Over the years when talking about having kids, Josh always made it clear that he wanted me to be a stay at home mom. I wanted that too, but before having Audrey, I thought it would be nice to continue working after the first kid, and then stay home with subsequent kids, as the cost of childcare would be more than I bring in. When I was pregnant, this was what I insisted upon to Josh. He wanted me home, I wanted to work. Well, here I am 15 months later saying, "Josh, you were right". :) Who's shocked?
I gave my notice in December and it was taken well. They were surprised (really? How could you not see this coming?) but everyone at work has been very understanding and supportive. I planned for my last day to be on December 30th just to round out a year, but I agreed to stay on until Jan 13 to help train my replacement and make up for one team member being on vacation. The extra two weeks wasn't terrible, but it has been the busiest two weeks at work in months. And also the l-o-n-g-e-s-t. Although I've wanted to shut down and go into cruise control, I've actually had to do work and stay on top of the game as this busy season starts.
I am really excited about being able to stay home with Audrey. The stress of being a working mother was much more than I expected. It is far more challenging and demanding than I thought it would be, and I was certainly not prepared for it. I spent the past year feeling like I was just treading water trying to make it through the day/week/month/year. I hardly did anything I consider a hobby, cleaning the house has fallen by the wayside, paper work hasn't been filed in ages, and some days I look at Audrey and feel as though there are gaps in her short 15 months that I don't remember because we were so busy. We moved into our house in September, and yet we have two rooms that we can't use because they are occupied by unpacked boxes (ok, that's also because the house is always under construction, but you get the point). The past year has undoubtedly been the hardest of my life. Leaving my sweet girl every morning was so heart wrenching, I spent many mornings crying on my way to work because I missed her. I spent many evenings driving home like a maniac just so I could get to her faster and pick her up and squeeze her. I know that mothers do this every day under much harder circumstances, and I am grateful that our family is able to make this transition. I know that in the long run this is the best thing for the three of us.
My biggest concern is that I might be doing Audrey a disservice by taking her out of day care. She is such a social little girl, and I absolutely attribute that to her being in day care. She is always happy when she's there, she is excited to go in each day, she hugs her friends and her teachers. I wonder if it will be hard for her to adjust to not being around other kids all day. Obviously I plan to take her out as often as possible, but the truth is that no matter how many play groups we go to it will not be the same as being in a class room with 6 other toddlers for 8 hours each day. She is learning to be well mannered and social there, learning to share, and is learning by watching the older toddlers. I do intend to continue "teaching" her things at home and I have no doubt in my abilities there. I guess I just worry that although this is the best thing for our family as a whole, I am not sure if it is the best thing for my sweet Audrey. I hope she doesn't miss her school friends too terribly.
I enrolled Audrey in a class at the Cub Run Rec Center called "Fun Fit Tots". It is a class for 1-2 year olds and their parents to get a little bit of exercise and have some fun for an hour each week. The first class was this week and we had fun! We didn't go around the room and say how old our babies are, but Audrey appears to be much younger than the other kids, who are all boys. They are much taller and talk a lot more and just look older. Its so amazing how different a 15 month old child can be from an 18 month old or a 22 month old. Anyways, Audrey follows directions pretty well at home, but yesterday she really wanted to do her own thing. She liked kissing herself in the mirror. She also liked hanging out in the corner along this little ledge that was just her size to sit on. The teacher said it was normal for the kids to do this the first few classes because it is all so new and exciting, but that as the weeks go on they will be more inclined to participate. One of the boys made his mom hold him the entire hour. Another boy just cried and cried. It was quite funny. I'll try to snap some picture one time, but parental involvement is a key part of the class so I'm not sure I'll get a good opportunity to take pics. I've also researched some activities at the public libraries near us and there are some story hours and also sing-along type activities for toddlers that I'm going to check out.
|Poster from her classmates|