While I was a working mom, I dreamt of what it would be like to be a SAHM, especially during the summers. I'm sure many working moms can identify with this. You can probably identify with the guilt I felt dropping them off at daycare, whether or not I had to work. Even working part-time, I had to pay for full-time daycare because of my irregular shift-work schedule. I felt especially guilty in the summers, thinking that we should be out having family adventures and lots of fun.
Well, now I'm a SAHM and I can tell you two things: it is both WONDERFUL and CHALLENGING. And I found something odd has happened. My mommy guilt has shifted...it used to be that I felt guilty about NOT being home...and now I feel guilty that I'm not GOOD enough for them at home.
Does anyone else feel this way? Some days I feel like I did it right. I limited their screen time, got everyone some exercise, had some healthy food, did some art projects, practiced some speech with my son and reading with my daughter and gave each kid some individual attention, cleaned the house and did all the laundry. But, that certainly doesn't all happen every day. I have to moderate my guilt with the realization that I can't do it all.
But there have been some big benefits to staying home with my kids:
I can design their activities however I want....and skip a swim lesson or dance class whenever we feel like it.
I have the flexibility to just be present with my kids.
We have the time to work on that Summer Wish List I wrote about before. (here)
I am relaxed enough to have some spontaneity....like chasing a rainbow or visiting grandma's house or hunting for the perfect snow cone.
I have time for the holidays/birthdays/BBQs/etc. that I used to miss when working.
The main challenges:
Not having enough time to fill my own bucket. (I would love more time to myself, more time to exercise, and to find some kind of career outlet.)
Dealing with sibling fighting.
Balancing the right amount of activities with boredom (I feel like they need to sit with boredom in order to figure out how to self-soothe, use imagination, and get comfortable with down time.)
Limiting screen time!
Overall, it's been a fun and active summer, but I think we are all ready for a regular school schedule.
I hope you all enjoy the last few weeks of summer 2015!