Today was my first day “back to work”, although I use that term lightly. I managed to shower and get dressed before 9:00am, a miracle in itself, and left Everett with my mother-in-law for the very first time. I was slightly anxious, but also grateful for the opportunity to do all sorts of amazing things like go to Starbucks (alone), hit up the post office (alone), and pick up some things I needed and didn’t need from Target (alone). Have I mentioned how difficult it is to run errands with a baby? The sheer effort it takes to get him in and out of the car is enough to make a person swap their Jamba Juice for a “McSmoothie” because unlike Jamba Juice, McDonalds has a drive-thru.
But I digress. After taking six weeks off from my regular part-time gig (aka my only stable source of income), I returned today to learn that, due to unforeseen circumstances and a few company changes, my services would no longer be needed. Womp womp.
I had a feeling it was going to happen, and even discussed with Brett last night what to do if that was the case. We both agreed Everett was our top priority at this point, and that if something ever did happen to my work arrangement, it would give me the opportunity to take care of Ev full time, should I choose to do so.
24 hours later, here we are! To be honest, I never really thought of myself as the stay-at-home-mom type. I had preconceived notions about what that meant, and legitimately feared that I would lose a part of myself or not feel as fulfilled as I felt in my job. I pictured myself as the stereotypical stay-at-home-mom, looking like a total mess driving a minivan with screaming children in the backseat covered in jello. I was afraid that if I stayed at home full-time, I wouldn’t have the energy for writing or photography. I was afraid I would forget how to socialize with adults or turn into that annoying baby-crazy mom who posts pictures of her kid on Facebook all day (oh wait….).
And then? Then I spent six weeks at home with Everett and everything changed.
I haven’t lost anything, and I suddenly feel more fulfilled in my role as a mother than I ever felt in the workforce. Don’t get me wrong; it’s far from glamorous. I’m covered in spit-up and pee every day, rarely shower before 3:00pm, and haven’t slept longer than three consecutive hours in six weeks. Regardless, I am also more content than I’ve ever been and it’s shocking, even to me. I never knew how much I could love staying at home with a baby, until I was home with my baby.
I still plan to pursue photography, work with The Violet, and maybe pick up a few freelance opportunities here and there. I think it’s important for me to maintain a creative spirit through those endeavors. They keep my mind sharp, my heart happy, and my frozen yogurt fund full.
Money is going to be a bit tighter moving forward (goodbye cable, again), but I’m mostly feeling grateful, relieved, and confident that this is the best plan for us right now. Plus, Everett is pretty stoked about it…