Thursday, May 3, 2012

On Being a Stay at Home Mom

Good Morning!

Before I do anything else, I must send a huge shout out to Melissa of Filling our Bucket because she has been so kind to our little blog and has helped us out so much! So, THANK YOU, Melissa! Make sure you stop by her blog and show her some love!

I recently met Carla, another local blogger, and I am loving her blog. She has started a discussion about the "mommy wars" that are so frequently discussed by the media. You know, the typical working moms vs. stay-at-home moms and who is better!? It really is so silly.

Anyway, she asked her readers to share their stories and experiences with her and I thought I would answer her questions and share them here. I wrote this a few days ago and it's not perfect, but it is all the things that were in my heart that day.

So, here it is.

It took me six years to earn my Bachelors of Arts in Early Childhood Education/English. I started off at a community college and then worked my bum off studying and bar tending my way through college so that I could become a teacher.

 By the way, they lied to us. Told us there was a huge need for teachers of young children, but that's another story. I was lucky enough to always find work, but never in a public school and never in one of those awesome union teaching jobs. Let's just say that I was lucky that my husband made decent money because early childhood teachers make crap. And that's pathetic because we work pretty damn hard to teach and care for other people's children.

All that to say, that I knew even before I became pregnant that I would not go back to work once I started having my babies. The only thing that I have ever wanted to do was be a mama. I would have gotten married and had babies at 10 years old if I could have. I was meant for motherhood. And secondly, if I did go back to work I would have been working just to put my kids in daycare. And what's the fun of that? So really, there was no question. It wouldn't have made any sense for me to work.

My mom stayed home with my brother and I when we were young. She would babysit other children during the day to help earn extra money while my dad worked days and went to school at night. When we were a little older, she got an administrative assistant job at our school. So, basically, she was always with us. We ate breakfast together, drove to school together, ate dinner together, did homework together, and so on. I liked it that way.

 I know it isn't possible for everyone to stay home with their children, but I know it is the right thing to do for me and my family. And honestly, working in daycares and teaching in schools really helped me to solidify my decision. It erased all my doubt. I always felt so sad that some families had to drop off their babies super early in the morning and not see them until dinner time. I used to think about how I was actually spending more time with these babies then their mamas and daddies and it made my heart break for them.

Don't take that the wrong way. I do not judge families that have their kiddos in daycare at all! I know it is necessary sometimes. And for different reasons too. Moms and dads have to work for all different reasons. Some can't live without the income, some might need the health insurance, some need the sanity of going to work, and some have a passion so strong for what they do that it would be a shame for them to not be doing it! It's all okay :) For real.

I feel lucky that my husband has always been supportive of me staying at home to raise our baby. I do think that he had all the usual kinds of doubt about money and stuff for a while. I also think that at the beginning he really thought it would be so easy. I'll be honest here, I even thought it would be easy. I thought I could take care of my girl, keep up with the house, make incredible dinners, and have a social life. What a joke! I was delusional to think that and I am thankful that my wonderful husband has really started to understand that it will not be that way. Not with a toddler in the house anyway! He will sometimes make comments like, "So, what did you do today?" as he looks around the untidy house and I try not to punch him as he quickly makes up for it by saying something like, "It must have been a rough day" or something like that! Hehe :)

Being a stay at home mama is not easy. It's challenging every single day. It can be stressful. It can be boring. But, it is so rewarding. Even on those days when my kiddo won't nap and I want to rip my hair out, throw things, and drink beer (I may or may not be having one of those days right now), I still go to bed with a smile on my face and a very thankful heart. And the best part is when my husband looks at me and tells me that he is thankful I can stay home too. That it's worth not going out to dinner and doing all the things we used to. That's how I really know that what I am doing is the best thing for us.

XOXO Sarah

**Just so you hubby makes decent money, but not enough. We have dept and I sometimes feel super guilty that I am not working. I try not to let it get to me though because I am pretty confident in two things. 1. If I was working, our money situation wouldn't be too much better because I'd be spending the majority of my check on daycare. 2. It's worth the sacriffices. I don't mind all that much that I am wearing clothes that don't really fit (I always feel bad spending money on myself, which is also dumb, but it happens) or that we aren't going on family vacations, or even that my house is so darn tiny. What we have I am thankful for. We are never hungry, we are never without. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for this opportunity that I have to be at home. I soak it up. because it may not last forever. Aaaand I also want to re-state that I do not think that there is anything in the world wrong with mom's that work. I actually have great respect and admiration for them because they have two full time jobs and they are super heros in my book :) I just don't want anyone thinking I am a snob or judging or anything like that. I am not. I promise. xo


  1. the struggle that will never end. So happy you can do what you want!

  2. Sarah, I honestly just felt like I was reading my story--except I was in school for 9 years hehe but to my defense, I did take some time off during those 9 years! Anyway, like you, I have always wanted to be at home with my babies. My mom stayed home with us as well and looking back on it, we went without a lot, but us kids never knew, they made the best of it. I remember my mom clipping coupons and shopping at 2 or 3 different grocery stores to save money...and I'm now following in her footsteps. Before I married my husband, he always told me he wanted his wife to work, I never argued because I knew that we would probably need the second income. But after having our daughter his frame of mind completely changed and he wanted me to stay home. He has always been a hard worker and ended up landing a job that would allow me to stay home. With one less income, money is tighter more months than not, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Being a stay at home mom is not easy, like you there are days I want a beer (or 3), but I wouldn't have it any other way. I had the same vision you did--a clean house, incredible meals and care for my daughter. I quickly learned that I didn't know how to juggle everything. So now while my house is not as clean as I would like it, we have decent meals (with an occasional one that's incredible) but the amount of fun I have with my daughter outweighs all that. I love being home with my daughter and watching her grow.
    You are an amazing mom and such an inspiration to me (and I'm sure many others). Keep up the amazing work!

  3. Michele, it will never end because there is no right answer!! :)

    And thank you, Becky. That was really sweet. I am inspired by so many of my friends (you and Michele included!!!). And on those days or weeks I start to feel uninspired, I pull out the teacher in me and do silly things like rearrange L's toys and make labels like I would do in my classroom. I am a dork.

  4. I understand the guilt about not working. It seems like when you are looking at the bills if only I was working we could get out of debt, but like you pointed out ...daycare costs. I know with my BS in Psych I would not be making very good money at any job.

    Sounds like you also have a supportive husband, and kids don't care about having tons of stuff. They appreciate more when it's not all the time.

    You should see how excited mine are to "eat in" at Burger King :)