I’m now heading into well over one month as a stay-at-home parent. I don’t want to comment on whether it’s going well or not, but here are some things I’ve noticed.
- I generally love it. And Alya seems to as well.
- Not setting an alarm clock = totally wonderful
- Not having to make/pack lunches + a bag of baby stuff for the day = wonderful too
- Not stressing out about work situations = a welcome relief after many months of hard work
- Figuring out how to fill the days = sometimes still a challenge, sometimes magically easy.
I still want to have a general structure to our days. We don’t. I expect I’ll be working again at some point, so maybe I just haven’t taken the time to create the home schedule I know we would enjoy. Or maybe I’m just lazy. Or obsessed with my still-long to-do list. Or maybe, schedules are over-rated. In any case, our days look like:
- Wake up when we want to, often around 8.
- Get breakfast … eventually.
- Read, nurse, play, some crafts.
- Eventually (usually) leave the house. Maybe the park, library, groceries … Some days lately we’ll end up out for most of the day once we leave.
- Very occasional visits with friends. Not often enough.
- Bedtime varying from 5:30 – midnight; naps sometimes.
- Lots of books. Loooooooots.
- And not enough cooking. I’m hungry and she eats too much bread.
I do try to engage her in what I’m doing, but sometimes she’s not interested, and sometimes I’m just not doing much.
And finally: fitting in other work while looking after a child is very hard, and possibly counter-productive. I sometimes try to get small tasks done, check email, etc. Maybe it’s because she is still readjusting to having me home, but I don’t get much time to myself (1 minute? sometimes more if she’s absorbed in something & I’m beside her). Getting tasky also detracts significantly from our bonding, and when I get out of the “being home” headspace, I’m more irritable and enjoy her less. Is the lesson to embrace what I’m doing when I’m doing it?
I am intensely curious to hear how other people organize their at-home days. Do you fit in other work? Multitask? Play a lot with your child or encourage independence? Set up activities & preschool-like work? Get out a lot and play with other kids?