Up until almost a year ago I had been a full-time working mom since I was 18 years old. I missed seeing Gavin’s first steps. I missed school parties, birthdays, family fun and first words. I missed being the one to take care of him when he was sick (as crazy as that sounds.) I missed turning in home work assignments when they were due and fundraisers. I missed tucking him in at night and waking him up some mornings. I missed Gavin. I worked more than 40 hours a week for most of Gavin’s first eight years. I was tired. I would come home from working, with achy feet and tired thoughts. I would try to make sure and spend quality time with my child and husband. I cherished that short amount of time that I had with them each day even if it was just in the car on the way to practice, church or to the store. Being a “working” mom is hard, y’all.
When we found out in 2014 that we were having baby Layton, Gage and I both really felt like my place in our family was going to be at home with our boys. This was a very hard decision for me. You’d think after all of those things that I listed above it would be an easy decision, but it wasn’t. I was good at working. I’m not just saying that to brag. I enjoyed working and am very good at what I do for a living. It was really difficult for me to picture myself not working and helping to support my family since that is all I had done since I was eighteen years old. I didn’t know if I knew how to “just” be a mommy. Could I just sit at home all day? (Ha!)
Gage had been planning on finding a better paying job all throughout my pregnancy, but we didn’t really try too hard. That was until literally the day that Layton was born. Within a few hours of his birth, Gage was on our tablet applying for higher paying jobs. We both realized that day basically that God’s calling for my life was to be at home with my boys.
I spent what felt like the first month of Layton’s life on the couch nursing him. Thankfully, Gage took care of household chores during that time. It took me almost a full year of being a stay-at-home-mom to get in a groove of being a home-maker, taking care of the kids, and of my Etsy business that I decided to start when I had a new baby. (Ha! again). I swear that whole first 8 months of staying home, my house looked like a game of Jumanji had just been played. I was still missing school due dates and activities. I still had achy feet and tired thoughts. I missed talking to adults. Being a SAHM is a completely different kind of tired, y’all, and guess what!? It’s hard, too.
There were only a couple of times during this period that Gage mustered up the courage to utter the words, mostly jokingly, “If you’re home all day, why aren’t the dishes done?” or “Why don’t I have any clean shirts?” PSHHHHHHH! I love this man to death, y’all, but he sure knows how to push my buttons. I used to think those thoughts, too about stay at home moms. It is a full time job. It is not easy.
In some ways it is harder to stay home than “getting to” leave and go to work each day. There are also so many days that I am so thankful for getting to be here for Layton’s firsts and even some of Gavin’s still. I get to tuck them in at night and wake them each morning. The grass is not greener on the other side. It is greener where you water it. Figure out where God wants you to be and where your family needs you to be. Don’t be jealous of other moms and dads and don’t make them feel bad if they choose to either work or stay home. No matter their decision, they are missing something and they are gaining something.
Do you stay home with your kids and enjoy it? Do you work and enjoy it? Do you wish you could do one or the other? Let me know in the comments below as well as your thoughts in the comments below.
I hope that this post helps you to keep the sanity in your life.