My life as a student and happy employee came to an abrupt halt the minute he entered my life. Enter: adjusting to being a stay-at-home mom round #1. It was shocking, scary and downright overwhelming. I should preface by saying I suffered from post-partum depression for quite some time, but the transition is just...rough.
Now, I am at adjusting to being a stay-at-home mom round #2. After working part-time for 3 years, 2 of which at a company I adore, I was thrown into (and also blessed) with the opportunity to be at home. It hasn't all been roses and I have hard days still. I am so happy to be able to share this time with my guys, but to be honest, it is a huge adjustment!
My only sister also made the leap at the same time. After being a single mom for 3 years, working 2 jobs and having only 2 days off per month, she was married to a wonderful man, moved 2 hours away and became a SAHM to 3. She felt (and still feels) that the brakes had been hit...hard.
After a late-night sister phone call about how to cope with this new life, I knew I needed to share what we are learning together because really, being Mom can be the best job ever!
Watch for future tips. I separated the tips to avoid a huge post!
Wherever you were before your leap into being a stay-at-home mom, you life before was no doubt dramatically different. There isn't much that compares with this gig and so it seems completely foreign and frankly, scary! One of the biggest challenges I have had is leaving the workplace.
My sister and I left our jobs, that we enjoyed. Our jobs weren't fulfilling only because of the money or the time away from our kiddos. It left us something that we could measure and be proud of. We were good at those jobs! The diapers? They pile up and give you no credit at all! Don't even get me started on the tantrums...
Being Mom isn't a thankless job, but if you are comparing job incentives to rewards of being there for your children, well, apples to oranges my friend! I am a firm believer that comparison will rob you of joy, even if you're comparing your current self to your past self!
Real life example:
I still contribute to my past company here and there. The last few weeks have brought no less than 3 phone calls that consist of "we reaalllyyy want you to come back to work in XYZ position!" My point is- it is so incredibly hard to turn offers like this down. I have contemplated, talked to my husband, talked to God and contemplated some more. How can I say no? But, I have and I will. I have to let go of what was. It is not so much that I don't want to return, but my place is here.
It's hard to explain feeling so torn when life is so great that you have the opportunity to be home. Don't feel guilty that you may want pieces (and sometimes the whole cake) back of your past working life.
Inspiration to let go:
A quote I cling to when the pull gets too much:'
"No other success can compensate for failure in the home"
- David O. McKay
Did you hear that? The home is where we are needed and the most rewarding work is done! Your job, outside activities, your blogging...they are meaningless if there is failure in our homes.
Cinnamon over at Knights and Maidens has a great post that has inspired me time and again. She says regarding the first SAHMs she knew "They weren’t looking for a way out, a part time job or a hobby. Their family was their mission field and their whole heart went into them." Wow! Read the whole post here.
So, my friend, let go of what was. Yes, there are trade offs. Yes, there were good things before...but it's amazing what you'll find when you look at your life right now.
Stay tuned for the next tip: set goals. Boy, do we all need them.