For the first (almost) two years of motherhood, I was a working mom. I worked full time, Monday through Friday. Luckily, my mom, and other family members, watched Madeline, and I was able to see her on my lunch break every day, but after a while, that just wasn’t enough for me anymore.
I felt like I was missing everything. My girl was growing so, so fast, and I spent half of her life sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen. This broke my heart. My husband and I decided that it was time to change that. We decided that it would benefit all of us to be home with Madeline. We decided that we would figure out how to make it work on one income.
I just knew, in my heart, that this was what I needed to do. I was not, in any way, passionate about my job. There was never a time in my life where I felt like I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, until I had Madeline. The second I held her I knew that the exact reason I was put on this earth was to be a mom.
Once we found out I was pregnant with Blake, we knew this was the perfect time to make the change.
My last day of work was June 20, 2014.
I remember thinking about how much time I would have. The house would be clean. The laundry would be done. I would make animal shaped pancakes every morning, and special lunches. We would take afternoon naps. Are you laughing yet? Why do we alway have the idea that things will be easy before we actually try them? Easy, it is not. Rewarding? That would depend on your definition of “reward”. Worth it? 100%. Hard? More than you could believe.
It was a big adjustment. It still is an adjustment, but I am definitely feeling more confident in my day to day life. My house is definitely not clean. Laundry tends to stay in baskets, and our sink is often full, even though we have a dishwasher. There are toys, and books, and dustbunnies on the floor. There are handprints on the windows. Some days I’m lucky if I get out of my pajamas before lunch. My days often consist of changing diapers in between meeting the needs of a screaming child. BUT, When Blake said his first word, crawled, sat up, took his first steps, tried peas for the first time, blew a kiss, clapped his hands, rolled over… I was there.
Now, there are definitely things about this stay at home life that make me question my sanity at times. There are days that I feel like I’m stuck in the movie Groundhog Day. I load and unload the dishwasher over and over and over. I wipe noses, change diapers, get little people food, attempt to clean the house, get dinner ready. I don’t ever leave “work”. I don’t get raises, or bonuses, or even paid for the matter. Not in money anyway. I get kisses, and snuggles, and laughter. Amidst the insanity, there are things that fill my heart with joy.
Another huge adjustment was cutting back to one income. It was the scariest part, because the world mostly revolves around money. You have to pay your bills, and eat, and there are all these expectations of things you need, and things you have to see, and just… things. But, after figuring out what day care for two children would cost us, we wouldn’t have had the extra income anyway, so that made the decision a bit easier. Although, there are still days when I have to remind myself of that fact.
We don’t always have a ton of money left over after the bills are paid. We don’t have cable. We rarely go out to eat. But, we also don’t care.
Some days I am sad that I didn’t get to be home with Madeline from the beginning, but I like that I got to experience motherhood both ways. It makes me certain that I am doing what is best for our family now. Because in the end, that’s the only thing that really matters.