Sunday, February 10, 2008

Adjustment Disorder

Last night, J asked me how I was feeling about staying at home, now that it had been just over the six month mark. I thought about it for a minute, and said that overall, I was happy with my decision. I think that the hardest part has been that it wasn't just one adjustment that I had to make. I had more than one of the most stressful life events all happen at once, and I often forget to give myself credit for that; I left a job that I love, my husband started a new job, I became a full-time at home mom and, oh yeah, we moved across the entire country where I didn't know a soul.

The time here has gone so quickly, and I feel like we're in a routine now, so I finally answered J that I certainly don't regret my decision to stay at home. I also don't think there is anything that I could have done to prepare myself for how hard it would be, as it really is just a trial and error books or classes could have helped.

It's comforting to know that if I'm feeling tired, or H is sick, we can just cancel our plans. I got some great self-proclaimed unsolicited advice from a former co-worker who also moved away from Portland at about the same time I did. In short she told me to stop wishing away my kid's childhood with the desire to go back to work. She continued by saying that her youngest (H's age) was walking around saying that he was sick, as she was getting ready for work in the morning, while at the same time making sick-day daycare arrangements. Do I miss that? Of course not!

I realized as I was walking into the Y yesterday, that the biggest adjustment has been that this is a job with very little gratitude or recognition, and no financial compensation. If anything, we're paying for me to stay home. But then I thought forward to a time when H will have memories of me being home and making dinner, or of the Valentine's that we're making together, or even the swimming lessons which we start in a couple weeks that we would not have been able to attend, as they are on Thursdays in the middle of the day. I was the mom who was always annoyed with the weekday aerobics class schedules and other kids activities, and now I get to reap the benefits of them.

Today, H was standing in the living room with his blanket balled up in his arms. I was making dinner, and heard him humming in his little high-pitched voice. I turned to see him swaying back and forth with his head resting on the blanket...he had a small cow from his tractor set inside of it: his "baby". He put his finger to his lips and said, "Shhhhhhhh, be quiiiiiiiiet. My baby is sleeping."

Maybe there is a little instant gratification in this job afterall.

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