries...that sounds like heaven to me. Seriously. I'm working on finding a way to make this my reality, but we'll see how it all goes. I know my husband prefers me to make a salary and contribute to a 401k. We need a new roof, you know.
I just wish I was born in an earlier time. The 1930's, perhaps?