This is it – my year at home.
I’ve taken a leave and will be holding down the home front. Our three oldest boys are in school full time so that leaves me and Little together. This is a completely new experience for me. The last time I was home with only one son, he was a baby. All my previous years at home have involved a newborn.
Oh, I guess I should explain – Bearded Husband and I have alternated years at home caring for our family. I took the first maternity leave year, then he took an unpaid parental leave, I got pregnant and had another maternity leave, repeat. This has worked well for us, but we decided no more babies. I’ve worked two years in a row and now am home with our three-year-old.
Do you know what it’s like to go from teaching kindergarten, to a summer with four boys, and then to end up at home with a three-year-old who still naps in the afternoon? IT FEELS LIKE I’M AT A SPA.
The first day with just the two of us, we hopped in the van and took a special Mommy and Son road trip. There was no bickering, no pushing to get in first (well, I might have elbowed him a bit), no one complaining that “he’s looking at me”. As we coasted down the street I rolled down my window, waved at a neighbour and sang out, “we’re going to Target – because I CAN.”
Freedom, glorious freedom.
We purchased the five items on our list, plus eleven things I didn’t realize I needed. We drove home chatting and listening to the radio. I think he even thanked me for the adventure.
Do you know what else you can do when you’re home full time? Reheat your coffee in your own microwave. What a luxury.
Another unexpected bonus to being with Little is learning that he stashes small toys down the furnace grate when he doesn’t want to share. So thoughtful.
You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to fish some Lego hair out of a furnace duct. It is perhaps the scariest thing I’ve had to do – keep in mind that I once rescued a keychain from the toilet.
I’m not entirely sure what this year at home will look like, but I have plans, big plans. In addition to projects around the home and spending time with Little, I’m planning to connect with all my sons in a different way, be more hands-on and knowledgeable about their daily adventures than when I worked full time. I’m also hoping to invest more in friendships (old and new) and to give back to our community more.
Yes, big plans. They may seem lofty, but it’s only begun and already I’m ticking things off my list. Why just this week I learned that a girl has a crush on our oldest. And he is just thrilled that I have that intel. I can tell.
The year of At-Home Jan. Get ready.