There are a lot of perks to being a stay at home mom. When it's cold and dreary - we can stay cuddled up by a fire. When the first day of spring weather hits (whenever that decides to happen!) we can visit a park and play outside all day. We can road trip to antique stores, make play dates, and I also have the ability to work on a lot of projects around the house that I enjoy, especially now that my kids are a little older and able to play together or solo.
But there are also some drawbacks that I think a lot of stay at home parents feel bad venting about. There can be a lot of isolation - especially on those cold winter days. Play dates revolve around naps and schedules, so as much as I'd love to have them every other day, they seem to happen every other week. I miss the adult only interaction and lunch dates. I miss phoning it in from time to time. I miss using the bathroom alone. I especially miss having goals outside of a clean house or errands completed.
I also miss having formal feedback, as weird as that may sound. I never dreaded performance reviews. I like having goals and crushing them. No one will be shocked to learn I was more or less a straight A student (minus a few college level math and econ courses. Solid B-s there!) I mean, does it surprise anyone that I started a blog and lived off the comments and likes for so long?
I thrive on words of affirmation! I've made a big effort to tell myself you're not cleaning the house for praise or this outfit is for you, no one else, etc etc. I'm doing those things because they're either things that need completed or things I'm doing for myself. But when someone else notices a job well done and says something, man. That makes my day. Or week. Probably not month or year, because even though I wish I could, I can't hang onto that thread for longer than a few days
I guess this is all to say, over the weekend, my little laundry room makeover got picked up on Apartment Therapy and it really felt great to be mentioned by what i would consider an authority on interior design. Of course you guys have realized that over the past six months I've pivoted from personal style to sharing more about my life and home. This blog has gone from our family income to my hobby. Something I'm just doing for fun. I mean, I would not turn down a sponsorship to tile my sunroom floor or new kitchen countertops (WHO WOULD!?) but that's not the goal anymore. So a little (or big!) pat on the back reminded me of how important praise is in my life. I'm not sure if it's a good thing to realize (TELL ME YOU LOVE ME! jk jk) but at least I've come to terms with it. Getting to know myself a little more. Also getting to realize that sooner or later, I do want to get back to work - with goals and expectations outside of the home - and I have an idea of how I want to do it.
I have no formal training, but I've been rearranging my spaces since I was a little kid. I love choosing paint colors, sewing window treatments or pillows. I freaking love rehabbing furniture. I've started doing minor electrical work and carpentry. And for now it all might be in my own home, but why not make a go of it for others? For years I urged others to jump into what they love via the blogging path, so could I afford to take some of my own advice? I love this stuff. And trust me, I don't think I'm in line to get my own show on HGTV because of one little feature on another site, but I do think it would be fun to help my girlfriends who have new houses.
Anyone else out there who went down a new path after staying at home with kids? Is this just a case of the grass being greener on the other side? I don't know, but it's worth a shot. I'd rather try and fail than never try at all. We shall see!