I became a stay at home mom just under a year ago after my second child was born. That’s right, my second child.
After I had my first child, my daughter, Peyton, I decided to go back to work part-time and it worked for the most part. I had been at the same job for close to 15 years since the day I graduated from college. While it had been good to me, it got infinitely more challenging when I had a child. With the increase of technology, I was expected to be available all the time, even the days I wasn’t working, even the hours I wasn’t working. It got really tough, and I was not happy. I felt like I wasn’t giving my best at work and I wasn’t giving my best to Peyton and our family. I was more and more unhappy.
When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, my son, Gage, I started thinking about taking a step back from working and becoming a stay at home mom. Peyton was old enough that she would be in preschool a few days a week and I was tired of being pulled in so many different directions and feeling like I wasn’t giving my best to any of them. I was lucky enough that my husband is super supportive. So after my maternity leave ended last October, I gave my notice and started my stay at home journey.
I will tell you though – being a stay at home mom is no joke. From the outside, it looks like it would be a lot easier – nowhere to be in the morning, no more pressures from the outside. But it’s not. It’s not easier or harder, it’s just different circumstances that present its own set of challenges.
Challenges of Being a Stay at Home Mom
There is no escape from the kids. There are very few breaks, no one helping you out. It’s you, all day, every day. That can be tough, especially as the kids go through growing pains – sleep regression, teething, or just having a bad day. It all comes down on you – and to be honest, it can be super overwhelming.
Some days, the transition has seemed easy. Being able to focus more on my kids, without having to feel like I’m being pulled away by work, has been unbelievable. My heart is constantly full – but my patience sometimes takes a beating! I love being able to spend the day outside playing with them, without having to constantly be checking my email on my phone or taking calls from work.
Lessons from Being a Stay at Home Mom
Over the last year, I’ve learned a few things that have helped me:
- Just because you are home, does not mean your house will always be clean!! I had such a hard time with this at first – I would feel guilty thinking, I’m home all the time, how can I not keep up with this? Because there are little ones constantly needing my attention! I learned to adjust my expectations and just try to do one or two things a day.
- It’s ok to abandon the plan to have some fun! Some days, the weather is beautiful and we are having too much fun to stick to any sort of plan of chores – so I’ve learned not to worry about the dishes and laundry, and work my best to live in those moments where we are laughing and playing.
- There are days that are not all sunshine and rainbows – even though you are home, you are still tired, and the kids have bad days. Some days I need to take a deep breath and just roll with what’s going on with the kids. Some days, I’m still just trying to get through.
- It’s ok to take a break for me. It’s easy to get caught up in everything that you feel needs to get done around the house when it stares you in the face day in and day out. But you know what, when the kids are napping, sometimes taking a rest, whether it’s 5 minutes or an hour, for myself, does wonders!
- Friendships change. Some of my closest friends I made at my previous job. And they were easy to maintain because I saw them pretty much every day. Now that I am living a completely different lifestyle, it’s much more effort to maintain them – but it’s important to keep connected or find other ways other ways to connect with other moms.
I don’t regret my decision to stay home one bit – it’s afforded me with so much bonding with my kids and taught me to slow down some and enjoy the moments. I’m still figuring things out and they continue to challenge me every day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
This story originally appeared on Dresses and Dinosaurs