I’ve only been a stay-at-home-mom for 12 weeks, but it feels like forever. Forever in a good way. Forever as in this is what it feels like my life was meant to be. I finally feel like I am doing something worthwhile. Not that being a working mom wasn’t worthwhile, it just wasn’t for me. I felt pulled in 100 different directions and stretched too thin to be able to give anything. I wasn’t sure when I took the plunge that this would be the right path for me. I worked so long and hard at something completely different than what my life is now. Would I regret giving up my work, my degree, my life as I knew it?
I talked a lot in the past about my struggles with leaving a job I loved, giving up graduate school and all of the plans I had made for myself up until that point. I didn’t want to be a super mom, I just wanted to be a mom. I tried working part-time, and I ended up giving only “part-time” energy to everything. Every aspect of my life was suffering. I was unhappy, and so was everyone else. I wanted my family to have the best of me, not what was left of me.
Since being home full-time (and nannying part time for another sweet little boy) I have learned a lot about what it really means to be a stay at home mom.
It means I don’t get a sick day. Even when I am really, really, really sick. We don’t have daycare, or family around to watch the baby when I am dying of the stomach flu. It’s just me, trying to keep J from splashing around in the toilet I just threw up in.
It means I am the cruise director, chef, and teacher. I am responsible for making sure that everyone is happy, dry, entertained, eating a well rounded diet, and is learning at the developmentally appropriate level. I don’t get to count on all the fun learning activities that my son will do at daycare. I AM THE DAYCARE. If my son is going to learn is A,B,C’s and 1,2,3’s – that’s on me.
I don’t get any personal time. When the baby is asleep, I’m working from home. When I can’t work any more, I’m asleep. When I’m asleep, the baby wakes up. I’m lucky if I get all of my contracted work done on time and get to bed before midnight. I have so much in my head I want to write about, so many books I want to read, things I want to crochet, and I even missed Farmer Chris on the Bachelor last night I was so busy! There is no ME time, it’s just WE time.
I pretty much never shower. Because ain’t nobody got time for that.
I am my own cheerleader. Nobody is going to pat you on the back for being a stay-at-home-mom. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Instead they passive aggressively say things like “you can always go back to work” or “to everything there is a season”. When you ask for a break, your husband will say he is too tired because come on, he had to WORK all day.
People think I don’t have a job. I cook, I clean, I write, I teach, I stay up all night, I work from home, I even bring in an income. Still, people don’t think I “work”.
But still, at the end of the day it’s quite possibly the most amazing experience I have ever had. Despite what I gave up to be here, I don’t regret it for a second. I was unhappy with my life, and I chose to make a change. I have no regrets.
I mean honestly! I get to experience everything with my son for the first time. First words, first foods, every single new experience. I get to be there. I get to watch him grow and change every day. I get to see his eyes sparkle when he tries something new. I get to be there when he falls, or when he succeeds. I don’t have to pay someone else to take those experience for granted. I don’t have to have the thought in the back of my mind anymore that my son is being raised by someone else. I don’t have to wake up one morning to see that my baby turned into a toddler, because I watched it happen before my eyes.
I am my own cheerleader. I am more confident now than I ever was before. I am confident because I know that I have made the best choice for my son, my husband, and our family as a whole. I get to represent every woman who ever had a choice (to stay home or to go to work), or those who wished they had the choice. I get to say I had a choice, and I made mine with pride. I count my blessings every day knowing I had that option. Women haven’t always had options, staying at work just to prove you can “do it all” seems pretty counterproductive to me.
Sure, there are things about being a stay-at-home mom that aren’t so glamorous. It’s easy to fall into the trap of complaining, and feeling judged by other women who think it “must be nice to wear yoga pants all day”. I choose to see the good in my “work” because that is what I do every day – work. Being a mom is my job, and I do it with pride. I hope can feel the same about yours!