I have had so many jobs over the years. Some required that I be on the clock and others I could do on a flexible schedule. Some I had to be the leader, others I had to follow. For some, I worked within a structure; others, I could freestyle. In all my years of working, I recently realized that the job I loved the most was being a mom. The great thing about this role is that you get to do it for life.
When I decided to take some time off from my corporate life to focus on my little ones last year, I really wasn’t sure how I was going to manage that decision. Up until that point, being a mom was always just one of the many things I had devoted my life to like writing, living for God and learning new things. I always enjoyed the thrill of multi-tasking, and I even relished the stress of doing too many things at once. So when I chose to drop it all to be a full-time mom, I honestly thought I would soon grow tired of doing just one thing.
In the last 365 days, I have had to work harder than I have ever worked before in my entire life! My out-of-office pseudo-vacation turned out to be a full-time job at home. I didn’t realize how much work it was to get an innocent child through an entire day clean, well-fed, and engaged. I also didn’t realize how much harder it would be to do this for two kids! After this experience, I have a newfound respect for full-time house-moms with more than one kid.
I found my creativity put to the test every time I got a school request to dress them up in some costume–from hero days to wacky hair days. I honestly had to work harder to come up with a concept than I ever had in a brainstorming session at work. Good thing about being at home all the time is there are no more excuses for eating out so I had to start cooking more. I did enjoy always having a hot meal ready for my family and visitors and was thrilled by the fact that I could not come home to discover I was out of some food item. I had more than enough day time to go to the stores and turn a simple shopping trip into an enjoyable experience.
And when I had to supervise my domestic staff on a 24-hour basis, I found that my management skills were tested on a whole new level. To keep my mind sharp and my professional skills up-to-date while I was away, I enrolled for a long distance professional course in Marketing. Attending the classes online was a breeze, getting to read for the exam or write a term paper was another story. I didn’t realize how much harder it was going to be trying to concentrate long enough to get my assignments done while attending to domestic responsibilities. I honestly cannot understand how some women manage to go through their university years married, pregnant or raising kids alongside. Personal opinion, these roles don’t mix well with school.
But the most interesting experience during this time was trying to actually live on a budget preset by my husband. I have always had a housekeeping budget, but I never really paid much attention to staying within the spending limit since I could always supplement it with my income. Now that I was home full-time, it mattered more than ever that I stuck to the plan. Special thanks to my sister-in-law, who taught me the ropes of shopping on a budget, substituting generics for brand names, and maximizing my home resources. I finally mastered the act.
I did enjoy being able to wake up without an alarm, getting dressed at my own pace, and having a pedicure without harassing the poor lady attending to me to finish in record time. I enjoyed reading to my son, watching my little girl achieve her growth milestones, and not having someone at Daycare tell me she took her first steps while I was at work. Most of all, I enjoyed spending time with my husband, doing things like going to see a movie at 10 am on a Monday morning or spending quiet evenings together without secretly glancing at my watch, hoping I’d be able to get enough sleep before dawn.
Being a 365-mom was a great experience, but it had its own downsides. I got lazy! For one thing, I didn’t work on any writing projects. I didn’t even finish the book I started to write when I had a full time job! I started to notice people’s flaws because I had more time to dwell on their mistakes: what they said, how they said it, and even more alarming, that I had more time to respond to their silliness. Now I understand why in the Bible, Paul asked housewives not to be busybodies! It’s so easy to fall into that trap.
Now that my 365-day vacation is officially over and I’m about to go back to work, I have mixed feelings. I’m happy to be back doing what I love, but I’m sad to leave my kids in the hands of helpers again. I’m looking at the big picture: if I don’t go back to working or running a business, when my children leave home in 10 years’ time I’ll be forced to find something else to do, only then it might be more difficult. My family still comes first, and I’ll make the most of whatever time we spend together, especially with my kids; they do grow very fast, believe me, and soon I’ll miss being able to sit them in my lap and read them a story.
Being a 365-mom has been one of the most memorable jobs I’ve had in my life, and now that I’m going back to being a corporate mom, I’ll never forget the one thing that’s common to both roles—being a mom. Raising kids is both a chore and a blessing I’m happy I had the privilege to experience.
God bless moms.
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