To say that my life has changed significantly is an understatement. I’ve given up life as I knew it and moved on to greater, yet completely unfamiliar things. Was it the right thing to do? Yes, a million times over. How did I know it was time to make the move? I just knew.
One day I woke up, and I was a Work At Home Mom. There were no meetings on my to-do list for the day, nowhere to go, no phone calls to be made or emails to be sent out. Instead, I had a 6am appointment with myself in the kitchen to prepare a packed lunch for my husband to take to work.
This was followed by breakfast with my son at 8, then play time, lunch at noon, bath time after lunch, and more play time afterwards. Oh, and I remembered to throw in some writing exercises, and a bit of cleaning up in between.
At 6pm just a few days earlier, I was shutting down my computer at work and preparing to head home to spend time with my son. On my first day as a WAHM, at 6pm I was turning on the spare laptop that we allow my son to use, so that I could take a break while he played games.
I was completely worn out from a full day spent with him. Wow!
I’m not that good at being a mom. Not yet, at least, by my own standards. Don’t get me wrong, I know in my heart that I am a good mom, but I still have a lot to learn about BEING a good mom.
For the last six years, my son has been raised by the same woman who raised me. My mother has always been a Stay At Home Mom, and this proved to be a huge advantage during my Working Mom days. She played grandmother, substitute mommy, nanny, school bus driver, chef, playmate and friend to my little boy during his toddler years.
Of course, my husband and I made it a point to be there for the big things – first day of school, class presentations, Halloween, Christmas, birthdays. But we couldn’t be there for the little day-to-day things, and I am eternally grateful to my mom for stepping in. I’m glad we never needed to hire a nanny because, at home, I already had the best person I could think of taking care of my son.
Over time, I realized how much he had grown, and how quickly he had become a strong and independent pre-schooler. And I knew then that I had already missed so much, and I refused to lose any more time being this guy’s mom. It was time to step into the unknown, to delve into the uncertain. It was time to take the path less traveled.
It’s been three weeks since I said goodbye to myself as a Working Mom. My time spent at home has proven one point – that I am not yet that good at being a mom.
I managed to forget to give my son his vitamins three days in a row. Twice I’ve fed him lunch at 4pm because breakfast wasn’t served until 11am. There was one day where I got so carried away cleaning our room that I realized too late that he had spent close to five hours straight playing video games. I’m really awkward with toy soldiers, I find Play Doh messy and I make funny sounds when we play with robots.
The funny thing is, my little boy doesn’t really mind. In fact, I don’t think he sees any of my shortcomings as flaws or mistakes. All that matters to him is that I’m at home with him every single day. And that I am trying with all my might. So I may have a lot to learn but I am off to a good start.
I’m not as occupied as I would like to be with the Work part of my being a Work At Home Mom, but I choose not to be too hard on myself over it. On the up side, I’ve already done a couple of good projects in my first three weeks, so I think I’m off to a good start. Plus, I know I will definitely pick up the pace once I have my daily dose of free time, when my little boy starts school in a few days.
I guess I’m still adjusting to the feeling of not having deadlines to meet on a daily basis. This is something I definitely need to get used to. These are minor withdrawals from giving up work cold turkey after eight years of full-time employment. I must say, the grass on the other side really is greener beyond what I ever imagined it to be.
I remind myself every day that being a mother is also a full-time job. That I am somewhat a novice in this job position. I know that I have so much to learn and six whole years to make up for. I know I can do it, and I’m sure this will be the most enjoyable learning experience I will ever get myself into.
I already am the best mother for Tristan. With a little fine-tuning, I will most definitely become the best mom he can ever ask for. And I promise myself, no matter what happens, I will definitely learn how to speak robot.
Have you experienced leaving the workforce to stay home with your child(ren)? If so, how did you manage the transition and how did things change as a result?
This is an original, first-time post to World Moms Blog from our new WAHM and mother of one in the Philippines, Mrs. P. Cuyugan.
Photo credit to the author.