I’ve briefly mentioned a few times that I was surprised at how… not boring… it is to be at home all day. In fact, lately I’ve been feeling pangs of guilt that I’m allowed to do this. I’m able to just wake up and enjoy my baby all day, and maybe throw in a load of laundry while the coffee brews (if I feel up to it).
I was so afraid that staying home all day would bore me out of my skull.
I guess my fear was that there would be NOTHING TO DO but change diapers- that I would be so overwhelmed by the duties and chores involved with Motherhood and staying at home, that I wouldn’t have time for anything else.
This is FALSE.
It turns out, taking care of a kiddo doesn’t take up that much of a day- they sometimes nap, often can entertain themselves, and are rather portable. Excluding the few times a day that I need to spoon mush into an open mouth and wipe clean a round bottom, my time is relatively free. Free to explore libraries, museums, farmer’s markets and parks. Free to visit friends and cafes. Free to experiment with yummy meals using the goods bought at the aforementioned farmer’s markets, and drop those meals off to the aforementioned friends. I have more time to keep up on news, to paint, to write a letter, to take a walk. Not only can I do all of these things, I also have a sweet little Companion with whom to share it all.
But it was more than that. I was afraid not just that staying at home all day would be boring, but that stay-at-home-Mom… or really, “Mom” in general… would become a limiting role. That my identity as “Liz” would be dissolved into this new identity. That I would lose my sense of self.
Turns out, squeezing myself into this role doesn’t mean there are leftover pieces of me that don’t fit into the mold and, as a result, are discarded. It’s less like being pressed through a cookie cutter, and more like adding an extra layer of frosting. I’m still entirely Liz. But now I have this added dimension. Who I am- my creativity, interests, passions, goals- is all still intact. And now, I get to pass those on and share them with a growing little person.
In fact, it’s exciting in-and-of-itself to watch how my interests impact Little Josh. When we go to a library, I get to experience the library in a whole new way. I notice the smell of the dusty books, the feel of the weathered binding, the sound of hushed whispers- because I watch my son as he experiences it all for the first time.
I’m still Liz. I don’t need to trade my taste for exotic food in exchange for a love of Chuckie Cheese. I don’t need to turn my passion for political activism into a passion for clean laundry. All that has changed is that I have one more reason to fuel my passions, exercise my creativity, and attempt to achieve my goals. A Little One sees me as the example, and I want him to know that he can do the same.