Requested by @lexie_elyse
  1. Best:
  2. I get to spend so much time with my kids.
    They are usually tons of fun to be around - loving, kind, creative, and super funny. They make me laugh every single day. They want me to read to them all day long! I adore them.
  3. We have a lot of free time together.
    We can walk the long way home from kindergarten. We can go for a bike ride at 2pm. We can do all the library programs, and plan picnics, zoo trips, beach days, and lazy do-nothing days. This is absolutely an enormous perk, and I never, ever take it for granted.
  4. I have some free time for myself.
    I can squeeze in projects, reading, or, once in a while, a nap(!) while they are resting after lunch. Sure, the laundry doesn't get done on those days but who's keeping track of that anyway?
  5. I get to practice being a better person every single day.
    I have learned a LOT about myself since becoming a parent, and some of it wasn't pretty. I have so much work to do but I'm grateful to them for making me see it and want to be better. They are super forgiving of my mistakes, and it honestly feels like a gift I'm not sure I deserve.
  6. Worst:
  7. We get on each other's nerves.
    Spending so much time with anyone amplifies the little annoying things about them. My supply of patience is depleted by lunchtime some days. Theirs too.
  8. I feel isolated but never alone.
    This is a mixed bag. I am totally fine by myself for long stretches, but sometimes I want to talk to other adults. I'm also shy and a bit socially awkward, so even when I do want to make friends, it's hard. Conversely, my kids are always, always with me. They like to follow me around the house all day long. They're too little to stay by themselves, so running a quick errand for bread or something means bringing both of them with me. Every time.
  9. I worry that I don't spend enough time with them.
    Odd as that may sound, it's easy for chores, errands, and other tasks related to running a household to take up a good chunk of time. Factor in cooking, eating, and naps, and the days can pass very quickly without me doing the fun stuff with them.
  10. Often, I don't feel like I'm good at it.
    Being a parent is no joke. Growing up and learning about being a person is a slow process for kids, and I can get too easily frustrated by the lack of instant results. I'm basically always worried about whether I'm doing a good enough job.
  11. *************************************
  12. It was so hard to write this list without feeling guilt.
    I know how fortunate I am to have a choice in staying home, and I feel conflicted when I talk about the "downsides" of that choice. I also know that a lot of this isn't particular to stay-at-home parents, nor do I think that staying home is right for everyone. Basically, please don't feel judged by my list!! 😘