To Stay at Home, or Not...That is the Question
Updated: Nov 12, 2018
One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been a stay at home/work from home person, is that I absolutely love the escape from the noise of a busy workplace. Now you may think, “Yeah yeah- that’s super nice….witch.” Or maybe you think, “Um- yeah. You don’t have a career, and I mean, I guess that’s your choice. Loser.” Or maybe you’re thinking, “Oh. Well, to each their own.” However you’re feeling, this blog is pretty much about things I’ve noticed since I’ve been fortunate enough TO notice. So if you are one of the lucky ones to be at this decision in your own life, maybe this can help a bit in some way.
I feel it’s important to point out that I know I’m very lucky to have been able to make the choice to stay home. Not everyone even has the choice, and I get that. There is a certain stigma about work from home individuals or stay at home moms that sort of invites the idea that we don’t do much or are empty headed. This is simply not true. I mean, I admit the first couple of months I was home, I did nothing much. I admit, I binge watched some shows and ate a few too many nachos. (Seriously) Then I brought it back around and decided that my time at home would not be wasted. I would instead use my time wisely and contribute something positive to my surroundings.
Here are some things I discovered:
1. I’m able to better keep up with politics. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, having more time to be informed of what is going on here in the good ol’ US of A is always a good thing. I find myself watching the news in the morning with my cup of coffee and friends, it's like having an adult conversation and I love it. I’m an early riser so I get to do this alone for a good hour and half if I want. It’s also a great time to check up on Twitter and see some of the news I’m unable to see on the networks. Plus, I get a good laugh every now and then. Keeping up with politics allows the following:
A. I’m able to decide how I really feel about things. Some of us are so used to going on Facebook and seeing blips and memes that offer up half-truths and quick excerpts based on opinion, along with outright lies. When you can do the research yourself from a variety of sources, it helps you come to your own conclusion.
B. Keeping up with the political world has started influencing the way I shop, the way I anticipate changes coming and the way I make decisions at home. I’m more aware of which companies support what; and although we may be but a family of 3, we can choose to support those companies or not.
C. It’s wonderful to be able to start making decisions about which events I’ll be supporting and what protests I may need to show up to in order to lend my voice.
2. Since I’m home, I’ve been able to stay on top of our eating habits so much better. Pinterest has become my new best friend. Keeping up with our eating habits allows the following:
A. I’m able to put together a menu, and I grocery shop on Sundays. I have a pretty cool Menu form I came up with, that has the days of the week on one side and the grocery list for that week on the other side.
B. I get to choose healthy foods or at least healthier versions of meals. We eat out way less than when I was coming in the door at 6pm and we weren’t eating until 7 or 7:30pm.
C. My menu goes up on the fridge, and the fam knows what we’re having. Sometimes they make requests, and sometimes they tell me I’ve made something that shouldn’t be attempted again.
D. Pinterest allows me to try new things constantly. I try to include something new in the menu once a week. It usually involves foreign foods, in order to make my daughter a well-rounded individual. I want her to know what Nigerian Beef & Noodle Pepper Soup tastes like. Does that sound as precious as I think it does? I don’t mean it that way, I truly just want her to try things she might not otherwise choose to try on her own.
3. Our dogs. Our dogs. They love me being home. Gone are the sad and anxious ridden faces when we used to put them in the kennel from morning until I was able to rush home on a late lunch hour to let them out. Staying home with our 3 dogs has allowed our family the following:
A. Our biggest is the oldest at 8 years. He’s a Presa Canario named Zeus and he is the neediest bear I know. Since I’ve been home, he is no longer marking inside. That could be a result of being watched all of the time, or maybe it’s the result of not being anxious. Also, he is less alpha. He is not barking at every noise. In fact, he rarely barks anymore at all. He is less annoyed with our other two dogs, and his chronic vomiting has ceased.
B. Kya is our middle dog, our 2-year-old German Shepherd. She is no longer destructive, no longer bored. She is less timid, happier, and a bit more confident over all.
C. Our little Chihuahua Sundae was able to be added to the pack as a result of me being home. With Zeus being primarily my partner’s dog, and Kya being my daughter’s dog, I felt the need for my own baby. That’s where Sundae came in. She has been a wonderful rounding out addition to the family.
D. The dogs get regular exercise now and often enjoy afternoons on the deck people watching, weather permitting. They are given so much love and attention now, I’m a bit sheepish about the choice we initially made to have them in our home with no one to be there for them as much as we should have been.
4. This blog you’re reading! Since I have been at home, it has allowed me to take a little time and like I said earlier, really notice things. You can’t write about what you don’t notice or observe. By investing in a good quality laptop and being home, it has allowed me the following:
A. I am able to have a creative outlet for the thoughts, ideas, fears and joys in my life that I did not have before. Oh I cannot even explain how frustrating it is when you are just coasting, stagnant and unthankful. Doing this is enabling me to be creative again, to follow my dreams, to be more thankful for the opportunity than I would have been a few years ago.
B. I’m reading more! Yes, I am reading more because blogging does require a certain amount of reading articles, other blogs, interesting news or stories in order to wake something up inside of me and provoke a response or a thought or an idea.
C. I’m sharing with you, the reader of this blog. Perhaps I’ll help someone along the way. Maybe I’ll make friends I never thought I would find things in common with. It could be that you’ll share your opinions or ideas with me and teach me another way to view life or a more productive way to accomplish a task.
So, if you are reading this and are contemplating staying at home, or working from home, or maybe cutting back on your hours in order to be home more often… I say this to you: I’m not sorry I made the choice to do just that. Staying home does take some getting used to, it does take a complete over haul of life for some (like me,) but the benefits can be so rewarding! It does take certain sacrifices, and it does take some discipline if you’re working at home, but go for it! And remember, above all, have peace with your decision.