I was lucky enough to be able to stay home while all my kids were little. They never went to daycare or to a babysitter. They were always home with me, and I liked it that way. It was far from easy, but it was something that I was glad to be able to do.
I enjoyed it for more reasons than simply not having to go to work. I liked having dinner ready when Rob came home. I liked having the house clean so that we didn’t have to worry about it in the evenings. I liked making sure the laundry was done so we were never searching for clean clothes. I enjoyed being able to have a relaxing evening at home with my family, knowing everything had been taken care of.
Last fall, all of the kids went to school together, and I lost my “day job.” It suddenly became necessary for me to work, so I became an aide at the school. It has its benefits. I only work during school hours, so I don’t have to worry about finding a babysitter. I also get to see the kids from time to time during the day, I know their friends and teachers and I always hear firsthand about upcoming events. In actuality, it is the perfect job for me.
But I miss home. I miss having the house cleaned and the laundry folded and the dishes done. I miss having dinner ready and the table set. I miss our quiet evenings at home. Now we spend our evenings doing all the things that I should have already done.
Most parents don’t look forward to summer break. I cannot wait. Staying home with the kids and playing at the park or going on an adventure is much less stressful than trying to get all four of us out the door on time every morning. It is much more relaxed. Peaceful. Perhaps I miss the freedom most of all.
We all do what we have to do. Sometimes it is enjoyable, sometimes not. But I have learned that no matter how much you know something is necessary, or how perfectly it may seem to fit, the head and the heart do not always agree. My head goes to work with me everyday, but my heart stays home.