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Dorothy We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

First let me start by saying that I never ever expected to be a Stay At Home Mom. As I type this my baby girl is snuggled in the cook of my arms FINALLY napping. I expected to work full time as my mother did. I expected that I’d put my children in daycare and fight the good corporate fight during the day and be super mom once 5 pm came. I never expected what motherhood would do to me. It has made me less selfish. It has made me more creative. It has given me a new voice. It’s made me want to help others. Motherhood changed everything I thought I knew about myself and remade me into the strongest version of myself. I am totally, helplessly in love with my children.

The Long Journey Home

From the moment they were born, every decision I’ve made has been about them. When I expected to return to work after my first child was born, well that existed in the BC “before children” part of my life. I looked at my baby girl, tiny and helpless and I knew I couldn’t leave her for more than eight hours a day with people I didn’t know. So I worked part-time for a few years while my mom watched her. Then as her health declined and my company underwent a merger I knew I had to figure something else out. So I opened a daycare with a friend. Six months in we weren’t making enough money to sustain either of us so we called it quits.

Come April, It’ll be three years I’ve been home with my kids and it’s been an amazing journey. But there is one question that always stops my heart. It’s the question well-meaning friends or family ask. It’s the question I ask myself in those moments I see my older children taking on more responsibilities and becoming more independent. “When are you going back to work?”

The REALLY Hard Questions

It’s a question that is just as hard for me to answer as the question my grandmother asked me when I brought my first child home from the hospital – “Why are you going back to work when you wanted that baby so much?” These are the hard questions. These are the ones that haunt you, but also spur you on to figure out what you REALLY want in life. It’s a question I can’t answer because I just don’t know. I know it’s not going to happen until my last baby is in school, but anything could happen in five years.

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In The Great Battle Of Work And Home – Home Won

Now I recognize that it was only with my mother’s help that I was able to find that happy balance of work and home. Without her for the last few years I’ve had to grow into the mother she would have wanted me to be; one that didn’t need to rely on her to make my life work. In the great battle of work and home, home won. If it weren’t for these three years I’ve been home with my kids I wouldn’t have my baby girl Sydney. I look at her and I’m so blessed that she’s here in my life just where she was always meant to be.

SAHMs Aren’t ALL The Same

Stay At Home Moms aren’t the homogeneous group people might think. We all work differently. We all have different schedules. We all feel differently about our family situations. You could call us CEOs of our own little companies.

So if you know a Stay At Home mom, try to resist asking her when she’ll return to work. You likely won’t get the answer your looking for. Most of us don’t think we ever stopped working. What we stopped doing was getting paid for our work. As for when I’ll collect a paycheck again, that I can’t answer because I’m too busy breathing in that sweet baby smell for as long as I can.

I love this commercial that interviews people for the world’s toughest job – being a mom.

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