WAHM gets demoted

 I’ve been demoted. This past weekend, I was kicked out of my home office and exiled to the dining room. My performance has been above bar; I’ve shown true dedication and commitment to the team. The change in my WAHM status boiled down the bottom line: baby Blake needs a room.

Our house has been on the market since April, before Blake was born. Our three bedroom cottage is adorable, but now that my husband and I have two children and our game has shifted to man-to-(wo)man defense, we need a little more space. Plus, our house is on a busy road, and we think a more traditional neighborhood is in order. Perhaps one with a few more sidewalks and a little less drag racing.

We bought the house five years ago, quite frankly, because it was close to the bars. The quaint restaurants and pubs in walking distance and close proximity to downtown Charleston suited our pre-kids lifestyle. Back when my husband and I ate out several times a week and went on actual dates.

When our first son was born, the house was still a perfect fit. We built a picket fence to deter him from playing in traffic. As he got older, he discovered Big Wheels and the thrill of speeding down the driveway. We drew an imaginary line in the pavement, sort of like an electric fence minus the shock, and he still obeys the boundary. For added safety, we park our car at the end of the driveway and never let him play outside without supervision. But eventually, living in this house with two little boys is going to get tricky.

For staging purposes, I left my home office in tact. I reconciled infants don’t need much, anyway. Blake slept in a portable crib in our room, and I strategically placed wicker baskets filled with changing supplies around the house and tucked his tiny outfits neatly in the hall closet. I considered how times change; I would have never done this with my first child. Dillon’s nursery was a work of art, decorated months before he entered the world.

Eventually, we conceded Blake needed his own space. (Yes, I considered having the boys share a room, and I can think of several reasons why this would a horrible idea.) My husband broke down the office furniture and moved it to the garage. In a matter of hours, my former work space was transformed into a haven of sailboats and all things fluffy.

I noticed how fun it was to decorate the nursery now, just as I’m mourning the passing of Blake’s infancy. (He’s off the charts in height and weight.) As I rocked him in the plush gliding chair, I experienced the newborn intoxication I always dream out before the child arrives. You know, the vision that, in reality, is blurred by intense sleep deprivation, high doses of caffeine and pain meds. We gathered around as Blake kicked happily in his crib. He shrieked with laughter and clutched his feet, as if to say, “My room totally rocks!”

So, here I sit, writing this essay at the dining room table. My new office opens up to the den, where my preschooler and husband play trains. Thankfully, I’m perched by a window and natural light flows in.

The house remains on the market, and we still have options to consider. But for now, taking the time to nest is the energy boost our family needed. Our house feels like home again and we’re blessed to have it, for however long we’re meant to be here.

I thought getting demoted to the dining room table would hinder my creativity and productivity, but it’s doing just the opposite. I suspect my muse was waiting for me to figure that out.