Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hanging up the SAHM hat

Christmas was fantastic. Everything I could have dreamt it to be and more. Like I said on Twitter yesterday, Nothing is sweeter than experiencing the joy of Christmas with young children! I'll try to get around to posting some pictures soon! :)

This Christmas has been particularly chaotic for me. Not so much in having actual things to do and cram into the schedule, but my mind has just been cluttered-- which has then left me cramming things in at the last minute because I completely forgot a lot of things! Lots of joy and happiness have been filling my heart and mind in the past few days and weeks, but also anxiety and stress.

Next Wednesday I will trade in my Stay At Home Mom hat for a new Working Mom hat. 

Granted, it's a working-for-free hat as it's my internship for grad school. {And in fact, I am actually PAYING to for the college credits and PAYING for childcare.} But nonetheless, it's happening. My kids will be going to full-time childcare while I will be interning and going to class.

I never expected myself to be here, really. I wrote last year about being "just" a mom and I found total contentment {and complete joy} in doing just that. This new season is right around the corner; I'm excited. I keep reminding myself of that. But it is SO hard to know I will not be around with/for my kids full time. Tears well up even just typing it!

I've been putting off this paper work because I just want to write out every little thing about how to care for my kids-- please make sure the kids eat their veggies for lunch first. Jackson likes to snuggle after his nap. Belle would be happy to sit on your lap all day to read books-- as if I feel like I won't ever be able to snuggle or read to my kids again. It's completely ridiculous how irrational this whole ordeal has made me!

There is a ton of positive aspects to this new change-- I'll be GRADUATING in July. I will be getting to MAKE A DIFFERENCE as a therapist at a homeless and substance abuse center in our city. My kids will get to play with several other kids and have awesome structure in a way that I am plain terrible at providing. Oh, and I couldn't be happier with the kids' teacher, Ms Beth! As soon as I decided to take on this full time endeavor, she was my first contact to see if she had any openings and I am thankful beyond belief that she did!

All that being said, I am still in fact, very sad about leaving the kids. The reality didn't even set in until last week when I went to finalize the details for childcare. Up until that point, this whole plan was just something "in the future"... only now it's, like next week.

I know in my head that everything will be fine, just as everyone keeps telling me. But I am still incredibly anxious and sad. Mostly, I'm anxious about how the kids will adjust {especially that Jackson has cried on more than one occasion specifically saying that he just wants to stay home and doesn't want to go to school.} But, I know they'll have a ton of fun. Plus, I really think the structure will be great for him.

I'm sad just because I really do LOVE being at home with my kids-- even on crazy days. I love going to the park, story time, playdates with friends. I love the flexibility to play in the snow or swim in the pool; to visit Daddy at work and lunch with Great Grandpa. Truthfully, I find great fulfillment in staying home with my kids. Staying at home wasn't every Option B, but rather something I have always planned and wanted to do. So, my sadness is really just a sorrow for what will be missed {mostly on my part because my kids probably won't care}.

In short,

  • Good news: I'll be GRADUATING in July. NO MORE SCHOOL!
  • Good news: I will finally be doing what I've been studying to do for five years now.
  • Bad news: The kids will be going to full time childcare instead of staying home with me.
  • Good news: I couldn't be happier with our childcare provider.
  • Good news: This is only a seven month plan here. I will be at home with my kids again. 
  • Bad news: I'm an emotional mess. 
  • Good news: Once the new schedule begins, the anxiety of the unknown will fade and we can work on finding a new normal.
  • Good news: I've been getting a lot of my "want to get done" list because for some reason, I feel like I will never have time to do anything ever again.
  • Bad news: That's still six days away... six more emotional days coming up
  • Good news: My husband is AWESOME. He's been a total support from start to finish with my school and he's been a champ with dealing with all the crying {because normally, I rarely cry. But these days, just one thought about, "no summer reading programs this year" and I'm a mess.}
  • Good news: I am surrounded by positive and encouraging family and friends from all over. Really, I hope y'all have as great of friends as I do. 
  • Good news: My mother-in-law has told me that my house will stay cleaner because the kids won't have as much time to tear it apart! :)
  • Good news: I have an entire new wardrobe because yoga pants and sweatshirts {acceptable mom attire} aren't acceptable in the "real world". 
  • Good news: I am more concerned about the transition of not being a stay at home mom than I am about being a mental healthcare provider to homeless men with substance abuse addictions. I guess that means I'm ready!! 
Of course, the positives outweigh the negatives. It's a shame the emotions with negatives are just so prevalent! It's a conscious choice to focus on the good and I need to be doing that more.

I welcome any and all advice on being a working mom and/or ways to get the most out of time with the kids in the evenings! I also covet prayers for my kids as this will be a big transition for them, especially Jackson. I'd love prayers for the rest of this week-- for it to go smooth and for us to enjoy our time together!


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