Friday, September 5, 2008

Re-Becoming a Stay at Home Mom

I hadn't realized how much all these recent transitions would affect me until yesterday. After work this bout of unshakable melancholy came over me. Yesterday one of our good friends from this area left the Navy, probably for good. His enlistment ended and he chose to not re-enlist. The finality of that really resonated in my mind. Today will be Phil's last day on this base. We're not getting out of the military, but we will officially be in transit between commands. Phil will no longer have a group of guy friends to hang out with at work every day. Several more of them will be transferring or getting out in the next couple months as well.
Today will be my last day at work, and it will be a half day as well. Half of a half day means we'll only be there 2 hours. Then I will no longer be employed at all. Fortunately enough for me, my lack of a job doesn't mean I'm completely useless. I'm also a wife and a Mom so that uniquely qualifies me to revert to calling myself a stay at home mom. I was a little glum last night over the realization that I won't be around my friends from work every single day to have a grown up to talk to. I'll no longer have projects that have a concrete end to them. As frustrating as it has been at times to balance time and care for the boys with working 4 hours each weekday, it can be even more frustrating at times being the constant caretaker for the boys 24/7 with few breaks.
All of this was of course compounded with the emotions of realizing that Phil will even be leaving soon. Talk about loneliness! The consolation was in having almost an entire month left together to do as we please with no work, yet still a paycheck. We have a trip to California and a visit to Disneyland to look forward to before I have to face all of those things.
My last comfort came in a book I was reading last night. It's another military wife book that Phil got me a while ago that I just happened to pick up again. Phil had an assignment to work on for school so that made the TV off limits to me for the night. I cam across this statement that is affecting my ideas of being a stay at home mom in a really positive way. So, here I am to share it with you.
The success of the stay-at-home mom is perhaps best measured by how little she accomplishes, not how much. When she is truly connecting with her children, she is not doing laundry, dishes, cooking, yard work, driving, etc. She is doing nothing except hanging out and being with her kids. This requires a tremendous mental shift from her former career where success meant getting things done. Success with kids means not getting things done, except the bare minimum, because only when you are hanging out in the hammock, watching the leaves fall... are you giving them the absolute, undivided attention they crave.

No comments: