Hello hello and happy Monday! I hope you all had a beautiful first weekend of December! Omg. I literally can’t believe it is December. This year has literally flown by, but I am so excited to jump into all of the sweet traditions with Arabella.
Speaking of Arabella, I had my first full week as a stay at home mom last week and man, was it full of ups and downs. If you are just catching up, we ended up pulling my daughter out of her current full time childcare. We were unable to find a new place for her given it being the middle of the school year, so it resulted in me leaving work and staying home with her full time. All of those decisions probably took us a little over 2-3 weeks before we were able to come to a full conclusion of what that looked like.
For a little more context, I am a nurse and have been for 10 years (wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long). I LOVE nursing and actually pursued nursing as a second degree, so it was a very hard decision to give that up (for now!), but my husband travels for his work and after a lot of discussion back and forth, I ultimately decided that I wanted to stay home with her.
I think knowing that I was moving on to a different chapter in my life from my career is partly what caused some of the downs for me. I am sure there are some stay at home moms who couldn’t wait to leave their careers to stay home with their babies, but then there are also some, who like me, preferred to stay working within their career. Either choice, I think would come with emotions, just given the change of it all because there is something about expectations not meeting reality – like I never pictured staying home. I always pictured pursuing my career in nursing, so when your expectations don’t meet reality, it can be hard. But, what I am finding is that within majority of life, expectations don’t meet reality.
Aside from stepping away from my career though, can I just say that being a stay at home mom is WAY (like WAY) harder than my job. Maybe there are some mommas who feel like it is a breeze, but for me, it is very very difficult work and I think that there needs to be a little more acknowledgment of that hard work. It is a job, like no other and next time you hear a woman (or man) say that they stay at home, please recognize them in that. One, is for the mere fact that you don’t know how that decision came to be, but two is because IT IS SO HARD and different from any other career.
Now that we have that out of the way, I approached my first week sort of like a job. I think this helped me mentally a bit, but I attempted to plan out each day for us to give us some structure, while also figuring out ways I can stimulate her in different ways. I also planned out how I would take care of the home while having her with me, as well. For me, my husband by no means expects me to get every little thing done, but I need motivation and to stay busy, so knowing I have different responsibilities at different times, really helps to keep me going.
The other factor I noticed was that getting up early makes a massive difference. If I have time to write, workout and get ready ALL BEFORE my daughter wakes up, then I feel like I got some time to myself and can take on the rest of the day. Working within this creative space and getting my workouts in are two things I really want to prioritize for myself, so I am really trying to make this something I stick to.
I know I will have a lot of adjusting to do, and there will be a ton of pivoting, but looking at it hindsight, I really feel it wasn’t too bad. Change always takes time, so giving myself lots of grace feels most important in this season and new chapter.
The best part though? I KNOW I won’t regret this time with her and I KNOW we made the best choice in staying at home with her. She is thriving, and that makes me happier than anything else, and makes it all worth it.
Now, the real question will be, how do I add a second?!?! Haha, stay tuned!