Its been six months since I decided to stay home with my kids and attend graduate school at night. It was a tremendous shift for me personally and for the family. There have been plenty of hard times, but mostly it has been fantastic. And one of the best things that I’ve ever done.
Spring semester and the early part of summer were filled with the routine activities of child rearing and college. There were lunches and carpool lines, swim practices and grocery shopping, study sessions at the library and papers to write.
Then came summer. Glorious summer. The kids got out of school, and a few weeks later my summer school ended. Routines were thrown out the window and were replaced with sleeping in, kid friendly adventures (many with friends) and swimming at the neighborhood pool.
Most of our adventures would seem mundane to a stay-at-home mom. In my “previous life” with a 60 hour a week job AND grad school, they would have seemed like very low priorities. But this summer. This summer, they have been the most important adventures. Trips to more than a dozen local parks (we are keeping track), nearly every museum (we ended up with memberships to two and my daughter is begging to go back to the Museum of Art), weekly trips the library, science experiments and board games.
My kids are getting along better than ever before. They understand that talking solves problems and allows us to have many more fun times than arguing. They enjoy playing together (legos are the favorite right now) and are generally helpful around the house. Its honestly kind of amazing.
When I started staying at home, I was really concerned that their bickering would stress me out and that I would miss having adults around. I do miss talking to adults some times, but have developed stronger relationships with friends that I used to see infrequently as well as some of the moms from each of their classes.
In generally, its been everything I hoped for, and then some.
I don’t know what will happen when the kids go to school in a few weeks. I will probably begin looking for a job as I wrap up my last course of my Master’s degree. But what I do know is that this will always be remembered as the Summer Mom was at Home.