My stint as a stay at home mom has lasted 18 months so far, and soon it will be ending. My husband and I were looking at our finances and the forecast was revealing that I should return to work sooner than later if we were wanting to make progress towards our financial and family goals.
I am incredibly thankful for the time I’ve gotten to stay home with my son. It’s a bittersweet feeling entering into this transition. On one hand, I’m going to really miss all the time I get to spend with my family and the spontaneous, sweet and fun moments that fill most days (between moments of biting, hair pulling, throwing food, tossing things into the toilet, falls, scraped knees, bumped heads and emotional reactions from both of us). On the other hand, I am excited to use my skills, passion and creativity in a professional work environment where I feel I really thrive. In my last few days of SAHM-hood I’m soaking in every moment and not counting down ’til bedtime.
Before a job offer came, I thought I’d have to justify an 18 month gap of unemployment on my resume. It turns out that wasn’t necessary! Now that my start date is right around the corner I’m piecing together my plans for child care. I know I’ll have to adjust to a new daily rhythm and it’s a little heartbreaking to know I may only see my son a few hours somedays when I’m used to spending all day long with him now.
Despite these challenges and the many I’m unaware I’ll face, I am excited for the connection and involvement with those outside of my home and social circle. I know I’ll miss a lot about being home to care for my son but as a good friend recommended, I’ll aim to be fully present wherever I am. At work, I’ll put my head down and do my job with full intention. When I’m home, that is sacred time for me to be present with my family. I pray this is a balance I can maintain.
I’ve had to face that I’ll be sacrificing quality time with my family for a pay check, connection with other adults, using my gifts and talents to help others and honestly, a to-do list I can feel a bit more accomplished by. For some moms, being the one to care for children is much more valuable than any of these reasons. I completely get that, but it’s also a luxury for a family to be able to live on a single income, especially in a city with a high cost of living. We aim to live simply and budget wisely but our goals to grow our family, stay in San Diego and pursue projects we are passionate about means we need to increase our income.
Being a stay at home mom has it’s challenges. Being a working mom will have it’s own to face. Being a mom is hard all around and I’m grateful to experience multiple perspectives on my journey through it.