Being a Work at Home Mom of One

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I’ve been a stay at home/work at home mom off an on for 12 years now. Most of my life has been consumed by diaper changes, feeding schedules, working around naps and keeping the house as clean as possible. I use to dream of the day that all of the kids or even most of them would be in school. I had these grand visions of quiet time, bubble baths, an spotlessly clean house and a hot dinner on the table at 6pm every night. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom and seeing my children every moment of the day but I was yearning for time to be an individual … just Cat. Not mom, not wife, no maid or cook.

Then it happened.

Matt started 6th grade, Kaydee went off to full-day Kindergarten and it’s just me, Emma and the kittens for 7 hours a day.

Dream come true right?

Not so.

I never realized just how much of my personality and my self-worth was tied to raising children during the day. I actually miss the kids fighting over toys, the thumping of my son bouncing off the walls and Kaydee’s heavy footsteps tromping down the hallways.

I find myself bored most of the time. Really bored.

I clean until I run out of things to clean and then I clean them again. I’ve repainted rooms. I’ve redecorated rooms. I actually make beds now. There’s no more laundry to be done, no dishes to wash and nothing but the sound of Emma’s markers squeaking as she draws Minnie Mouse on my printer paper. Sure we have little conversations, snuggles and snacks throughout the day but overall, she’s a very independent little girl that would much rather play alone than be bothered by mommy.

It’s all made me very sad, even to the point that I almost wished Jon hadn’t got that vasectomy. I never realized how much I’d miss having a baby in the house, someone that needs me to do something other than find the lost lid to her marker. In one of my worst moments of depression Jon even offered to have the procedure reversed but I’m sane enough to know that I could never put him through that, or the financial burden of a 4th child on an already strained family. Not because I’m bored and having baby fever.

What I think it means is that I need to find myself. Before I was mommy I was someone who had hobbies, friends and goals. I don’t quite remember what they were but maybe it’s time I start looking for them. Blogging has been a passion of mine for nearly 4 years now, and it still is, but there’s only so much to write about. I need more. What that is or where I’ll find it, I don’t know but it’s time I start searching.

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  1. says

    Oh Cat that makes me a little sad. I do think we get awfully wrapped up in our identities as mom and letting go of that even a little can be hard. I actually know of at least a couple of moms at school who’ve mentioned that when their youngest hits kindergarten they kind of want another baby. I hope you can find a personal passion that adds some value to your days as the kids keep on growing up!

    • says

      It makes me pretty sad too. I use to be such a lively person, ready to take on anything and now I’m as shy and withdrawn as can be. I need to find that passion again and get out of my mommy shell.

  2. says

    It would be a great idea to start exploring some hobbies. There are so many other things I wish I could do if I had the time. I think it will be interesting and eye opening to find yourself. :)

    • says

      What kinds of hobbies would you like to be doing?

      I’m thinking of starting with a photography class (if I can find one) at the community college.

      • says

        I think a photography class would be fun. I’d also love to really learn to use photoshop without actions. I want to learn to play the guitar, knit a sweater, learn about gardening, train for a triathlon, do some DIY projects, organize better…my list goes on and on. :)

  3. says

    I think a lot of us struggle with this — more than we let on. I have FREQUENT bouts of this — I’m so unlike who I once was. I used to be so involved with music and acting. I used to go out with friends. I used to be dressed up every time I left my house.

    I love my children and wish we were having more … but I also, personally, am looking forward to the day I can bring back elements of the old me and let it be a part of this “new” me that has evolved through motherhood.

    • says

      I sure hope you’re able to do that Rachel. Getting so wrapped up in motherhood almost sucks the soul right out of you … fills it back up with love and laughter but then they leave you again feeling just a bit empty until the bus arrives.

  4. says

    It’ll be a long long time before I’m in your place since we’re homeschooling :) I would miss them terribly if we sent them to school, I love learning alongside my kids! It’s true I have no time for my own hobbies now, but once they are a little more independent and do their own thing, I’ll also be able to devote more time to pursuing my passions, maybe even with the kids in tow (like travel!)

  5. says

    I can completely understand you. When my daughter started first grade last year I realized how empty house is without her around for 6 plus hours. In the beginning most of my days were just boring, I would clean, cook, eat and stare at the computer. It was driving me crazy. So I tried to find something to keep me busy and when this year started I basically turned to fitness and finding ways to make our lives more healthy and happy. Now, she is in second grade and I spend my days still cleaning, cooking, but at least now I can devote some of that time to exercise, friends, spending time on me and planning all sorts of fun thing we can all do on weekends together :)
    ((hugs)) I’m sure you will find something to interest you.

  6. Diane says

    The old saying “Be careful what you wish for ”
    I went through that my two oldest kids were Less then a year apart and when they both got in school I was so lost and hated not having another child at home so yep I had one more and once he was ready for school I was also ready to be “free” and had never had that feeling again so I guess I just needed that one more baby!
    I know have three grand-kids I adore and two Pugs and I love to exercise and bake and garden, decorate cakes and cookies.
    I can always find something I enjoy to fill my time and you will to just take it day by day to see what catches your interest!

  7. says

    I’m a big proponent of finding yourself and I have to agree with you; I think you really DO need to find yourself amidst all the time you have now! Find what your passions are. Find something new you like to do. Maybe even start working out regularly if you aren’t already.

    Good luck my friend! I know once you start the process and work on it, things will go a lot faster :)

  8. says

    I’m in the same boat and wrote recently how I missed the fighting, cuddles, and millions of questions from Zoe all day. I mope around the house looking for things to do. I’m at this point where you are and that is what I’m doing. I have never really had hobbies, so I’m not sure what to do. I am thinking about going out in the community to offer community service, but there honestly isn’t a lot in our small town. I hope to find something as well! You will search and eventually find.