I never pictured myself as being a stay-at-home mom. When I was pregnant with Allison, right up until about the last month, I told myself I was going back to work after she was born. Slowly, I realized I wouldn’t be able to leave her, so John and I sat down and figured out how we were going to make it work. It was absolutely terrifying but once Allison arrived and I became a full-time mom, I had to jump right in. I had to adjust big time to making my own schedule and suddenly attending to a baby’s needs 24/7. There were some big sacrifices AND gains, and today I’m reminiscing about everything that had to change.
What I Sacrificed
My income/career. All I’ve ever known was working outside the home. I started at McDonalds when I was 15 and was there for almost 10 years, overlapping that with massage therapy for almost 7 years. I was used to waking up early, going to work for 8-12 hours, then coming home to dinner, TV, and bed. I was a working woman; it’s just who I was. I worked really hard to get to where I was, especially in my massage career, and as soon as I had Allison I let it slip away.
Adult conversation. Oh, how I miss being able to talk to adults all day! Right now I have a toddler who shoves two toys at me and grunts because she wants me to make them talk to each other. I do still have my opportunities for non-kid adult time, like at MOPS or when I volunteer at church, but that’s different from being away 8 hours a day interacting with people the whole time.
What I Gained
Freedom to go where I want, when I want. When I say this, I mean if we suddenly run out of something at home, I can just grab Allison and go to the store instead of having to schedule a time when I’m not at work/not exhausted from a long day of working. Also included in this is the freedom to stay home and take care of Allison while she’s sick. As an example, at the age of 7 months, Allison somehow got mono and chicken pox at the same time. She wasn’t allowed to go anywhere for almost 2 months while everything cleared up. If I were still working, I would have had to take time off work to be with her, and that’s absolutely hard to do. I’m so thankful that I’m able to be home while these things happen.
Quality time with Allison. I was there for every moment with her; when she first started crawling, when she took her first steps, when she started to name letters of the alphabet…I was the one to be there to teach her, to play with her, to be there for the big milestones. Nothing can beat that.
The skills to save more money. Being able to stay home with Allison required a huge sacrifice in regards to income, but with that came a strong desire to save money to make up for that. I’ve lowered our grocery bill quite a bit and have found other ways to keep costs low in the household, and that more than makes up for my lost income.
I’m past year 2 of being a stay-at-home mom, and while I did give up a lot of things, I gained even more, and the opportunity to care for my daughter just surpasses any kind of income I could be making. My goal is to make being home a priority, through whatever means necessary. And what a blessing it is that I’m starting to make an income through this blog, which definitely lightens the load! Thank you to all the moms that are able to stay home to take care of their children; even though you may be going through hard times, know that you’re doing what you feel is right for them!