Well guys, I did it. After many late night conversations, lots of time spent calculating childcare costs vs take home pay, and even some tears, hubby and I have decided the best decision for us right now is for me to stop working. So I did it, I quit my job. And as my last shift creeps up on me, its surprisingly stirring up more emotions that I thought it would.
Turns out, going back to stay at home mama is very bittersweet.
It’s the dream after all, right? Being able to stay at home and raise your family. One of you is always there, never having to miss out on milestones. Never having to worry that the person caring for your little one isn’t doing them justice.
The day my son was born I realized it was a dream I never knew I had.
I always assumed I would be a fulltime working mother. I like independence, and adult interaction, and feeling valued. I’ve always prided myself on being a good, hard working employee.
Then, I stayed home for the first year of my sons life and something in me shifted. I realized, that is where I need to be. That is where I feel the most fulfilled and the most valued. And after working for the past year and a half, I am so blessed to be able to go back to that.
But it’s still very bittersweet. Still a very difficult decision. Especially for the college graduate in me. For someone who graduated with honors when she received her bachelor’s degree, after 6 years of school. Someone who has always worked one, and often two jobs since she was 15 years old. Someone who has asked for very few handouts and has always paved her own way.
A very small part of me feels like a failure. Like how are all these other families making it work? How can they afford childcare, work full time, and still feel fulfilled as a mother? I don’t get it.
I have to remind myself that we ARE making it work, the way that works for us.
Part of me feels guilty for not contributing more financially. Like how can I possibly make my husband carry the entire burden of making sure we live the life we want?
Then he reminds me, providing for his family is far from a burden in his eyes.
Another small part feels worried about all the stigma that follows being a stay at home mom. All the judgey mcjudgers out there who have something to say about it.
Then I remember, the only persons opinion I really care about, is that tiny little human growing too fast for me to wrap my head around.
Now I completely understand, it’s not for everyone. Some women would go nuts being stuck at home all day, and I 100% understand why. It can be a thankless, isolating, and mentally exhausting thing.
I give mad props to all the hardworking mamas out there killin it in their careers. I applaud you because I know, that too, is exhausting.
And I get it, I like my job, and completely understand why working fulfills you. Why staying at home just isn’t you, I didn’t think it would be me either.
Even though it’s not for everyone, I know its the right decision for us. Our recent journey through miscarriage has really made me reflect on my journey through motherhood thus far.
If you would like to follow that story I’ll link it here:
I know it makes the most sense right now, and I am so thankful to have a hard working husband with a great job. But it doesn’t stop that bitter taste from hanging around. It doesn’t stop that little bit of guilt over not contributing as much as I would like towards the bills. And it doesn’t stop me from feeling slightly judged when I see people from highschool and they ask me what I’m up to these days.
But at the end of the day, I know none of that matters. I know that getting to hang out with my sweet boy everyday is exactly what my mama heart needs. That getting to teach, and learn, and grow with him is such an amazing gift.
I also know it isn’t permanent, that one day my babies will be going to school and I’ll go back to work. So for now, I’m going to cherish it.
Because at the end of the day, the sweet far out ways the bitter.
The Beautifully Mediocre Mama