01 November 2016

Our Unconventional Life!

Our little family has been through a LOT of changes over the past few years. From moving cross country, getting married, buying a home, many job changes and oh ya.... we now have 2 baby boys! We certainly don't have a very "conventional" life.

But really how "normal" are Parker and I anyways??!
Lately many have been asking what it's like to have 2 parents home all day, every day... with both kids. All in our house... literally 24/7.

It can seem odd to some, but it quickly became the norm over here! I thought I'd share a little bit about our family and lifestyle today for those that are interested!

Many of you probably already know that I was a 1st grade teacher for 5 years (3 in Vegas and 2 when we moved home to MA). While I was teaching I wanted to start sharing my ideas through an educational blog so I started sharing and blogging over at Thank God it's First Grade!
While I was doing that, I also started selling some of the units, activities, crafts, and lessons I came up with for my classroom on Teachers Pay Teachers. I quickly fell in love with all of it. I loved sharing my own resources, I loved using other teachers' resources. It was such a unique and meaningful way to connect with teachers all over the country. The blogging community and TPT helped shape those first few years in my classroom and taught me sooooo much more than I could've learned on my own.

When I got pregnant with Theo in January of 2014, Parker had no hesitation telling me what he wanted to do. He wanted to stay home and take care of Theo. Parker is creative. He is innovative. He is a dreamer and an analyst at the same time. He is NOT an 8-5, sit in a cubicle type of guy. Believe me, he tried it.

In our 9 years together, he has started 3 different companies of varying success and mostly, he has helped my little business become something that can sustain our whole family. He wanted to stay home, help raise our kids, and "build things" around the house and I wanted to support him in this venture!

I loved his desire to stay home and raise our kids. I knew how miserable Parker was at his job and I knew he would make an amazing stay-at-home dad. He couldn't have cared less about any stereotype about being the moneymaker for our family - we've never really been the stereotypical type anyways. So one month after finding out I was pregnant, Parker went ahead and quit his job and hasn't looked back since!

The only slight problem was that I, too, wanted to stay home and raise our kids. That had always been a dream of mine.... and as anyone will tell you, they are only little once!

So after I had Theo and finished that school year I decided I would stay home too. I decided to work full time on my TPT store and leave the classroom behind. It was a very difficult decision to make and many days I realllyyyyy miss being a teacher but I know I will head back into a school soon. In the meantime, I try to enjoy every second of these two boys:



So here we are. Two years into this life-at-home gig and while it certainly has it's challenges, we are finding new ways to make it work all the time!

How do you and Parker deal with each other ALL DAY EVERY DAY!?
Oddly enough Parker and I are used to spending pretty much every second together (insert eye roll here). In our 9 years together we have almost always only had 1 car to share so we would drive one another to and from work and we are both such homebodies. We have our own personal spaces and times in the house that aren't scheduled but just known. I am a super morning person (4:48 alarm every day anyone?!) so I have my alone time then and at the gym and Parker is a night owl so after the boys and I go to sleep he gets lots of alone time.

We fight just like any other married couple and we have to figure it out and deal with it ASAP especially since we see each other every waking second of the day lol.

How do you get any work done with the kids home?
This took about a year to figure out! I was torn between needing to work since I am now the sole financial provider for our family and wanting to spend time with my boys!! This is still something I struggle with from time to time and the only way I have made it work is to be super diligent about my "office hours." I work Monday-Wednesday and on Fridays from 8-4. I work upstairs on the landing where we have an office instead of somewhere outside the home. I tried many different places but I always felt so far away and I would've rather been in a classroom teaching if I was going to be out of my house all hours of the day! I can still hear the chaos and giggles and cries and all that is going on downstairs but it helps me feel like I am present and able to lend a helping hand when needed. I set deadlines for projects for myself and I get really stressed out when I feel like I might not meet them. It may sound ridiculous but it's been a whole learning curve when you decide to work for yourself and have no one but yourself to keep you accountable! I can be my own worst boss.

We also just started sending Theo to daycare 2 days a week which has been one of the best decisions we've made as a family! With two parents in his face all day, every day we thought he could benefit from some structured time with kids and other adults besides us. He LOVES his "school" and has adjusted way better than we could've even imagined. He is making new friends and we are getting bonding time with Calvin (and a little more quiet to get work done).

How does Parker like being a stay at home dad?
I can't speak for him but I let him know all the time that whenever he feels like this isn't for him, we can switch things up and he can head back into the corporate world (or any another avenue). So far his only complaint is me! I may or may not be a bit of a control freak and it took me quite some time to learn to let go of the way I thought things should be done and let him really take over the reigns. The boys just adore their dad and he adores them right back.

This is the stage our family is in currently. Two work from home parents. Two little boys running a muck. Four Joneses all up in one another's business.

Who knows what our life will look like in another couple years?!
Back in a classroom?
More babies?
New job for Parker?
Only time will tell!
We tend to just roll with the changes and see where it takes us!

Also, if you happen to be in the Boston/Northshore area, do yourself a favor and check out Lightshed Photography! They took our above family photos and we just LOVE them. We originally hired them to take our wedding and engagement photos and now they've taken both boys newborn photos as well as family photos! We have loved growing with them!

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