I have been extremely fortunate to have the opportunity of staying home to be a mom and homemaker during the day. I am a first-time mom to the goofiest little boy around and to get to be with him all day every day is literally a dream come true. I found out I was pregnant during my last semester of college (this was very planned!) and after graduation I switched from part-time at work to (nearly) full-time.
I worked up until the day before I gave birth; I walked up and down the stairwell and bounced on a large ball at my desk trying to keep the inconsistent contractions coming! The next morning, while at the hospital in labor, I let my boss know the previous day was my last, I sent out my last few instructions to my team, and I released control over to the person taking my place. And just like that, I was officially a stay-at-home-mom…a few days later when I left the hospital with my baby boy ;)
After a few weeks of being CRAZY tired and unable to think about anything besides what was happening at the moment reality slowly began to sink in. This was my life now. Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom when I grew up. One day I was sitting on the couch with my cute babe and I thought to myself, “is this what I pictured all those years? Is this what I imagined my life would be like?”
Before I go on, please know that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE my boy and I count being able to stay at home one of my biggest blessings! But with that said, you should also know that it was a hard transition for me. I wasn’t prepared for how difficult it would be to not only become a parent but to succumb to this new way of life. Quite the shift! Here are a few of my biggest problems adjustments:
Lack of Adult Socialization
This was hands-down the hardest to overcome. Actually, I’m still trying to overcome this! I don’t think I ever consciously noticed the impact or benefit of social interactions throughout the day while working and going to school. It was simply a part of my everyday life. For the first little bit my husband was so happy about how excited I was to see him when he got home from work. But then one day something must’ve dawned on him because he said, “…. wait a minute. You’re not excited to see me, you’re just excited to see SOMEONE!” I denied it but before too long, I completely agreed with him. Becoming a stay-at-home-mom made me realize just how much I needed other people in my life. I really truly missed adult socialization.
Combatting this newfound loneliness wasn’t easy, especially with a newborn in the middle of winter. For a while it simply came down to waiting for my husband to come home and spilling every single detail about the day. Even though baby and I didn’t do much! But once it warmed up (and we moved to a super cute, more walking accessible neighborhood) I was outside multiple times a day walking my babe. Not only was I able to meet a lot of new neighbors very quickly; I was TALKING TO OTHER PEOPLE!
Still to this day, taking walks with my little man is my main source of adult interaction (besides hanging out with my husband-but like we established before, it’s just not the same). The older my babe gets, the easier it becomes to plan, schedule, and attend events-whether by myself or with him in tow. I’ve had to train myself to occasionally get out of my comfort zone and say ‘yes’ a whole lot more because I now understand the benefit and happiness other people bring into my life.
Validation/Goals/Discipline/I’m Not Sure What to Call This One
It’s hard to go the extra mile when there’s no promotion ahead, a pay raise to receive, or a review period coming up. I obviously met all of my baby’s needs, but beyond that, it was hard not to fall into a slump of sorts. I’ve always been a to-do list person, and I stopped making to-to lists because, for a little bit there, I lost the sense of reward and gratification at accomplishing something. It simply isn’t the same as working out of the house.
My husband has never been one to get upset when he gets home and I have absolutely no dinner plans, the laundry isn’t folded, or I still haven’t showered… And thank goodness for that! Because it took some time to find a groove and discipline myself into getting things done. My child is, was, and always will be my number one priority. But after a lot of practice and a little switch of mindset, I’ve been able to get a whole lot more done around the house and I’ve learned to recognize the important role I play when I do so. Except on my lazy days of course!
Payday is everybody’s favorite day. It was mine especially, because I always received a candy bar with my paycheck! The world we live in revolves around money and it’s not soon going to change. How grateful I am that my husband is able to make enough for our family’s needs, which allows me to be home every day, but sometimes I miss my bi-weekly paychecks! A piece of paper with my name on it, telling me exactly how many hours I worked, and how much I was being rewarded for the work I put in. Very gratifying.
Nowadays, my paycheck is something a lot more meaningful. Smiles and coos early on, milestones like sleeping more than 3 hours at a time or saying first words, cuddles and kisses when I need them most, and LOTS of laughter and wrestling. Watching him learn and grow before my eyes has been such a joy, and I’ve learned to love the small amazing things like I used to love my paychecks.
My role as a stay-at-home-mom isn’t always easy or glamorous and I certainly don’t have it all figured out. Just like other moms out there working from home, or outside of the home whether full-time or part-time don’t always have a glamorous or figured-out life. But the point of life isn’t for us to be glamorous or have everything figured out. The point of life is to enjoy our paycheck moments while doing the very best we can!
Feature Image Credit: hellofashionblog.com
Great article, Jamie!!! You are amazing !!!