Differences around the house summarized here.
Before the move, I was a full-time associate at a law firm in DC. Henry was in daycare full-time and Mac would have been headed that way. Now, I’m home with both kids in Rome. I’m enjoying it so far. I enjoy it more because what I did before was so different. I’m sure my thoughts on this will change, but here’s my biggest positive and negative to date.
On the plus side, I’m more relaxed now. I didn’t realize how draining I found it trying to get everyone places on time. And it felt like we were always trying to get some place on time. Rushing to get out the door in the mornings. Rushing to make it to daycare on time before it closed. Rushing to get home. Even meeting up with friends on the weekends could feel like a chore to get out the door.
Now there are rarely places we have to be at certain times. I like that. We do have social engagements (not as fancy as that sounds), but they are pretty casual. Also, many have been in a group setting so we aren’t making anyone wait if we are delayed.
Ditto for deadlines. Work was–understandably–filled with deadlines. Clients needed things at certain times. That meant I either needed to finish it in time to send to the client or in time to send to the partner to review and send to the client. Sometimes deadlines felt arbitrary. But even arbitrary deadlines are important when someone is paying you for that timing.
Now my deadlines are my own. And are more goals than deadlines. I’m working to post here every weekday, but the world doesn’t end if I don’t. I’d like to get a little more on top of tasks like emailing so and so, scheduling a photo shoot, booking trips, etc. But these are all my tasks to do, and I get to decide when to do them. Or when James gets to do them.
I like that I can breathe a little easier. But I do miss what I describe as “bodily autonomy.” The ability to just take yourself by yourself wherever you’d like to go. Before I had hours each day where I could do this. Granted, I was usually just commuting, working, grabbing lunch, etc. but oh the freedom of movement! Now, we were here more than two weeks before I used the stairs in our building. Because every other time I had the stroller or a child strapped to me. Getting out the door now requires packing the stuff and equipment to transport 50 pounds of children. Even inside the house, things like bathroom trips are strategic. You always have to know where all the players are on the field. I remember now hearing other moms saying that sometimes they just didn’t want to be touched by the end of the day. I get it now. Oh, I get it.
I know that some of this I’m doing to myself. If I wanted to head out alone, I could do more. But when James comes home after work, it’s time for dinner. And then bedtime. Which I could skip. But at the end of the day, I’m not usually jumping to go bounding out the door by myself. Ditto for weekends. I could definitely do more by myself, but this is family time. I hate to miss it. I’m sure things will change as they get a little older. Until then, I’m working on putting together some ladies nights. I registered for the lottery for the Berlin marathon to see if I can cross that off the travel list, and if I get in, that will mean plenty of solo training time.
So plenty of other differences, but those are my big two. Anyone made a similar switch? What was your biggest difference?