Becoming a mom was one of my dreams as a little girl. I would stroll around with all my baby dolls, pretend to feed them and change them. Give them baths and put them to sleep. Easier then, than now! So when it came time to planning a family, my husband and I knew we wanted a few kids. The problem was childcare. Our families live hours away, so we chose daycare for our firstborn after I went back to work part-time. Then, we found out we were pregnant again and needed to re-evaluate if it was worth it sending two to daycare compared to me staying home. We concluded that becoming a stay at home mom was the best solution for our family.
The stigma of being a stay at home mom (SAHM) scared me more than the actual job. I didn’t want family and friends to make unnecessary comments about taking a break from my career and just “staying home doing nothing.” I commend all SAHMs for their courageousness and strength to tackle every day with their little ones and not being appreciated for everything they go through. It seems it goes unnoticed, but it doesn’t. It is reflected in the children you set free into the world. Knowing that I will have that responsibility frightens me, but it’s a job I know I can do better than anyone else.
Making the decision was a joint one between my husband and myself. It was a difficult one because all I knew was a working mother. My mom, at one point in her life, worked two nursing jobs to support our family. Comparing my motherhood to hers, makes me feel insignificant. But then again, my journey is different than hers. And like my husband said, I will have the biggest responsibility that no job can compete with: being a full-time mom.
It is not forever, but for the time being. This is how I decided to become a stay at home mom.
- No Childcare Help: Growing up, my aunt babysat me while both my mom and dad worked. I had a lot of family around us, so there was always someone to lend a helping hand. My situation is different in that our families live hours away. I wouldn’t feel safe knowing my parents or in-laws are making a long trip to babysit for a few hours a day then drive back. That’s why we opted for daycare for our daughter. I was particular about what kind of establishment she would be attending, so of course, we paid top dollar. The thought of sending two kids really changes the game, financially. Also, emotionally and mentally. Preparing, picking up, and dropping off one child was difficult. Now, two? It really made us re-evaluate and think if it was worth it.
- Mom guilt: In this day of age, women are expected to do it all. Have a job, have a perfect home, and raise the perfect children with healthy lunches. It’s impossible. The fact that we have a standard to live up to is plain mean. This is where I found myself. I felt like I needed to work and help the family while raising my kids. But in reality, it’s just not simple. We shouldn’t need to choose between career and family, and we shouldn’t feel the need to juggle both. What we need is to choose freely what we want and not be judged for it. I want to be there for my children when they need me. They won’t be babies for long, and I can always go back to work, but this time in their lives is so precious to me. Choosing them over a career is my decision, and I’m happy with it.
- Emergency Fund: Thankfully, we have an emergency fund built up if something were to happen. We have enough money saved aside for unseen emergencies. Having this cushion really helped our decision.
- Find a PRN (as needed) position: As a nurse, it’s “easy” to find a job. However, it may not be the position you want. If I needed to jump back in, I would just have to find a night shift position. Childcare wouldn’t be a problem, and I would make more than I did on days.
- Supportive husband: This was the final decision maker because I can’t raise a family without him. As I said, it was a joint decision for me to stay home. Knowing that he has my back is all I need. People may say things about SAHMs, but as long as I have my husband’s support, then I feel like I can conquer the hardest job in the world.
Are you a stay at home mom? Or are you pondering the idea of switching from workplace to home? Whatever you decide, I hope you know you have a village of women cheering for you.