Staying at home with Belle feels right. I can’t imagine it any other way. It has brought me a lot of inner peace, but it’s also brought on a lot of questions about what my role is now, as a wife and mother.
After months of struggle, Leo finally agreed that we could try out this stay at home mom thing, and in the first few weeks being home with Belle, I’ve noticed that the way I view him has changed. He’s not just Leo. Not just my husband. He has become the man that allows me to stay home with my baby, and for that I adore him. I’ve always loved Leo with all my heart. I’ve always felt so lucky to have found him. But this is new. This is different. Now he supports me emotionally and financially. It makes me want to make him happy, and I feel (and worry) in a lot of ways about what it means to be a housewife – both in the modern and the traditional sense. I find myself thinking weird religious phrases like, “I want to serve my husband.” What…the… Hold up. Did I really just think that? Who am I becoming? What does this all mean? Do I have to do everything he wants now? What if he comes home and the house isn’t clean? Will he be mad? Is that all my responsibility now? Will he be disappointed if I’m in my PJs all day? What if something happens to Belle on my watch? Do I have to put out whenever he wants? What if I’m tired? Am I going to be some kind of sex slave? I have to lose weight. Oh my God I have to lose weight. Because my husband is amazing and he deserves a skinny wife!
What about the stuff? Do I need to make money? Shouldn’t I be contributing to our income? Well, I’m just starting to stay home. But how long does that excuse last? Yes, I need to contribute. But how much? And by when? What about those yellow Michael Kors sandals I want this spring? And my sunglasses broke. I really want new sunglasses. God I’ve wanted Ray Bans for years. Should I by them counterfeit? I mean, from eBay? Maybe I should just get $5 sunglasses. Yes, that’s the life I chose by going down to one income. Right? Or should we try to budget for the RayBans? Am I being materialistic? Am I selfish? What about what Leo wants? He should be getting all the stuff he wants, because he makes the money, right?
And that’s what my stream of consciousness has looked like these first couple of weeks home with Belle. And I can tell you that these first few weeks I was putting a LOT of pressure on myself in my new role. So much so that I was having weird anxiety some days (oh, how I hate anxiety!). But I’ve come to a few conclusions. First of all, I’m relaxing. I’m pretty sure I have the most chill husband in the universe. He doesn’t care if I’m in sweats all day (“as long as we’re not going out,” he says. Is he not adooooorable?!)
And I do like stuff. I’ll admit it. I like nice stuff, and I hope that we can still figure out a way to have nice things while on this new budget. And of course Belle’s needs come first. And maybe we’ll have to do without some stuff. But that’s okay. It’s worth it in the end, easy. As far as keeping a clean house, I love it. There’s something about cleaning and organizing that has the same effect on my mind. My mind feels clean. Organized. Peaceful. I am absolutely tickled that our bed is made daily and our house is actually clean – and not hurry-up-and-clean-the-whole-house-because-we’re-having-company-clean, either. Truly clean, every day (God it’s easier that way!)
I’ll make money, in time, with some of the projects I’m currently working on. But first and foremost I will take advantage of this beautiful gift that’s been given to me: the gift of time with Belle. The gift of being able to relax during the day, take care of her every need, and focus on our family health and home. Along with this gift comes the gift of being able to seek out how I really want to earn an income. A way to earn that would not only bring money, but joy. The gift of self exploration and getting back to what really makes me happy, what really brings out that glow from deep down in my soul. So these days I’m hunting that out, dabbling, playing, exploring, and trying to become aware and conscious of my vocation. You know, what we loved to do as kids before we took a conventional route, –that’s what I’m trying to find.
I will do everything I can to make Leo’s life easier and more enjoyable. Not from a place of obligation, but from a place of respect and adoration. This journey, and coming to the stay-at-home-mom conclusion, hasn’t been easy for him. I will take care of him out of love. Out of thanks for letting me be exactly where I am supposed to be right now in my life. And for supporting me all the while.