It’s been a little over 3 years since my husband and I decided I would leave the workforce and become a stay-at-home mom. We were pregnant with our first when we made that decision. I cannot say the road has been easy. There are many days I want to quit, but it has been worth it.
I want to challenge and encourage any moms out there who want to be home, who are home and struggle, or even those that work outside the home. Being a mom is an all-encompassing job whether you are home full time or not, so I know that even if you work outside the home there will be something you can relate to.
Over the next few weeks I am going to take a look at three aspects of Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom:
1. Hardest Job Ever!
2. How I Survive Without Going Crazy
3. How We Can Afford to Live on One Income.
I wish I could say that I have all the answers for you, but I don’t. I’ve only been at this for three years. Lots of moms have tons more experience than I do, but I can share my experience, and hopefully you will find something that you can relate to, especially if you are in the early years of your kids lives as well.
That pretty much sums it up. I’ve worked many types of jobs: customer service, manual labor, printing, project management, etc. But this is, by far, the toughest job I’ve ever had. Granted, it is also the most rewarding, but toughest nonetheless. Some days I am ready to throw in the towel. While my daughter throws a tantrum and my son bangs continually on the closet door I question if I should do something about all this or just walk back in the other room and put my head under the pillow. Did I mention it’s not even 6:30AM yet? Yeah, it’s gonna be one of those days.
You’d think I would be used to all this by now, but I find that I’m not. It is easier the second time around, and yet, harder in other ways. The little years are just hard regardless.
When I first became a mom, it was hard. So hard. Everything was new to me and I had no idea what to do. It was also hard physically for entirely different reasons which you can read about here. But I just remember that I was a wreck. I didn’t know what to do with this baby. But then she grew. And she grew into a beautiful little girl, whom I adore. And it got easier in so many ways.
And then number 2 came along. And the calm groove we were in was completely disrupted again. Dynamics changed, my attention is divided, and my kids could not be more different. I’ve heard it’s a boy/girl thing. And having one of each now. Yes, I completely agree. Asher is so much more into everything and wants to be everywhere. He is rarely content to sit for long. I’ve also heard it takes longer for them to get to what I call “the good place.” So I am gearing up for another 2 difficult years with him.
I can’t say that I’m happy about that. Did I mention how hard this job is? So I’ve composed a comparison list of things that go on in a regular job vs. being at home with your kids. The comparisons are endless, but these are a few that come to mind right away.
Regular Job: You typically have a set start and finish time.
Mom at Home: Start time is whenever the kids wake up, but bedtime, blessed bedtime, is SET IN STONE! (except when someone is sick, or teething, or a newborn).
Regular Job: You have conversations with adults throughout the day about work or stuff going on in the world.
Mom at Home: You hear lots of screaming and whining, and sometimes converse about stuffed animals, or random things that toddler brains come up with. Sometimes it’s fascinating, and other times you just want to talk to someone who makes sense.
Regular Job: Often there is time for a break to get some coffee, tea or water.
Mom at Home: You can make a cup of whatever hot drink in the morning, and by the evening it is still right there where you left it, still full, but no longer warm. Although I will say that my favorite travel mug in the world helps tremendously with that. Seriously, you can fill this thing with hot tea at 7am and at 2pm it will still be warm enough to be considered hot tea. Perfect for any mom!
Regular Job: You can go to the bathroom when you need to….alone
Mom at Home: Bathroom breaks come when you can get them, rarely alone.
Regular Job: You organize your workspace and it stays that way unless you mess it up.
Mom at Home: You clean your house and it’s messy again by 8am, but not by your own doing.
Regular Job: You get vacation days and sick days.
Mom at Home: There are no built-in sick days or weeks of vacation. If you want any vacation time you have to pay sitters to have it, instead of being paid for it.
Regular Job: There is always someone who could replace you.
Mom at Home: No one can do your job like you. Your kids only have one mom. You are indispensable!
You may not get vacation time, sick time, coffee breaks, a promotion, or raise. You may not get a pat on the back or a “good job.” But you will get lots of love, lots of smiles and hugs, lots of giggles and squeals. You’ll hear first words spoken, see first steps taken, be the first they run to when they are sick, scared, or tired. They will teach you as you teach them. And you’ll learn to appreciate it more as you grow into your new job title.
Next week, I’m going to share some tips on how I survive the long days with my young kids. I have good days and bad, but there are things I’ve learned to do to help me in this newer role as mom.