One year ago I clocked out of the working world for the very last time. It was a very bittersweet moment as I walked through those glass doors for the last time. I was walking away from known financial security, my independence and my inquired extended family. I was walking into everything I have always wanted. I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. I was going to be a full-time wife. My view from there was a rolling hill full of the greenest grass I had ever seen. Even though I cried both tears of joy and fear as soon as I got into my car that day, I knew I was making the right choice. We had originally planned that I would work through my pregnancy and after my FMLA was over I just would not return. I just couldn’t get pregnant. The hectic schedule and stress of working retail for ten years was starting to take a toll on my body. I actually joked that maybe the only time I was ovulating was Saturday nights when I was at work until midnight. We had decided that we would look into adopting and began the orientation class. I wanted a newborn and to increase our chances, one of us had to be available 24 hours a day. So after the ninth straight negative pregnancy test I marched into work and handed in my two week’s notice. We would give ourselves three more months of trying and than we would really start the adoption process. Crazy thing happened… the night after I left my very last day at work, my husband surprised me with a date night. It was filled with dinner, mojitos, swanky drinks and a hotel stay free of kids. Ohhhhh yea… and a fetus. That Saturday night is the night I finally got pregnant. It was the first signs of many that this is what we needed to do. It isn’t always easy, it isn’t always fun but that is what makes it exciting. I have decided to celebrate my first year as a SAHM with a list. The good, the bad, and the ugly…
- I get to cook dinner for my family every night if I want to
- I get to kiss my girls goodnight
- I was able to really get to know Lily before Harper was born.
- I am able to exclusively breastfeed Harper
- I get to cloth diaper Harper
- I am able to commit to this blog
- I get to talk to my best friend damn near everyday when he calls me on his lunch break
- I get to spend weekends with my husband
- I will never take holidays for granted again
- I am able to buy Bountiful Baskets and go to garage sales
- I can actually make plans on the weekends and more than just one weekend a month if I wanted to
- Riley gets to do soccer AND Girl Scouts AND Karate
- I get to watch my kids growing up
- My sister in law was able to throw an impromptu wedding and I was not only able to attend… I was able to execute it (more on that in the near future)
- I am a PRESENT parent. I am here physically, mentality and spiritually 100% of the time
- Much, much more than this but these are the biggies
- I am constantly stressed out about money… CONSTANTLY
- I am tired. I am legitimately exhausted in the purest form.
- I have zero “me” time. ZEROOOOOOO
- My day-to-day interaction with any adults is very slim to none
- I miss the extended family that I had a work. I miss the outlet of having a support system when times weren’t so great and having people to share news with when it was.
- I spend way too much time on Pinterest getting ideas for stuff around the house. This is not technically on my bad list but it definitely is on my husband’s.
- My mommy guilt has gotten worse. I constantly fear that time away from Harper will mean I miss her accomplishing a milestone. This puts a strain on my relationship with my husband. I never really remember feeling that way with the other girls.
- Riley had a much more difficult time adjusting to a full time mom than I had first anticipated. It is still something that we battle with.
- I suffer from buyer’s remorse anytime I buy something for myself.
- My husband has decided that there isn’t much that he HAS to do around the house. I am literally on the clock any time my eyes are open. If I need or want help I have to yell for it.
- I can’t blow off the stuff I don’t want to attend and blame it on work.
- I don’t get to shower everyday. Honestly I would be lying if I said I don’t lose track in between showers because they can be so spread out.
- When I do shower it is NEVER alone. Harper usually joins me.
- My house is never as clean as I want it to be. Nor is it ever as clean as I feel like it should be.
- My kids aren’t always as well behaved as I think a SAHM’s kids should be. Riley acts out to push limits and Lily is three. They are constantly testing where the cracks in my foundation may be therefore I am always having to stay consistent. It can be very daunting.
All in all, I know that forfeiting my income to raise our children was the right choice for my family. I have been on both sides of this coin and it is not easy either way. I would be totally lying my face off if I said that my husband and daughters nourished every single aspect of my being. I have a creative side that gets sacrificed sometimes, I have a social life that seems like a thing of the past and I really, really miss alone time. I look at my almost nine year-old daughter and see everything we both missed out on when she was young and I realize that it will all be worth the sacrifice. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that multiple times in a day. I don’t want to miss out on anything anymore. Overall, the good out weighs the bad even when the bad seems really overwhelming. I can proudly say that I can be either a SAHM or a working mom successfully. They are both the hardest, most rewarding jobs in the world. At the end of the day the most important part of either title is MOM.