When I left my job earlier this summer, my goal was to find something else that would be less stressful and less time-consuming by the end of this summer so that I could spend more time raising my children. I had realized that the job I had was not a good fit for me. I wanted more out of my life, I wanted to be a better mom, I didn’t want to write about depressing events anymore, and I wanted to start taking better care of myself.
On June 7, I turned in my work laptop and my employee badge to my boss. My boss had security open a gate for me so I could exit the building. We shook hands, I walked to my car, and I never looked back.
I had no idea where I would be or what I would be doing on September 7. Well, here I am. I am in my home. My husband and I are still able to pay the bills. I am happier. My kids and I have created many wonderful memories together this summer while I have been home. My husband is happier. The sunflowers in our backyard are finally blooming. We have ripe tomatoes ready for picking. We are happier as a family.
Prior to quitting my job, my husband and I agreed that staying home with the kids would be a short-term gig for me. Taking a couple of months off would allow me to spend some much-needed quality time with my kids while I also looked for a job that was less than 40 hours per week. Before I had kids, I thought I could have it all. I thought that I could continue to advance in my career without having to sacrifice time with my future children. After I had my son, something inside of me changed. I suddenly wanted to be a mom. Having it all no longer included having a full-time job. I always knew I wanted a child someday, but I also thought that it would be easy to go to work and focus on my career while also being a mom. I thought I would be able to enjoy my time in the office without feeling like I was sacrificing precious moments with my children. I was so sure that I would climb the ladder quickly. I was eager to learn more, make more money, and make a name for myself in the workplace. But when I had my son, I began to realize that I had no clue just how different my life would be as a parent. I was prepared for sleepless nights. I was prepared for poopy diapers. I was prepared to make sacrifices. I was prepared for taking care of a newborn; I was not prepared for “motherhood.”
Motherhood didn’t hit me until the moment I held my newborn son in my arms. I felt a different kind of love I had never experienced before. This love continues to evolve and surprise me. Before I fall asleep every night, I think to myself that the love I have for my children must be similar to the love God has for us. I sometimes have a difficult time understanding that God loves everyone, even me. Does God really love the abuser? Does God really love the drug dealer? Does God really love the murderer? Does God really love me when all I can do is curse under my breath when the last straw has been pulled? Somehow he still loves us. And the only reason why I have any faith that God really does love us all after everything is said and done is because I now have my own children to love. And even though the love I have for my children is more powerful than I could have ever imagined, God’s love is much greater somehow. God’s love may always be a mystery to me, but my children have given me a reason to try to better understand God’s love. The change that happened inside of me after I had my son may alway be a mystery to me as well, but all I can do now is embrace this motherly love for what it is and what it means to me.
This desire to stay home with my children has been burgeoning inside my heart for years. I never thought it would be possible to stay home instead of working a full-time job. And I tried to find comfort in the reasons for not staying home because I was afraid to put my “career” on hold simply because I thought that I should just suck it up and work like many other moms. Then when I quit my job, I thought that I would be able to quench my desire to stay home with my kids by spending the summer with them before finding another part-time to full-time job. I am so silly and foolish.
Within the first few weeks of being home with my kids this summer, I realized that I needed to be home with my kids for a much longer period of time. My husband even decided that he wanted to help me make this a long-term gig instead of a short-term gig. During the first week of August, I was offered a part-time job as a front-desk receptionist at a hair salon in St. Paul. My husband and I looked over our finances and we decided that it was worth it to give it a shot. My pay is significantly lower from my previous job, but I now get to stay home with my kids. I work two nights a week. My shifts are only four hours each. We don’t have to pay for daycare because my mother-in-law has offered to come over and watch the kids when I leave for work. She watches the kiddos until my husband gets home from work, and I make dinners in the slow cooker on the nights I work so that my mother-in-law, hubby and kiddos are well-fed while I am busy being an awesome receptionist for eight hours a week.
Yeah, shit just got real (in a good way). I am officially a stay-at-home mom.
Motherhood and fatherhood is different for every parent. My journey in motherhood involves staying home with my kids. It is what I have wanted since my son and daughter were born. It took several years to get to this point. I still have concerns about finances since my income has changed drastically, but my husband and I continue to work on creating a budget that works for our current situation. I also have concerns about how staying home for a couple of years may possibly affect future employment opportunities, but I can’t fear the unknown any longer. I am still writing my story.
How is the writing of your story going?