We’ve had some changes around here. Nothing huge, whatsoever. Well, it’s huge in MY world, but no one else’s I’m sure. But I thought I’d still share it.
I’m not sure if ‘Year Two’ of Cruz’s life was going to be the hardest or what. But it was HARD. Maybe it was the terrible two’s or the transition with Rider entering our lives, or moving up to Scottsdale or… the list goes on. And while I know that all of those things I listed are huge transitions in any two year olds brain, the past year was still HARD when Cruz was concerned. Tantrums, talking back, arguing, more exhausting talking back and just a general grumpiness that NONE of us cared much for. Some days I would look around the room wondering where my sweet little Cruz went.
Every mom goes through this right? Gah. It’s really rough.
So last week I started wondering what the possible cause to his grumpiness could be. Besides just being two and that’s what you do, when you’re two. And I came to the conclusion that the partial problem is where Jason and I work. Our computers WERE right in the living room. It was easy access for us and, at the current moment, the only place that we thought the computers would fit. We wanted to have a space where we could work out in the living room. A space that was inspiring and creative building to us for our work. We have a very small space that the four of us live in, and so our options were very limited.
But because it was in the living room, I was very easily distracted. And I was constantly super stressed about work. Any time an email would come through, I could hear the ‘ding!’ even if I was trying to play with the boys. And no matter how hard I tried, my 100% focused attention wasn’t on them. And I know that Cruz felt it. And I know that he was acting out because of it.
I know it.
It took a few days of denying it once I came to the conclusion, but I finally decided to chat with Jay about moving the work station back into our bedroom. Although I don’t think THAT’S the best place for it either, I figure that Jay and I are adults. And can easily distinguish work time from family time. Whereas Cruz cannot. I was expecting Jay to totally put up a fight on it and I had an ENTIRE speech prepared to persuade him.
But I didn’t need it.
He agreed immediately and that night we moved our computers back into our room.
The next day (and ever since!!) have been NIGHT AND DAY DIFFERENT. I have a different kiddo in Cruz. He is actually HAPPY. And while he does have his typical ‘three year old moments’, they are few and far between and have been ever since we moved our work out of our family space. I really had to realize that although our space is super small, it is our home. And if I’m stressed about work all the time, my kids are going to feel it. If I’m just checking emails really quickly and they are in the room, I don’t think there’s harm in that. BUT I DO think it’s not good when they start acting out because of it. Our living room now feels like our family space. Not a space that mom and dad have to share with their work. It’s not our office any longer.
And while I don’t think that ALL of his meltdowns and tantrums were because the office was in the living room, I do think it’s made a huge difference in his moral. He knows when I’m in the living room with them, that my attention is on them 100%. And my kiddos are WAY happier because of it.
Being a working stay at home mom is totally a work in progress. I find that every few months brings on new changes and new seasons. And you just have to be flexible until you find what works for you. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it’s so worth figuring out how to make it work, every single day.
If you’re struggling at home, I challenge you to figure out what might not be working. And try to do something different! Even if you have a lap top, just put it in your room or in the ACTUAL office. And leave it there for when they nap. Work and emails can totally wait. As hard as that may seem sometimes, trust me! But our kids CAN’T wait all the time. We have to be present with them here and now.
So take a breath and make some changes if there need to be. And keep trying until you get it right! That’s the beauty of it!