I have been wanting to quit to stay at home forever, and it was the plan all along, but we just never felt it was quite the right time to do it. Early last year we came up with a plan of me quitting in the fall of 2013, and were pretty set to that idea. We did the math to figure out if we could afford it, what our budget would be, etc and knew it would be possible. We were comfortable with the 18 months of buffer time to figure out some sort of part-time work for me or my husband, and were working to save up a good emergency fund.
Then, one day in October, my husband randomly called me up in the middle of the day and said "You know what, I don't think we should wait another year for you to quit. You need to be at home." Let me tell you, those are probably the sweetest words any working mother can hear! We decided it would be best to wait for the year and the holiday season to be over (okay, so that was a bit selfish - the extra holiday pay and one last quarterly bonus that would happen between then and now was quite the incentive.) So much has happened since then, and I plan to tell you all about it (but in installments, because it's quite a long story, and isn't over yet).
So the first thing I've been trying to figure out is how I am going to adjust schedule-wise. I am used to coming home from work at 2 a.m. I stay up that late on weekends (five hours after husband and child are asleep) so that I am not too tired on the days I work. I try to wake up at 8, but it's realistically more like 10. Because I'm not home, I rarely cook dinner. I usually am too tired to clean during the week, so I just let the house accumulate a week's worth of mess and clean it all on Saturday. This isn't what I want life to be like, it is what one of my best friends/mentors calls "survival mode" - it's what you have to do in order to achieve something better.
My big goals are:
- to sleep from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. This is a major adjustment! I have never been a morning person. I love staying up alone at night, watching TV shows the husband doesn't like, working on projects with no interruptions... it will be hard to give up that time. How am I supposed to wake up at the crack of dawn and enjoy it? I have never experienced not being miserable in the morning.
- to make dinner. Real dinner with real food, not microwave stuff. I usually cook dinner like 2 days a week... I don't know if I can think of new meals every night! This means I need to learn how to make a meal plan and stick to it.
-to actually spend time with the kiddo. Usually, when I'm with him, I'm struggling to stay awake and frantically get what little I can done. This means he gets lots of TV time, lots of fast unhealthy foods, and very little play time with mommy. I feel terrible about it, and it's time to change this!
-to keep the house clean consistently, rather than do it all in one day. I have read some homemaking books to see what has worked for other people, and I am trying to get my own schedule in place. This will definitely take some trial and error. Right now I have a list of things to do every day (dishes, laundry, etc) and then I've divided the house into 14 sections so I can focus on one section each day - that way each room gets a good clean every two weeks. We will see how that works.
As you can tell, this is a lot. This is a completely different lifestyle that what I have been living for... well, for my entire life. It's what I want, but I am afraid of the difficulty that it will take to adjust. I am afraid that I'm just going to give up and go back to my old ways. I pray every night that I can do this.