It is. With everything in life, isn't the unknown ALWAYS better...until the unknown becomes the known?
That's how it's been for me with being a stay at home mom, or SAHM as I see on all the boards and blogs I happen by when I have a second to sit down. I stayed at home for 4 months with Cohen, until I realized I wasn't cut out for the SAHM life. And so I returned to work, only to wish that I could be home with him.
In my mind, most of my friends had it so good. Playdates and socializing all day long. Dance lessons. Little Gym. Music and Me. Book Baby at the library. Baking cookies and doing crafts. A 2 or 3 hour break in the afternoon when their kids napped and they had time to surf the internet or nap or do whatever they wanted. I wanted this so badly but I felt that I was a better mom to Cohen by working; that the time we did have together was richer as I felt like I wasn't taking him for granted. I poured myself into our time together because it was so short, and I actually felt like I was doing a pretty good job of balancing full-time work with mommyhood. Cohen was happy. Christian was happy. I was happy...for the most part.
I can remember going to church and watching the young SAHMs talking with each other while their kids played together and their husbands chatted with each other. I didn't have that, and I felt like I could not relate to them. But then I'd give myself a pep talk and would remind myself that I was doing what was best for our family. And Cohen wasn't suffering as growing up in daycare was all he knew. And who wouldn't want to play with friends all day, every day!? The kid had it pretty good.
And then two little 5 lb+ babies arrived on the scene and rocked our world!
Here I am, one year into being a stay at home mom at the ripe old age of 38. My days are not filled with everything I thought they would be filled with. There is no Little Gym (it costs a lot of money). There are no playdates (I'm working on that though, for Cohen's sake). Cohen and I have yet to bake anything together or attempt any craft. I'm lucky if I can get him to paint once a week. I will tell you that there is now Sesame Street, where before there wasn't. And there are a lot of time outs. And that 2 to 3 hour break while HRH & Fozzy Bear are napping? The three days a week that Cohen is home, they are filled with making and eating lunch, cleaning up, reading books with him, doing laundry while Cohen absorbs the letter and number of the day with Elmo, and trying to keep Cohen entertained since all he's known his entire life is how to be entertained at daycare. And when the babies are awake, it's me trying to think of things to do that don't cost any money, outside of taking all 3 kids to Costco for gallons of whole milk, while keeping cool in this 100 degree weather. I am VERY open to suggestions if anyone has any. Keep in mind, though, that I have 2 crawlers that like to crawl in opposite directions, so a lot of activities that "regular" moms might do sometimes won't work for us.
The other part that I didn't realize is how lonely being home can be. The loneliness and isolation have been really, really, really hard on my spirit. It's been the biggest adjustment, and the hardest. When all you've known for 15 years is how to work with people all day long, and you're a rather social person, spending your days with 2 or 3 little kids is tough. I miss adult conversations. I miss adult interactions. I miss "me" time. Because let me tell you, when Cohen is at daycare those two days, the 2.5 hours during naptime are spent paying bills, prepping for dinner, cleaning, tidying, laundry, and doing all sorts of other things that need to get done. Except today. Today I decided to write because I was crying so much this morning that I realized I needed to get something out of my head and written down for the entire world, or my 3 readers, to see.
It's hard. Being a mother is the most difficult job you can ever do. And I've come to the realization, that most women probably came to a lot earlier in life, that it's hard no matter what you do. If you work full-time, work part-time, or you stay at home. It's all tough. Every single scenario has it's challenges. And every scenario has it's happy moments that make you so glad you made the decision you did. I'm trying to see and experience the happy moments so much more, because, as I understand from so many friends who led the way with having babies, that they do grow up way too fast and I'll long for these days. The "easy" days. Ha.
Maybe one day there will be money for babysitters or Little Gym. Or maybe I'll get my act together and will figure out how to fit in a craft once a week. Or maybe, just maybe, we'll move closer to family one day. In the meantime, I'm going to appreciate my not-so-green grass for what it is and what I've got, which I don't want to take for granted. I have 3 healthy and happy children that I don't think I've ruined...yet. We have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. We have supportive albeit far-away family. And we have friends who are like family and who listen when I call them up crying or come over when they realize I need some adult interaction. And I'm excited about the new friendships I'm forming with other mothers of twins who were once in, or are currently in, a similar situation as I find myself in today. I finally feel like I can relate to a friend, which has been missing in my life ever since I became a mother.
So yes, the grass is always greener on the other side. But my grass can be green too, with a little bit of an attitude adjustment and an appreciation for what I have. I think now that I've gotten this out of my head and on the screen before me, my brown grass is greening up a bit more.