I was a stay at home mom for the majority of my kids’ lives. I worked part time here and there but for the most part I was a full time stay at home mom. I don’t regret staying home. I won’t say it was fun per say; but I was able to be there for everyone in a way that worked for our family at that time in our lives. I was able to go to all the school plays, classroom events and went on a few class trips. I was never a PTA mom; not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not me. I was also able to attend Thomas’ many IEP meetings and all the evaluations I could be there for. The main reason I was a stay at home mom was because of Thomas. We didn’t have anyone to watch him or be there for when he got off the bus from school. My mom helped us out when I did work part time but I know in those days Thomas could take a toll on even the most patient person out there. We used to say he could make Mother Teresa curse, haha. But seriously he could’ve.
I began working full time when Samantha was around 9 years old. I loved it. Sam is very independent and I didn’t have to worry about her. Plus my older girls were around when Sam came home from school and Thomas was in residential school so all the stars were aligned for my venture to the working world. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed working. It took some getting used to not having my house as clean as it was when I was home all the time, or dinner always ready at 5:00. But we adjusted and the girls helped out and we made it work.
So there was the stay at home stage, return to work stage, watch our oldest girl get married and move out stage then my most difficult stage: watch Lelly move out after graduating college stage. When my older girls became young adults/older teens I really enjoyed them. I felt like I spent so much time and effort into raising them; to be able to enjoy them was like the icing on the cake. When Alyssa and Sam became engaged it was great! We watched them plan and fund their own wedding while they both were working full time in the fields they went to college for. Two wonderful, young (22 and 23 years old), very smart adults making their way in the world. I was never so proud. It was an adjustment when Alyssa went to live with Sam but we had a whole wedding lead up to that moment. And it was inevitable.
Then there’s my latest stage; my Lelly stage. My wonderful, waits for no one girl graduated high school early to begin college early and took so many credits per semester she even graduated college earlier than she was supposed to. She then landed a great job and before I knew it was moving out with a roommate to the upper east side of Manhattan. A bit of a whirlwind. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy for my girl. I’m so so proud of her and all she’s accomplished so far. I just thought I’d have more time enjoying living and being with her. My Lelly makes me laugh like no one else can; except her father. Having her move out so early was very hard. To have my girls so ready for adult situations at such young ages… I did something right. They are both successful young women with fully independent lives. Isn’t this what’s supposed to happen? No one prepares you for this stage, them leaving after you’re finally sitting back and enjoying them when they reach adulthood. Everyone says enjoy them when they’re little. Uh no. Little kids are hard man. Raising them is hard. Enjoy them when *you* enjoy them. And for me that time is now.