Friday, August 16, 2013

The truth about being a Stay-At-Home-Mom

When Linmari was only 3 weeks old, I decided that I want to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM).  It's a heart desire which did not disappear as time went by.  It actually grew stronger and stronger, to the point that my husband wrote my resignation letter and told me I had better go and resign.

I felt guilty, having to balance my career and motherhood.  I felt overwhelmed by my situation - get to work and feeling like I'm not able to completely focus because Linmari is always at the back of my mind.  Get home and not being able to pay 100% to Linmari because I have work that still has to be completed.  Plus, the housework was getting to me...  I just could not give my 100% to anything any longer.

I've now been a full-time SAHM for the past week (well, since Tuesday, really, since I was helping out at a friend's practice on Monday afternoon).  And I can now really tell you, this is NOT easy.  Am I regretting the fact that I quit my job?  NO!  It's one less thing to stress about in my life.  Am I still overwhelmed?  YES!  The amount of sorting out and cleaning my tiny house requires is insane.  I used to do the necessary to make sure it was livable.  To ensure I didn't completely lose the plot.  But now that I'm here 24/7, it seems like there is just SO.MUCH to sort out!  As for Linmari?  I love my child, I do.  It just seems that she chose this week to have a go at poor eating habits and even worse sleeping habits (read: NO SLEEP).  If I walk away from where she's sleeping, she wakes up within 10 seconds.  So I can't even do my housework whilst she's asleep.

Okay, it sounds like I'm moaning (and to certain degree, I am) but I'm actually VERY grateful that I can spend all this time with my daughter.  She does cute and funny little things which delights me - like figuring out how to open her own sand pit and then saying "oooohhhhh" with this gorgeous little over-emphasized rounded mouth.  SOOO cute!  Yes, she enjoys doing weird things (like eating soap whilst I'm hand washing her clothes) but she also makes me laugh (when she uses ANYTHING as a 'cellphone', holding it against her ear).  I'm also finding it very difficult to just play with Linmari.  I'm VERY sorry to all the parents I've told over the past 6 years that I've practiced as an Occupational Therapist that they should just 'play with their children'.  Turns out it's not as easy as 'just playing' with my child.  I have a daily programme to follow (I bought it out of desperation and because I can't think about activities for every single day) because I'm scared that I won't stimulate this child enough and our day does not necessarily always allow me to follow the programme as stipulated (I'm a stickler for rules...imagine how this makes me feel).  I NOW feel guilty that I'm not constantly stimulating her, like she'll lag behind because of me having to quickly do the dishes, make dinner, clean-up the lounge or do a load of washing.

So, dear friends, be warned.  By the end of a day I am drained.  I just want some 'me-time'.  I want to just sort out a bit of my kitchen without having to give my full attention to Linmari 100% of the time.  That's why I also look forward to my husband coming home.  It's a break for both Linmari and myself from each other.

And please don't think that being a SAHM is like being on holiday the whole time.  Far from it.  (Someone said that to me this week...Really?!?!)  I do not have a domestic worker whom I can delegate the housework to.  Plus, I would feel guilty, since our house really is not all that big.  But I wish I was less fussy about stains on clothing (then I wouldn't be hand washing all Linmari's clothing, followed by machine washing it!), to name but one pet peeve in my life.

As I'm typing this, I'm sitting next to Linmari on the bed because dare I move, she'll surely wake up.  So, I was moping about my situation when I suddenly realised, hey, I can write a blog post about this!  Writing always makes me feel better.  My dad says it's because it is a way to purge your thoughts and feelings.  It's more for my sake than for others' that I'm writing this post.  And then I also thought about the fact that I get to see my child grow up.  Now I just have to learn to be more present in spirit instead of only in body.  This is my chance to make a difference in my child's life.  I better use it while it's mine for the taking!

To top off this crazy long-winded post, here are a few pictures from our photo shoot on Sunday (to celebrate Thinus and Linmari's birthdays).

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