Finding productivity in "just" staying home

Where did my productivity go? Not even a month ago I was working 40 hours a week AND (somewhat) maintaining a presentable house. My contributions to my family were both monetary and time-related. I felt confident in my role, not because it's what I believed in, but because it's all I knew. I started working just a few (3?) short weeks after Brylee was born and my moments raising my daughter were constrained to nights and weekends as if some court-mandated arrangement.

I always claimed my intentions were never to have kids just to have someone else raise them (i.e., daycare). We were greatful for the wonderful in-home daycare we found, but I am happy to finally get this opportunity to have a more hands-on influence in raising our child. But somehow, in my fourth day of my new role as SAHM (stay-at-home mom), I'm a bit conflicted. My experience tells me productivity and self-worth comes from not only conquering difficulties at work (40 hours worth of them), but by having it all by doing it all.

The height of this wonder woman-feeling came when I was waking up at 4:30 to work out for an hour, getting Brylee started with her morning bottle and a diaper change, arriving at work between 7 and 7:30, getting off between 5:00 and 5:30 and mustering enough energy to interact with my family for a couple hours, sometimes even go to a friend's place to hang out, get Brylee ready for bed and go to bed myself to start it all over again. I felt on top of the world. But what a contrast to my current schedule of waking up by 7:00 or 8:00 at the latest, lazily make oatmeal in my PJ's which I wear until I get my shower during Brylee's morning nap at 10:00. I'll stop there, 'cause that pattern just continues throughout my entire day.

This contrast leaves me wondering why I didn't prepare better for this experience. When I'd mention this move to Florida meant I'd get the opportunity to finally be home with Brylee, women would respond with nostalgia as they recalled their stay-at-home years as the fondest memories they have. It made me feel warm and glowy; I had been a successful full-time worker AND evening/weekend home maker--of course I was ready for this experience. Or maybe not as ready as I'd hoped.

So, here I am, ready to admit all my faults and misperceptions about SAHMs and my qualifications for such. I'm ready. Sure, right now, I don't measure up to the creativity and energy and drive that I'd hope to be in this new role. But, that isn't to say that I can't learn.

So, here's a couple things I found as I begin this self-study on Being a SAHM 101.
  • Being a SAHM is expensive. This article on MSN tells me so.
  • I'm not alone. There's a national association for mothers. Check it out here.
  • Finally, my sweet little toddler isn't acting out because she's noticed my weakness--she's just bored. So, here's a site that could help keep her active, learning and developing her creativity. Nevermind making me think creatively in the process.
That's it for now. More to come soon on this SAHM journey... and other "worms" this move has opened up :)