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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Being a SAHM - 21 Month Update

I have been a SAHM for the last 21 months, and I have gone through a lot of ups and downs. The first year was tough. Taking care of a newborn is a full time job in itself, and I couldn't find much time to do any household chores or even find the time to cook myself a meal. Time for myself was out of the question. There was too much to do and never enough time. When Little E transitioned from baby to toddler, I noticed differences in my day to day routine. He was becoming more independent, which allows me to let him explore. I had time to take care of a few items on my to do list and try to get Little E to engage and help me when possible. I shifted from worrying about pumping to worrying about how to feed him the most nutritious meal (with diet restrictions nonetheless).

Elliot & Mommy
normal Little E one moment and tantrum throwing Little E the next moment

I still worry about what others think of my title. When a stranger asks me what I do, I tell them that I'm a SAHM. They usually don't say anything else and end the conversation. It's so awkward. I shouldn't have to feel ashamed but I do. I can't get rid of this feeling of being completely useless. Our society has shifted, and now working is the only acceptable thing to do. Daycare is normal, and I've heard people tell me how great it would be for Little E. I feel pressured to go back work, but where would I go? How can I ever make enough money to actually contribute?

I'm working on finding time for myself, but I haven't made too much progress. Nap times are usually my quiet times in front of the computer. I zone out of being a mom and just focus on being Yin again. Okay that's not true. I'm watching Little E on the other screen as he sleeps, and my eyes get glued to the screen every time he makes the tiniest movement. I'm also thinking about what I will make for dinner tonight and when I should get started on cleaning up the toys all over the kitchen floor. Other days I'm doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, prepping dinner or sweeping the floors. Note to self: find more me time!

Sleep? Nah!
watching Little E during "nap time"

I need to get out of the house more often. I tend to stay home most days because I'm a homebody and so is my kid. Whenever we leave the house, he will ask to go home. He comes back to his playroom and kitchen, and he is completely content with the rest of the day as long as he stays in the comfort of his space. Maybe I've trained him to be that way? I go through phases where we will leave the house every single day, and now I'm in this phase where we stay inside every single day. I lack motivation because the stress of planning how to leave the house and finding time to make a home cooked meal for dinner outweighs any fun that could possibly happen from leaving. [edit] I made sure to get out of the house today with Little E. It's winter, and the temperature was 55 degrees (must be global warming b/c last week the temperatures were in the teens and twenties). No excuses. The easiest way to leave the house and cause less stress for me is to stay local or simply go outside and play.

Playing Outside
playing outside and enjoying the abnormally warm winter

While it may sound like I don't enjoy being a SAHM, I actually do. I am grateful that I can stay at home and take care of my baby. I want to protect him from the world and give him everything. Although I may not enjoy cooking every meal, I love seeing him eat a very nutritious meal. I like knowing and setting his schedule everyday. I have so much fun playing with him and seeing him grow into a little man. Little E is my little buddy, and I would not trade our time together for any job in the world right now.

Mommy & Elliot
fun times with my little man :)

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