Friday, July 9, 2010

Why Didn't We Do This Sooner?

This was the picture that Dana sent to me half way through Wednesday at work last week (vegetable lasagna - excellent). The excitement that I felt could be topped only if she had sent a naked picture of herself. I knew, right then and there, we made the right decision to bring Dana home this summer. Dana worked her last day on Friday, June 25th and immediately transitioned into her new role as Residential CFO and SAHM (Stay at Home Mom.)

It had been a tough decision to bring Dana from working full time to staying at home. We talked about it for the past year ever since Dylan was born. Her heart was always at home taking care of him, and though we tried to make it work with us both working full time, we both just wanted her to be home. We felt out of balance; all work/no life, and felt like we were in constant scramble mode, from Monday morning through Sunday night. If you read our finance blog,, you would know that we (I) take our budget very seriously. To take a nearly 50% hit on income, doesn’t help from that perspective, but we have done our due diligence from a financial standpoint to get to this point. Like any other family that has gone from two incomes to one, we will find a way to make it work.

So far it’s gone well although Dana had a seemingly rough transition the first couple of days. Tuesday evening, she looked at me and said, “I feel like I am wasting away. I need a list!” As if I had it ready in my pocket, I quickly reeled off a healthy list consisting of 12 bullet points. I even pushed the limits and put “clean the garage” on there. Chew on that this summer, Dear.

Two days later, half the list was complete, including the garage! I thought the garage bullet point would go unscathed through the summer and into the fall. Dana springs into action as soon as Dylan goes down for a nap and starts knocking out her work. I am impressed. I figured it would be a full week before she changed out of her pajamas. We will need to come up with a longer list when she completes the current one.

Saturday, I woke up and wandered around the house for the better part of the morning. I usually start the laundry and go to the grocery store after I wake up. When I come home, I fold the laundry (I never actually put the clothes away, they just stay in the basket in the bedroom) and, if I am feeling really ambitious, tackle bathroom cleaning (Note from Dana: While Bryan did those things, I took care of Dylan, Oscar and usually made Bryan a huge bacon, egg and cheese bagel sandwich). All of those tasks were complete this past weekend when I got home on Friday enabling me to sit down and watch the entire Germany/Argentina game at 10am without having to think about anything else. I remember thinking to myself, “Is this what balance feels like?” If so, I really like it.

Now, I am learning that we have a set of different challenges (they really aren’t too bad). I need to talk about my day, ad nauseum, especially on the days when Dana hasn’t had any other adult interaction. I don’t always (read: ever) want to do this. I will need to carry my weight, unless I want hear a play-by-play of the Ellen DeGeneres show or the Baby Einstein Animals in My Neighborhood DVD.

To prove my point, here is a sample of an email Dana sent me on Thursday at 4:27 p.m.:

D is taking his second nap right now - he just went up a few minutes ago. We've had a good day. We went grocery shopping and then had a snack (grapes and blueberries) and now it is nap time. :)

Dylan continues to grow and learn by the day. He is walking all over the place now and coming up with new words. It is the perfect time to have Dana home to teach him these new things. After two weeks with Dana home, I wonder why we didn’t do this earlier.

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