(or at least postponed)
I've been home now for one year and five months, give or take a few days. Since before we even had kids, Andy and I talked about getting to this point as "the ideal." As in, "ideally, you'll be working and I'll be home with the kids."
The reality is far from ideal. I remember a friend who works as an Autism advocate saying she loved her job so much she'd do it for free. I've never felt like that about any job. I was good at my job, liked doing it well enough, liked the people there, problem-solving, and all that stuff. I had jobs but never a vocation.
At home, I've been looking to find that missing piece. I hate housework, although I like a clean house. I like playing and doing projects with the kids but I like sitting and reading a book as well. I like to eat but I don't like to cook. I bristle at the idea of others defining me by these actions. Maybe this stay-at-home-mom thing isn't for me. And then I actually had an epiphany; it doesn't matter.
I'll never find myself washing my floors. I'll never be fulfilled because all the toys are neatly stacked and organized. The satisfaction must come from the big picture - without and within.
There are some SAHMs (God bless 'em) who do find fulfillment in these tasks. If I'm truthful, I find their worlds to be somewhat small. There are some working mothers who can only be fulfilled by working outside the home. I understand these women a little more; to raise happy, contented children, it is best that you, yourself are somewhat happy and content. I'm not even going to touch upon the money aspect because for a great many mothers there simply is no option.
So I sit here with just enough rope to hang myself. And I look at the big picture.
I am facilitating the ideal for my boys. I raise them. Sure, some days, it's going to Target and folding clothes. But I just got home from playgroup with RC. And 99% of the time, it's me picking HRH up from school. Almost every day it's not pouring or below zero, we're out in the playground at school. I know his friends' parents and they know me. When the boys are sick, there's none of that old "are-you-going-to-take-a-day-or-am-I?" panic. I'm here. I'm able to schedule doctor's and dentist's appointments, playdates, gymnastics, tee-ball, and birthday parties. There is strong continuity in the boys' life.
Maybe I'll never find my vocation. But I like my job well enough to do it for free. I'm facilitating the ideal for my family. And that fulfills me.