The arrival of James brought many happy changes to our household; aside from the obvious ones, the biggest change has been me saying goodbye to the “workforce” and saying hello to a new boss.
Her name is Reese.
I am officially a stay at home mom. I can’t say I care much for that particularly phrase as a definition of what I do now, but I haven’t found a better one, so for now that’s what I’ll say.
The choice was not a difficult one for us. The cost of daycare was greater than what I was making at my job and even with the offer of a raise and the option to go part-time, it wouldn’t have been worth it.
Having said that, since I had Reese, all I wanted to do was be home with her. The fact that I have that opportunity now makes me feel very happy and very lucky.
I know how hard it is to leave your baby for ten hours a day. Sometimes I would come home and swear she looked older than she had when I left that morning. I also know how hard it can be to stay at home with your baby for ten hours a day. Some days you may wish you were at work. At least when you’re there you can eat and go to the bathroom whenever you want.
Each is hard for different reasons, and I don’t believe that one is easier than the other.
I feel inclined to say this because articles on social media, in magazines and pretty much everywhere, lead me to believe that there is some sort of weird secret competition among moms. Countless articles talk about why stay at home moms are the most underappreciated and have the hardest jobs, or why stay at home moms should shut up and stop complaining because working moms have it much harder. I even hesitate to write about this for fear that I will offend. I know this topic can make people get all in your face and crazy.
We are all doing the same thing. We are all feeding, and changing, and not sleeping, and chasing, and looking for shoes and wiping butts and dealing with meltdowns at the grocery store, and that shit is hard.
Going from working full-time to being home with kids full-time was a big transition, but a happy one for me.
It does feel weird to not have a place to be every day, or a real schedule, but we make an effort to get out of the house each day. There are days when I feel stuck in an unending cycle of feeding, cleaning, and changing and I find myself longing for the days of after work drinks and wearing real pants. But we have friends and family members with kids who live nearby, so we have people to hang out with when we need to get out of our rut, and that is helpful.
Also, I kinda like my new coworkers so that doesn’t hurt either.
I will forever feel very lucky because I was able to stay home with my kids. In the thick of it there were plenty of times when I felt like an under-achiever. But now that I am about to retire from the career I got started on late, I know I was able to follow the best path for me. It sounds like you, too, are headed in the right direction for you.
Thanks Candy! I feel the same way! Sometimes I hate when people ask what I do now, but I know it’s making me and our family happy so that’s what I’m focusing on!