Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mama Goose

Happy Mothers Day to all of the mamas, grandmas, great-grandmas, aunties, and so on out there!  Although I believe it is purely a Hallmark holiday, I’m not going to get bent out of shape if I am shown a little more appreciation today by my husband and kids.

I always knew that I wanted to be a mom.  Maybe it was because I really enjoyed working with kids growing up at the “Y” and various summer camps.  Maybe it was because I like to tell other people what to do and be in control take care of other people.

Even in college a small group of my friends called me “Mama Goose” after the nursery rhymes.  Granted, these are the same people that I would go out to the bar with on a routine basis and make sure that everyone made it home alive (including myself).  Fast forward five years…

It has been 9 months since we moved to the farm.  I went from a full-time working mama to a stay-at-home mama to two wonderful boys, and have not looked back since!

Don’t get me wrong.  I loved my job and had a great “family” of co-workers.  I honestly think that if Travis and I did not have plans to move for a change in lifestyle and careers that I could have spent many additional years there (I had been there just over 4 and a half years when I left).

There are some perks to being a working mom, like the car ride sans children after dropping them off at daycare to get 5 minutes of peace and quite, getting to run errands during lunch or right after work without hauling the kiddos around, and daycare.  Did I mention daycare?

Thankfully we had a wonderful daycare where I knew the boys were being well taken care of and enjoyed spending time there.  However, I don’t think that any mom can say she does not feel guilty about not getting to spend more time with her children.  And I don’t know if I felt so much guilt for being a full-time working mother, as I was providing for my family, but I sure did miss them A LOT.

I thought that I was ready to be a stay-at-home mom when we first moved to the farm, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have a difficult time adjusting.  Looking back to last summer and fall, I think that it was overwhelming moving to a completely different environment, having to unpack our life’s belongings, be at home entertaining a then 6-month-old and 2-and-a-half-year-old, all while giving up any sort of “free” time I was used to having while being a working mother.

When we moved to the townhouse over the winter, I (we) had to adjust again.  This time was different in that the boys and I had a lot of down time.  I didn’t have to worry about unpacking and organizing to the extent I was at the farm because we only brought the bare minimum with us (the townhouse came furnished).  We were in an area that had anything and everything you could want for family entertainment, which honestly just stressed me out – too many options!

But it was forcing me to adjust to being a stay-at-home mom.  I started to realize that I needed some time to myself and (minor) brain stimulation.  I quit trying to live up to the predetermined notion that I had to play with my kids during their every waking hour…God forbid they entertain themselves for 5 minutes.

I forced us to develop a daily and weekly routine.  We joined a health club with free daycare.  I started reading books when the boys were sleeping and listening to audio books while doing mundane chores like cleaning the house and washing bottles (so glad that is over!).  I actually made a list of things that I want to accomplish for the year…Ha!  A stay-at-home mom that needs goals?!  Yeah right!

I don’t feel the stress of being a new stay-at-home mom now that we are back that the farm as much as when we first moved here last summer.  I am comfortable in our lifestyle and family dynamic.

Although our routines are slightly different from this past winter, we still have our routines.  Physical and mental exercise is key to my staying sane.  We don’t belong to a health club anymore, but I workout everyday while the boys are napping to a series of strength training and cardio DVD’s.  I am books again.  The boys and I enjoy spending time together doing hobbies like gardening.  I joined our local MOPS group.  I occasionally write on this blog.

Not that I have this whole mom thing figured out yet, or ever will.  I love staying at home with my kids at this time, and although there are still times that I feel I could probably be admitted to the state hospital, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Happy Mothers Day!

My children don't do posed photos.

Mama Goose

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