Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why I Chose to be a Stay At Home Mom.

(I'm not curing cancer but I'm not eating bonbons all day...usually)

   Recently my husband and I switched up our health/life insurance plans, (because after making a human being and purchasing a house AND successfully keeping a potted plant alive during the majority of the summer it just seemed like the next logical thing to check off of our grownup list), and of course like most things on the grownup list, it involved some paperwork.

   Filling out my personal history and medical background wasn't too difficult. I'm generally average on the health spectrum, never smoke, mysterious biological tree due to adoption=check "N/A" on all the scary things, and azythromicin gives me a purple rash. Done. What's my prize? A standard co-pay, Yay!

 Only one little fill-in-the-blank was standing in my way: "Occupation:"___________

   Glancing over at Daniel's paper as if I could cheat and copy his "Civil Engineer" answer, my palms were beginning to sweat and that blank kept blankety blanking at me. 

Awww, what the Blank!
What am I? 

   SAHM? Domestic Engineer? Jane of all Trades? Coordinator of Chaos? Soccer Mom To-Be? 
They all sounded cheesy, try-hard, and gloomy. 

   (Which could almost be a perfect description of motherhood, just add some PURE JOY! + more cheesy) 

   Usually when a conversation steers towards the "And, what do you do?" portion, I am met with either congratulations or pity. So, let me get this straight. I might be doing the most important job in the universe!!! Or I miiiight be selling my soul to the ghost of Walt Disney. It's a frankly perplexing and honestly comical spectrum.

   Ever since our son entered the world almost two years ago, I have been his main caretaker Monday-Friday, 8-5, (unless you count the frantic afternoon call to Daniel's office lamenting how I Windex blasted a spider and it just won't die),  no holidays, and getting paid in sticky peanut butter kisses. While my husband calculates roadway designs for the greater Portland area and banters around the water cooler about last night's "Walking Dead" episode, my day involves calculating a new track design for Thomas and his musical caboose on the train table,(yes. that musical caboose. I should've listened to you Amazon reviews), and negotiating why Peanut M&Ms are never a wise breakfast choice, (for a two year old, 'cause I totally just had a handful with my morning coffee...again). 

   Honestly, some days, the hardest project I have to tackle is figuring out how to begin a new tub of Clorox wipes. Twisting that first one through the bear trap of an opening. It's not rocket science, but sometimes my finger gets scraped and then the bleach, HARD!

   This is my life. And of course, like most things in life, it involved some choices. 

   Falling in love and getting married wasn't too difficult. Even giving birth was enjoyable, (because I'm a high pain tolerance hypnobirthing weirdo who could somehow tap into inner Jedi-labor powers. Plus, I really wanted to be done with the whole thing and eat Burgerville). 

   Marriage, parenthood, and staying at home were all good choices for me. It involves a whole lotta love. 
They were also hard choices for me. The whole lotta love requires a heckofa amount of selflessness. 

   I was so selfless. Once. That time the flu knocked me down and I still managed to put together a Cars puzzle for my son. Self to the Less.
Well, you get the picture. The selfless lessons are going to be a lifelong course.  

   In my homemaking tongue, I could wax on about how a freshly folded pile of laundry glints a tear in my eye, baking from scratch in my pink KitchenAid mixer centers my soul, and the giggles of an innocent toddler brings fresh life into the room. 
I could also just as much wane about my lack of privacy in the bathroom, the incessant repetitious natures of theme songs on PBS, and the peace and quiet that rarely trickles past my eardrums. 

   "Staying at Home" instead of "Going to Work...for Someone other than your Family or Maybe you Own a Family Business so You Double Work for your Family and I Guess You could Have a Home Office That you Stay Home and Double Work at Home." Is that what it's called now? 

   Well, I guess that first thing is what I chose. 
Simply, because it works best for my family.

   Here's what will happen the next time I see that wide open space. 
"Occupation:" The Best and Being Really Good at It Even Though It's Hard and Sometimes I Don't Feel so Important but I am and there Won't Ever Be Anyone else Like Me, so Suck it Trebek! 

   I think most women could agree on wanting to do that. 
Whatever that "job" may be. 

   Paperwork is dumb. 


{Bon Bon}


Erin Southworth said...

I love this. I became a SAHM (your name for it was better) one week ago today and it's rocking my world :)

gracie@ohgraciepie said...

i love you. You read my brains and I dont math good either. I dont know how many more times I can try to explain that I work...but also don't work. I stay at home, but I dont get to watch Real House Wives of Miami as often as I like because I have to make sure this tiny human doesn't paint my cupboards with jelly and flush the cat down the toilet.

Anonymous said...

yes yes yes, to all of it! i just love this and completely relate :) my husband works for a general contracting company and his job is big and challenging but he also goes to snazzy lunches and dinners and socializes all day long and gets paid in money. i mean, you really can't compare the job of motherhood to the job of anything else, can you? my job is to be the 24 hour servant to the tiniest princess, i do not *ever* use the bathroom alone, and my laundry pile is always huge, but we get to choose basically how our days go, we can get out and enjoy fresh air, and i am probably the happiest i have ever been. it's not glamorous feeling but the whole suck it trebek part... it's the most important thing i could possibly do with my time! so.... high five! because i am just so with you on all this.

Carrie said...

Great post! Also I didn't realize your son's name was Josiah James (some reason only Bean stuck in my head) ANYWAY.... PERFECT name! I love it and might steal it one day who knows....

Stephanie said...

The incessant repetitious nature of PBS theme songs. Omg yes haha. I sing those darn songs in my head all day long.

Being a SAHM is so not the easy, 'glamorous' job I once dreamed it would be. But it's a privilege that I am beyond thankful we are able to make happen :)

My Josiah just turned two last month - love that our Josiah's are so close in age :)

Jane {In The Pink & Green} said...

I love this post, you really have such a gift for writing about things in a way that's genuine and so enjoyable to read :) My mom stayed home with my sister and I and so I've always been brought up to recognize being a SAHM as a great thing...when Cameron and I get to the point of having kids (which hopefully will be sometime soon!) I would love to be able to stay home! xoxo

Rinnie said...

I didn't realize you blogged. I loved this post. And I totally agree, even though my kids are older (youngest is 7) and I'm a homeschooling mom, it's still very challenging and stimulating. And very worth it, knowing I get to be the primary influence in their lives.

Unknown said...

love this. bums me out that some people have negative reactions to such a demanding, impactful, selfless job. but to thine own self be true. be proud, momma; you are amazing. so good to meet you on sunday! :)

Becca said...

Haha oh man I love you. I think this is my most favorite post ever in the history of ever. At least the PBS songs get them to actually do things right? I will forever be indebted to Daniel Tiger for helping Bennett potty train, eat vegetables, and pick up toys.

luba iliyn said...

You are the best momma to little Josiah and the most amazing daughter-in-law to us. So proud of the selfless choice you have made to be at home with him. That is one choice you will never regret. Love you Mama Luba

Unknown said...

I love this post Bon-Bon!! You're an amazing mother, and he is incredibly lucky to always have your selfless-self around! Love you and your darling little family!

Leslie said...

I really enjoyed this post! You have such a great writing voice! Also, those clorox wipes containers… I hear ya!

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