I've been a stay at home mom for a little more than a year now, and it's been an amazing, remarkable ride. I've watched my baby girl grow from a wee babe (or not so wee, in her case) to an aspiring toddler. I've had to learn how to be a housewife (historically, not my strength), full-time caregiver, and playmate. It's been an interesting year, and a gigantic blessing. I am so thankful for this time I have. God has blessed me with so much and I am grateful. I'm still figuring out how to best do my new job, but I like to think I'm getting better everyday.
There are some challenges to being a stay at home mom that I didn't fully anticipate, though. I've never had a "job" that didn't have a job description determined by someone else. Of course caring for a baby has many set tasks, but I've never fully been my own boss, and I didn't realize how much I relied on job performance feedback for my own job satisfaction. I have an amazing baby girl, and she definitely lets me know when she needs something, but it is not the same. Patrick is incredibly sweet and gives me thumbs ups, and sweet notes, but I guess 6 years of working with 6th graders got me used to frank daily feedback. Heaven knows they let you know how you are doing! I've had to learn to look for other indicators of job performance, and to accept that truly I won't know how well I've done until years down the road.
Another challenge I didn't fully foresee is the inherent lack of peers that comes with working at home. I knew I'd miss "adult interaction" (can't tell you how often people brought that up when I said I'd be staying home), but I didn't realize how much I had relied on my daily debriefs with my teaching partner LaRee, and with other colleagues at school. Being able to talk through the day with people in the same "trenches" was very satisfying, and a great way to problem-solve my way through issues that were currently challenging. I do have a few awesome new-mom friends that I debrief with from time to time, but I definitely miss the daily interaction with my peers.
Lastly, as a teacher, I had a natural record of my work. I could see the fruits of my labor in my students, their work, and the changes in the 6th grade program at my school. I took a lot of pictures, kept a portfolio of student work, and had a job performance review system that required me to document my efforts. As a mom, especially a mom of a baby who hasn't quite mastered her pencil skills (ha ha), all I have had this year is pictures. As much as I enjoy looking at those, I found myself needing more. Enter this blog.
My hope for this blog is that it will serve as a record of my activities. The fun, my successes, my epic failures (being mom is a humbling job!), and the growth Claire and I make together. In addition to documenting my adventures with Claire, I have plans to get back to some of my hobbies, so I'll document those here, too. Patrick and I are looking forward to a summer full of activities with Claire, so those should show up here, as well. And we've begun some home improvement-type activities, so those will probably make an appearance here. I've never blogged, so I'm looking forward to the adventure. If you've chosen to stop by, thanks! And feel free to drop me a line. I really do miss that adult interaction. :)