I think there are three main reasons I was looking at being a stay at home mom through rose colored glasses:
First, I HATE missing out on milestones and other fun stuff. This one is fairly obvious. I mean, no one wants to see their kid crawl for the first time via a series of iPhone pics their parents snapped.
I also HATE giving up control, which is pretty much necessary when you work most of the hours your kid is awake. Everything from daycare making Adriana nap too early and making choices about how she is disciplined to my parents pumping her full of sugary snacks and letting her have her binky or blanket outside of her bed drives me batshit insane. I spent about a million hours reading all of the parenting books, figuring out what was right for me and my family, but I have zero control over whether or not my plans get implemented. It's very frustrating, and hard to maintain any consistency.
And finally, up until a few months ago, my only experience with it was when Adriana was a newborn, and I love the newborn stage. Don't get me wrong - each girl came with their own set of newborn issues. Adriana woke up every hour and a half for 5 months, and gnawed off my nipples until they were bloody stumps, which contributed to some serious mastitis. Lucy frequently screams from 7 pm to midnight, and is on round 3 of the thrush from hell. But that's not what I focus on when I think about the newborn stage. I remember the quiet nights rocking Adriana with my nose buried in her Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo scented hair. I remember nursing Lucy on the deserted beach at 6am when she was 3 weeks old, thinking that it really doesn't get better than this. My dad always jokes that my girls are "going to get worms" because I hold them too much (whatever that is supposed to mean). I could hold a newborn all day long, every day.
Over the past two and a half months, I've gotten a taste of what it's like to be a REAL stay at home mom. One who is trying to clean and organize a house, make dinner every day, make sure the kids are clothed and fed and well rested and mentally stimulated by something other than Dora or Caillou. One who is not just responsible for a tiny newborn, but has a crazy ass, temper tantrum-y toddler who is prone to sitting on / pinching / kicking her sister thrown into the mix. It's physically and emotionally exhausting.
The other day, I had the chills and an awful headache (a sure sign my body was thinking about developing mastitis), my muscles were sore from the Shred, and both girls were screaming. I sat down on the couch and cried (first time since a couple of weeks after Lucy was born, not too shabby). Adriana instantly stopped her (fake) crying, and said "Why are you crying, mama? I'll take care of you. I'll kiss your tears. I'll keep you safe". She proceeded to kiss my tears and give me a big hug.
Parenthood is so crazy because the highs are SO HIGH and the lows are SO LOW. I went from having the worst day ever to the best day ever in half a second. I feel like being a stay at home parent to a toddler and a newborn is probably like that on the regular. I honestly don't know if I would have it in me to deal with such emotional instability day in and day out. Not to mention that every day is sooooooooo long. I have found myself checking the clock and being like "Ohhh, 9:17 am. Nine more hours til Justin gets home."
I guess where I'm going with all of this is that I have a greater appreciation for the hand I've been dealt (dealt myself). I think when I go back to work later this month, I will be sad to leave my girls, but a teeny part of me will also be ready to get back to my version of normal.