Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom: One Year In

A year ago today I began my career as a stay-at-home mom.

{This was the first solo outing I had as a stay-at-home mom!}

I knew it was going to be hard. I wasn’t sure what the challenges would look like or how I’d weather the change. What I did know was that I was ready. While it ended up happening much faster than we could have ever planned for, the timing was such that it worked out just fine anyway.

Before I became a career mom I loved my professional career – it was really hard to leave it. And still, I am so confident in my decision to stay home with my littles and honestly hardly think about the time when I was a working mom. A lot of things were significantly easier then – mostly because we had consistent childcare and I could get a break during the day.

Since staying home, though, I feel so grateful to be the one out on the field every day making the decisions, fighting the battles, kissing the bumps and bruises, breaking up the fights, pushing the 75+ pound stroller up the giant hills in our neighborhood, preparing all of the food and just being there with and for my children. I had always dreamed of being “just” a mom and it turns out to be a pretty good fit.

I began my new career just days after we moved into The Lodge and the timing of the transition was seamless. I honestly can’t imagine running two houses and the hectic schedule we have, managing an au pair, parenting two toddlers, while also working.

The adjustment took me a few months. I got into a groove in early spring last year, and of course there are ebbs and flows with the schedule day-to-day but overall, we have a really nice routine. I have a list of some favorite activities the kids love {swimming, going to the zoo, the children’s museum} for no school days and another list of fun, random outings to check out.

Some weeks are super smooth. Both kids are occasionally in great moods at the same time and equally cooperative. I can recall some of our best weeks and some of the highlights that left a lasting imprint. A lot of them are really recently.

Last summer was probably one of the best summers I’ve ever had, definitely since having kids, but it was also extremely difficult. Ben as a fresh three-year old was not a walk in the park. I had a massive adjustment period to age three and it took a solid six weeks for me to get my bearings and figure out what I was dealing with.

In addition to Ben turning three, Hannah turned into a toddler and threw us all for a loop. She went from being the easiest baby ever to being the wildest, loudest toddler on the face of the earth, all in the span of what felt like a day. One day I had this blissful 2-1/2 year old and my perfect, calm baby and the next I had a threenager and a freaking monkey. Holy, holy buckets.

I’m extremely fortunate to have a tremendous support system. It seems like all of my closest friends have toddlers the same age as Ben and many of them now have their second child. I have a few different groups of “mom friends” here in Seattle, as well as my girlfriends from back in Minnesota. We support each other frequently through texting, video chats and playground meet-ups. When we’re lucky we can sneak away after bedtime for a glass of wine.

Now that I’m a year in I’m pretty unfazed by things like two toddlers both throwing a fit at the same time {in public or at home} or carrying two toddlers {thankfully usually the littlest is on my back} and a coffee, or going on a big excursion. Things happen and I deal with them and then the day goes on.

One of the biggest challenges, though, is that I get very little time to myself. I have found creative ways to make time here and there, like taking Hannah for runs in the jogging stroller, hiring a babysitter once or twice a month or going out in the evening with a girlfriend after the kids are in bed. I also love to wake up early and have my coffee in peace and get ready alone as a way to ease into my day.

Spending all day just about every day with two toddlers certainly has its ups and downs. I’m paid every day in cuddles, laughter, big hugs and kisses and pure abundant love from my littles. It’s worth more to me than any fancy salary or incentives and I am so loving my job.