I’ve never wanted to be a cleaner, or a doctor. Not a chef, or a shrink. I never saw myself being a nanny or a waitress. If you asked me what I wanted to be I wouldn’t have told you a taxi driver, or teacher. No, I didn’t want to do any of those things, at least not JUST one, I wanted to do them all, at the same time.
Until November 20, 2014 I was the mother of one and only one very happy, incredibly energetic, full of life 3 year old little boy named Jax with the imagination of no one I had ever met. He had always known me as the mom that worked full time, and I wanted more than anything for that to change. I used to day dream of when the time would finally come that I wouldn’t have to set an alarm for work anymore and instead get some extra shut eye. When I would wake up in the morning to my sweet little one wanting to climb in bed and lounge around watching cartoons. We would make pancakes, I would get ready in my NOT professional skirt and heels, do a quick pick up of the house and then we would go out. We would go to the zoo and have an enjoyable day looking at the animals together, eat ice cream, and take lots of fun pictures. I couldn’t wait for the days that I would be able to have dinner on the table in my nice clean house when my husband came home from working and he could just relax while we all watched a movie in our fort like those cute parents that do fun things with their kids. We’d read books, say our prayers, kiss our babies goodnight and then we would head to our room for some alone time together.
The dream that I had always had of being a stay at home mom finally became a reality this past November when our second baby boy was born. I was thrilled. The life I had always wanted was right in front of me, right at my feet. What came next was something that I was not prepared for. Something that would make me seriously reconsider my dreams and how badly I really wanted them. Instead of setting an alarm for work, I set 3 alarms for baby feedings. 12 am, 3 am, 6am. Friends, my sweet son woke me up, but it wasn’t to watch cartoons, it was fully dressed in his ninja turtle costume poking me with his pointy three spiked sword thing wanting to fight. I didn’t make pancakes that morning, in fact, I’m not sure that I ate anything that day. The idea of getting ready came to me in between head bobs and it would quickly leave when I pictured being locked in the bathroom with my newborn in a bouncer screaming and my son asking a million questions about female body parts. So I decided on sweats and greasy hair, it was just easier, suddenly heels and a skirt didn’t sound so bad. I couldn’t handle the idea of going to the car to get anything let alone the zoo, and just getting my little ones to take a cute picture in the comfort of our own home was so hard that I would often give up, it just wasn’t worth it. When my husband came home, I would send him right back out the door to pick up pizza because of course I didn’t make anything. I wouldn’t be able to get my kids into bed fast enough. No movies or forts, a reluctant book and a quick prayer, a kiss on the head and seeing as how I had to be awake in 3 hours, or probably less, I would use whatever energy I had to drag myself into bed. This meant no romantic or alone time with my husband and when I said I didn’t think I ate all day, I lied, since I didn’t get my ice cream at the zoo, I ate it in bed while I cried and re-thought my life.
So there I was, 25 years old, married with two children, not currently employed and already having a midlife crisis….THIS IS WHAT I WANTED…right? What do you do when everything that you’ve ever wanted for your life, everything that you’ve ever wanted to be might not be right now that you have it? What happens when your dreams seem to have been misleading and false? Should I go back to work? For days my head was full of these types of questions, and while my new born wasn’t digging the idea of letting me sleep anyways, turns out my mind wasn’t going to shut down even when my little one was fast asleep. One night while I was in bed, all of the sudden I heard my 3 year old scream, “Mommy!!!” My heart raced, I jumped out of bed, tripped over the dirty clothes on the bedroom floor, because somehow 1 newborn adds mounds of laundry to your life, and ran to him. He was crying. “Mommy, I was scared and I needed you.” At any other moment in my life, I may have been more inclined to open the closet doors, show him that there was nothing to be afraid of, close them back up, kiss him on the head and go back to bed feeling annoyed and sleep deprived but this time was different. I heard it, I heard what he said, “I needed you.” There was my answer. No I didn’t need to go back to work. I didn’t need to stress anymore about whether this was the right thing for me or not. I stayed in his room longer that night, I watched him fall back to sleep and I quietly left his room as I could hear my newborn baby crying, but this time I didn’t mind.
There you have it, I found my answer and my new stay at home mom life is everything that I always dreamed it would be…okay maybe I’m lying. Staying at home isn’t easy, in fact it’s the hardest job I’ve ever held, but it’s what I’ve chosen. My days are spent changing diapers and baby clothes, making lunches for Jax that take hours of reasoning to eat and cleaning the same area over and over again. I watch Paw Patrol so much that I’m singing the theme song all day and baby talking to the point that I’m not sure I can interact in the real world. The baby refuses to sleep sometimes, constantly needing to be held forcing me to do everything one handed and my son follows me around the house asking if I want to play for more than 90% of the day. Nothing has changed since that night, these things have always happened but I guess the difference is that I hear something different than I used to when I choose to truly listen. “Mommy I need you. I NEED you to play with me. I NEED you to make my lunch. I NEED you to feed me. I NEED you to turn on my movie. The baby NEEDS you to get him a bottle. The baby NEEDS you to change his diaper. The baby NEEDS you to hold him. This job is worth it because we also watch a lot of movies which is the only time my “big boy” wants to cuddle, I know what each of the ninja turtles’ weapons are and now know that in the early hours of the morning, I’m being poked with Raphael’s Sai, not his pointy three spike sword thing. My imagination gets to run wild while we build traps for his heard of rhinos that attack upon the push of a button. I’ve traveled all over the world from the little room that my son calls his because of his ability to see the world and everything in it as something exciting. When things are quiet I get to look into the eyes of my sweet baby while his eyes dart around discovering the world even if it’s the same room his always in. Reality is that someday they won’t NEED me quite as much, and those moments are quickly ticking by. I guess I’m in the business of being needed, and in the end I finally got to have all 8 or more jobs that I wanted, I get to be mommy.