I have been a stay at home mom for 11 months, and I have been so nervous about the day when I would decide to go back to work. In fact, even as recently as a month ago when I was interviewing for this new job that I am starting, I told myself that it was just practice. Well, I just wanted to see how far I could go in the process to show myself that being depressed and leaving medical school did not mean that I was incapable of doing awesome things. I fully expected to see the offer letter, smile to myself, then kindly let them know that I would not be accepting the job. It was my “calling” to stay at home with Noah and write, eventually pursuing a writing ministry.
But in my fear of taking a job outside of the home, I was limiting myself. I can do more than one thing. What was wrong with taking an exciting day job with a great salary, benefits and opportunities for growth, meanwhile nurturing my writing career and being a great mom, too? My husband and I agreed that this job would help our family pay off debt, save and invest so that we don’t have to work a day job forever. When all of our basic financial goals are met and we can take on some risk, or if I can replace my full-time income with my writing career, then I will re-evaluate the job situation.
My mistake was assuming what God had planned for me and not trusting Him with His greater plans for my life. He knows our needs before we even realize what our needs are and He loves us. I just needed to let go of control and let God do His work. So now, I get to work for a family-friendly startup, and I get to work from home most of the time. It is the perfect fit for my lifestyle and we get to almost double our household income. What a blessing! And I almost turned it down.
Doing What’s Best for the Family
The hardest part of leaving stay at home mom life is delegating the childcare to someone else. In the days leading up to Noah’s first day of daycare, I needed a lot of pep talks from my mom, my husband and my mother-in-law to get me through. Honestly, daycare will give Noah a lot of what I can’t at this age. Noah is 11 months old. He is exploring, crawling, standing and trying to walk, and he needs stimulation, and to be around other kids his age. He is an only child, and I can’t give him that socialization. I just have to let go and give Noah what he needs so that he can thrive. We both needed the daycare. I needed it because I have to focus on work, and he needs it so that he can grow and develop in the best way possible.
Leaving Him at Daycare
Let me just say, as prepared as I was, even knowing that the daycare was a highly-rated, caring and safe facility, that the first day was hard. I am so glad I didn’t have to deal with those emotions on my actual first day of work. If you can swing it, give yourself and your child a few days to acclimate before jumping into the work routine 100%. I was able to leave Noah at daycare for just a half day at first, before leaving him for the whole 7:30am to 5pm workday. I expected to be very emotional when I dropped him off, especially since I have spent almost all of every day with him since we brought him home from the hospital 11 months ago. It will take some getting used to.
Every time I sit down to work on something, I start to feel like Noah is going to wake up from his nap any minute. Then I remember that he is at daycare, and I almost feel a sigh of relief accepting this increase in bandwidth to do things that just never got done when I was doing the full-time child care: cleaning, going to the gym, running errands, and uninterrupted work time. I don’t think that we as moms should feel guilty about having reliable child care. It allows us to nurture ourselves as individuals outside of the title of “mommy”, to reach for our own goals, and provide for our families.
More than “Mommy”
I didn’t realize how much I needed to be something other than “mommy” until I took a leap of faith and took this job. I have my identity back, and I already feel happier than I was as a stay at home mom. My son makes me happy, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Other things can make me happy, too, and there is freedom in admitting that to myself. Have you ever been a Stay at Home Mom? Comment below and share reasons you decided to continue staying at home or transitioning into the workforce.