Making sure that I’m continuing to learn has become something very important to me in the last few years, and adventuring on this new pathway is going to be full of opportunities to learn. I’ve only been in the role of stay at home parent – officially – for two days, but I think I’ve already come across the biggest lesson in this entire endeavor.
Should I let you guess? No, it isn’t that being a SAHP (stay at home parent) is hard – it is, and anyone who tells anyone any different either A – doesn’t have children, or B – hasn’t been a SAHP. No, it isn’t that my children are full of energy, and hard to control – they are, but really, is that a surprise? One more guess? No, I am not resentful of my husband for getting to leave to go to work– we needed to make some serious life changes for our family, and I am thankful that this situation came along so that we could make those changes.
The biggest lesson is this: I am going to be my biggest enemy. Or my ego, shall we say. I have been working since the age of 14. I have had a boss, manager, or supervisor in some way for over half of my life. I had a role with certain responsibilities, and in most cases, other people that were counting on me to do my job and do it well. Being a SAHP is no different. Except, with a job, there is a chance for feedback, for validation, for a pat on the back for doing a job well done. That is not the same for a SAHP. There are no promotions, no employee reviews with a bonus, no employee appreciation day with doughnuts. Rather, a SAHP gets to do more of the same, more laundry, dishes, cleaning, kissing owies, and occasionally sneaking into the closet to eat that Kit-Kat you snuck from the grocery store.
And I can hear some of your brain waves “That’s what being a SAHP is, so don’t complain about it, because you should have known that going in.” (Yes, I hear brain waves… it’s a mom thing). I’m not complaining about the work, not at all. As I said, we needed to make some life changes, and I am beyond grateful that this was a choice available to us. And I was more than aware of what a life at home would mean. For me, the bigger issue is what work gave my ego in terms of self-fulfillment and self-awareness.
My job gave me daily accomplishments that kept my motivation going, as well as daily challenges to intrigue my brain and make me question things. It gave me the satisfaction of proving someone wrong, or the humbling experience of being the one that is wrong. Hell, work even gave me a schedule, as I don’t even know what day of the week it is anymore. Now, all of these things will need to come from me, meaning I really and truly have to push my ego out of the way. No one is going to make me take on challenges for my brain, or pat me on the back, or give me a bonus – at least not in the way that I am used to. So when I say that I am going to be my biggest lesson, I mean that I will need to find a way to turn off those needs, or find a different way to fulfill them – and a way that is productive rather than self-destructive.
Now is the time to see what kind of motivation I really have, for life, for my family, for writing, and for myself.
‘Til next time~