I’m writing this because over the past few weeks I have had an awesome opportunity that many people never have, except for our few weeks Maternity “vacation.” Whether it be a mother and father parenting together, a single mom, a single dad, grandparents raising the second generation, adoptive parents, foster parents or anyone that steps up to have that responsibility of being called a parent, I hope that every parent has the opportunity if only for a week to spend a solid 24 hours/7 days a week with your child at any age. To be 24/7 parents. This was something I was completely unfamiliar with before moving to Montana.
There are the Challenges –
- Having no-by yourself time: I never knew how important this was to a person’s sanity. VERY IMPORTANT. Now even though I had always been in an office setting while working outside our home, looking back this counts as me time. I had breaks, lunches, potty breaks, much less the relaxing walk to the post office…these days, Not A Chance. I thought I got sneaky yesterday with shutting two doors and sneaking into a bath, 3 minutes into it, I had two little people stripping down and hopping in. So the closest thing to me-time right now, is writing this blog post to you all.
- Going Everywhere with Everyone: Before the move we enjoyed the ease of the saying “raising children takes a village.” Meaning we had both of our families relatively close, if we needed a huge day of shopping out of town, or just wanted to go on a date, all we had to do was make a phone call and VOILA, the kids got to hang out with their cousins or grandparents. So simple. After the move – It’s all on us!
- Bright side – The Wildman and Skeeterbug are getting to be good shoppers and fairly good at sitting down at a restaurant and waiting for food. I.e. Mom and Dad are getting more patient and learning the best things to pack to entertain while waiting.
- Feeling stretched thin: Between working from home, caring for kids, keeping the house together, and making sure The Rancher can get outside to tend to the ranch we both feel stretched thin. The other evening the kids were in bed, and we were finishing up with cleaning and The Rancher says, “I’m Exhausted and truthfully I have no idea what I accomplished today.” Welcome to a Mother’s world every day. We look around, the kids have the house destroyed for the umpteenth time, the kitchen is semi picked up but dishes remain, the snow pants and gloves are strewn about, and of course the kid’s rooms are a mess. Didn’t we have this picked up 2 hours ago? It is so hard to keep the house picked up when your family is home ALL DAY messing it up! While I was working, no one was home to mess it up, so that left 2 hours in the morning, 4 hours in the evening before bed, and weekends that we actually “lived” in the house.
- Getting sick of each other: Oh yes, I said it. I will be the first to admit that without my office to go to in the mornings, I would go crazy. The kids need to have a break from me and from each other too. I found that out just the other day (6 weeks into this staying at home business) that if Skeeterbug and Wildman have about 30 minutes apart a day, and naps don’t count, that they are so much happier.
And The Benefits –
- Seeing “Those” moments: We have had the opportunity to watch our kids grow so much in the last few months. To be the witness to the awesome moments of learning, exploring, growing is quite an awesome piece of the pie.
- Being the coach: This life changing move has given The Rancher and myself time to be a coach for our kids, coaching them in their challenges, teaching them about anything and everything, and to really become their role models.
- Doing things all the time as a Family: Yes, both a Challenge and a Benefit. Since the move we have become a close nit family. All relationships including The Rancher and myself have grown into something more. We do so much more together these days, I’m sure I notice it more because I was always the one who wasn’t around before the move. Now I am able to be there playing and working with my family.
- Experiencing the growth first hand: Example – Skeeterbug is too smart for her own good. Telling me, “Her Feelings Hurt, right here (pointing to her heart) in my heart.” Someday I wonder where she gets this stuff! So sweet right?
I’m sure there is more that I could go on and on about. But honestly, what an eye-opening experience. A huge Thank You out to the Timber Lake Community Daycare and especially Missy who spend the past 2.5 years raising my kids. I now know that the job you do each and every day with other people’s children is truly the toughest job. I am so looking forward to stepping up and trying to be the best parent I can be, even when it is so tough I’m at my breaking point, I have to remember to appreciate the simple things:
- A kiss from any of my children can stop an angry moment.
- A little hand playing with my hair, belly, neck, can make time stand still.
- A stinky little foot tells of all the fun a family had during that day.
- A little voice saying, “Love you mama” can heal any heart.
- A big hug or little hug makes me smile and brightens my day even in the worst of moods.
I am blessed to have the best of both worlds, being at home with my family but also able to work from home. Without one or the other I would be lost. Hug you little ones tight, and enjoy every minute you get with them, whether it be a full day of chaos or those awesome hours before and after work! I have been in both shoes now, and they are both great in their own ways! Love it up!