Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sunny Days

Since starting his blog, I have detailed some of the difficulties of staying at home and the internal conflicts involved in leaving a career.  But I haven't really discussed the perks.  

One of the major perks of my new "career" - the hours of 9-10:30am.  This is when my older son is at school, and my younger son is napping. 

You know that feeling you have when your alarm goes off, and all you want to do is stay in bed in your pajamas and relax for a few more hours?  Well, I have that!  For now at least.  Though I am up with both boys at around 7am, I don't mind at all because I know my bed awaits my return.  And when I put Casey down for his morning nap, I close his door and make a sharp left back to my bedroom.  I usually have already prepared a cup of coffee which is at my bedside.  I put on the TV and watch the Today show or some DVRed reality show trash program from the night before.  And I play on my computer.  There is a reason why a lot of my posts are posted around 11am.

And now that it is getting warm out again, I am starting to appreciate the other perks.  Our neighborhood pool opens soon.  I can take the kids to the park without bundling them up in coats and gloves.  Vacations are on the horizon - vacations where I don't have to worry about getting time off or checking in with my secretary.  It is still light out when I put my kids to bed, meaning that I can escape to my back porch for a glass of wine while the sun sets.  Things are looking up!

I've realized that being at home involves a vacillation of moods.  Some days I am exasperated and can't believe what has become of me.  These are typically cloudy days, complete with tantrums, a lack of shower, and a late night arrival from my husband.  Other days I am simply content and the days are predictable and easy.  I still think back to my old office and ponder what could have been, but I am happy.  Then there are days like today, where it is sunny and relaxing and all I feel is gratitude for being able to be at home with my babies and watch them grow.  It's funny how the moods come and go. I guess this is just how life is.  Certainly when I was working there were days I would consciously love my job, and days (many, many days), where I was so stressed I didn't think I could continue on.  Being at home is no different.

I don't take home movies far as often as I should, but last night my husband was making my six month old crack up.  I had to reach for the flip video camera - it was the first time we had really heard a belly laugh from him.  It was hysterical, and will surely be a video I watch over and over again.  Then, we got some great footage of my 2.5 year old chasing after our dog who had a ball in her mouth.  "My ball, please!"  He screamed over and over again as he ran after her.  Two amazing moments caught on film.

We uploaded the videos and sent them out to our close friends and family.  My mom emailed us back at 1am (she is always up far too late), and after gushing over both boys, she wrote: "Savor it, savor it - these are the sweetest of times."  That really hit home to me.  Perhaps it's because it is spoken from someone whose "sweetest of times" with her children are now gone.  It reminded me that this time with my kids is so fleeting - and someday I will give anything to go back to these days, good or bad.

So today, I am filled with gratitude and excitement for the day ahead.  As I write this, I hear Casey stirring from his nap, and I am about to go into his room and see the biggest smile on his face.  Of all the perks, it doesn't get any better than that.


  1. Shannon,
    I don't know you at all personally, but I so identify with you - thank you for writing your blog - I have loved it so far. Thanks for the reminder to savor these times - my 8 month old is the single greatest joy in my life and I never feel like I get enough time with him (I'm currently working full time), and sometimes I'm just too tired to fully appreciate the time we do get together. But I keep trying.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say, keep up the good work!

  2. Hi Shannon,

    We miss you and the boys. I've been having a few, rough days and your post really put things in perspective - thank you.

    Happy Mother's Day!
    XOXOXO from Claire and Megan.

  3. Shannon, this is your mom saying a bit more about the "savor it" note I wrote you. You're so right, that my insight comes from being on the other side of having children in my house every day, filling my life with their joys and demands. Even now, when you and your sister visit, at the moment after you leave, there is such a feeling of utter emptiness - it's true pain, a heartache. Just as you speak of riding the waves of our moods at every stage in life, when you leave after a visit here, I cry for a bit, and wonder what ever can I do to make the heavy sadness lift. Then I do mostly get over it and step back into my busy life again.

    One of my best friends shared that her husband, who regretted having missed time with his kids growing up due to his job demands, would go into the bedrooms of their grown children who had left home - just to smell the scent of each one of them. Life at best, is bittersweet - and one of the biggest challenges I think is to realize that at any moment, whatever life chapter we're in, we need to savor it.


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