So how do I feel now that I've been permanently home with Audrey for the last 10 months? I am most definitely grateful for the opportunity! I have been able to breastfeed without pumping. I have seen her first steps, heard her first words and experienced every new discovery with her. There are so many people that would love the opportunity to stay home with their children, but just can't. I try not to take this opportunity for granted. I know what a blessing it is. She is so smart and such a loving, sweet little girl. I know this is in part due to the quality time I have been able to spend with her, reading to her, playing with her, teaching her and loving her.
That doesn't mean it has been easy or that I am the perfect mom. There are days when I don't give her enough attention. There are days when I struggle to come up with new ideas to keep her entertained and teach her new things. Financially, living on one income has certainly been a sacrifice for us. Mentally, I could definitely use more adult interaction in my life.
But Audrey is growing up so incredibly fast. I know that I will never have the opportunity to relive this precious time with her, and I treasure it. I kiss her and cuddle her and tell her I love her many, many times a day. I let her help me fold the laundry and empty the dishwasher even though it takes twice as long as doing it myself. I help her stir the oatmeal as it is cooking on the stove. We sing and dance together, we tickle each other and laugh together. These are moments and memories that I will treasure always.
Do I miss working? Yes, sometimes. I loved my last job. I loved interacting with brides. I loved the opportunities I had to be creative. I loved being a part of what made a couple's wedding day so special. Will I ever return to the workplace? Most likely. When Audrey, and any other children we may have, start school, I'm sure I will go back to work. Doing what, I don't really know. I have a degree, but have never really developed a career. That used to bother me, but it doesn't any more. My family is my career. Somewhere in my heart I always knew it would be. And it is the perfect career for me. Because what I do best is take care of the people I love.
Being a stay-at-home mom is not for everyone. It is not an opportunity afforded to everyone. It is more exhausting and difficult than I imagined it would be, physically and emotionally. But it is also more wonderful and rewarding than I imagined. I think about other stay-at-home moms in a much different, more positive way. It has allowed me to form a beautiful bond with my daughter. It has been beneficial to her growth and development, as well as mine.
It is a blessing. Every single day. And I am grateful.