\u201cIs it easier being a stay-at-home mom or was it easier working?\u201d That\u2019s the question my grandpa asked me last time we went to my parents\u2019 house for the weekend. On that particular day, I was exhausted. Olivia was going through a phase of \u201cplease hold me all night in the rocking chair.\u201d At that exact moment, she was whining and refusing to eat dinner. I was near the brink. \u201cWork was easier,\u201d I snapped. \u201cAt least I could go there to escape.\u201d He was kind of taken aback, at least in part due to my tone. \u201cWork was easier \u2026\u201d he repeated contemplatively, as if he was measuring his own surprise to such an answer. And maybe that will surprise you too, readers. I haven\u2019t slept in lately. I haven\u2019t been lunching with the ladies or eating chocolate while lying on the couch watching \u201cReal Housewives\u201d shows. That many times. And no one ever invites me to play bridge, whatever that is. All the trappings of the stereotypical stay-at-home mom have somehow evaded me in the months since I left my full-time career at the Pioneer. This week marks six months since I walked out of the office for the last time. Things are mostly fantastic. There are plenty of unhurried (but still early) mornings filled with cartoons and coffee. Lazy story times and breathless outdoor exploration. More home-cooked meals. I even went to my first play date this week! All that takes work, though. If I get off my feet before 9 p.m. each night, I consider that a blessing. Parenting a 2-year-old is kind of like herding cats, and I\u2019m usually herding cats, too. Maybe that\u2019s why some people take their parental gap year (as I\u2019m calling it now) in the first year of their baby\u2019s life. (But hey, did you know Sweden gives 480 days of maternity at about 80 percent of a woman\u2019s former salary, and that time can be used at any point until a child\u2019s eighth birthday? Crazy.) There also are plenty of days when I wonder if I did the right thing at the right time, or if I\u2019m even qualified for this line of work. I mean, I held my own as a reporter, but as a mom, I can\u2019t seem to get my kid to stop saying \u201cdammit\u201d and start getting interested in potty training. Sometimes it seems like I should head back to the office, because at least there I had control of the words people were using. What I\u2019m doing at home \u2014 playing, cooking, cleaning, wrangling one small human and three dumb cats \u2014 it\u2019s not a job. It\u2019s labor intensive, but it\u2019s not a job. And I definitely want a job again in the not-so-distant future. Six months in, I\u2019m still trying to depart from my high-strung tendencies enough to just \u2026 blow bubbles or swing in the backyard. While I\u2019m working on that, at least you\u2019ll know where to find us. Stop by. Bring wine.