So to answer the question of what I gained when I first became a SAHM was.....the right to sleep in.
This was actually the first thing I thought of...
: When I taught, I'd get up at 530 to leave by 6 to get there by 630 so I could get things ready for school (started at 730). Now, I'm generally not even awake at 730....After about 18 mos, DD started sleeping later...
Something else I gained (but really lost) was that I weigh about 20 lbs less than when I got pregnant...between a fetus that sucked me dry (seriously - everything except my belly got skinnier), breastfeeding, and a toddler that's perpetually on "overdrive", it's melting off.
Oh, but I have a stress fracture in my knee now - when I said perpetually in overdrive, I meant it
I've gained an ally in my food tastes - DH doesn't particularly like veggies, ethnic foods, etc, but DD is all about the veggies and spicy foods. Plus, I can more readily get him to agree to organics "for the baby"
I've gained a comedian. She's got such a little sense of humor.
The ability to relate a little more to my best friend (she had 3 by the time I had one)
Oh, also an ally in my tv tastes. DD loves American Idol and Nashville Star - anything with singing. We have to have it one "for the baby".
A playmate for the dog. A playmate for me.
A greater appreciation for my mom (good lord, she was 3 mos PREGNANT when I was Katie's age...and I was more of a handful, if that's possible).
Frustration - I love Katie to death, but, I'm not good with the under-3 set. At all...we're 2/3 of the way done, though, right?
From this board, I've gained a greater appreciation for all my husband does with the baby.
Getting to watch Katie grow into a caring human being. Last night, before she went to bed, instead of just my kiss and hug, she came over and said, "Oh, boo-boo knee" and gave my knee a kiss.
A look at who *I* was at her age (everyone who knew me as a baby says she's me...looks, temperment, even when she reached milestones...).
An appreciation for my time alone
Someone for whom to make the holidays magical.
A pupil. I taught for years, and one of my frustrations was not being able to do everything for everyone....I still won't be able to do that, but, I'll probably be a hell of a lot better at adapting to my daughter's needs than a class of 28.
A good friend (from MDC) who has a toddler a few months younger than Katie...she's my first local friend since we moved here (almost 3 years ago).