Reader warning: If you're sick of me talking about not having a job by now, no need to commence. There will be no hard feelings from me because. I'm feeling rather like the over-exuberant new mom who gushes about every cheerio that her firstborn feeds him/herself. Get over myself already! and all that. Ah well. I'm going to write it anyway.
Fiction: Not working and having the luxury to be a stay-at-home for however long you do it is blissful. There are good naps. You get stuff done. You wake up leisurely in the morning and sit at the table sipping one or more cups of hot stuff of your choice. You wear whatever you want and don't care. You take the kids on a trip to the mall or out to eat for a treat or what-have-you whenever you get bored at home. You hang with friends who are also stay-at-homes. You read a lot.
My reality: Some of this is true, actually.
I do wake up fairly leisurely and just early enough to get a shower in before the spouse leaves for work. Sometimes Abby is the one who sneaks in as my gentle alarm clock. ("Mooommmmyyyyy....it's time to get uuuu-uuupppp....") Caveat: I've already been up at least once, usually between 4:30-5:30 to feed and diaper Audrey, my soft little snuggle bug who makes raspberries to herself until she goes back to sleep for a couple more hours.
I do get some stuff done. I rock the laundry train. We're up to 7 solid loads of laundry a week, usually on 2 days. I can multi-task kitchen stuff like an Iron Chef, at least in comparison to the hubs who ... doesn't. I'm pretty decent at planning ahead. Caveat: I have to.
I do wear whatever I want. Caveat: I do care what I look like, even when I'm wearing the comfy clothes. Probably no one else but me noticed that I wore grey every day last week. Every day. Caveat: No one else but me ever notices what I wear. I'm pretty inconspicuous.
But here's the nuts & bolts reality, the part that I'm having trouble adjusting to. I'm pretty isolated now, coming from a place where I was surrounded by people. I'm much more happy being in the company of myself or a small couple of people rather than a crowd, but at some point, you just need to be around adults. And the real issue, the one that is the purpose here: I don't have an end in sight, and that's just scary; it changes everything. With my first maternity leave, I was on leave from the very end of May until March 1st of the next year, but there was always an end in sight through the winter blahs. I'm a 3-steps ahead planning kind of person, and I'm left with nothing but the unknown right now. It's working and there are no regrets in our decisions, but I'm the first to admit that it's still just scary. Caveat: I have so many ideas, and it's liberating to be able to think what if??? for once.
For my fan club president, Crystal, here is a picture that I took this
morning as I was trying to dress Audrey and she was trying to hang out
with her good buddy, who was coloring her own hand like anyone would