Becoming a mom at 23, I knew this stay-at-home thing was only going to be temporary. For one, unlike moms more seasoned than me who put some time in the workforce, I hadn’t even stepped foot into the real adult working world. Secondly, we’re not rich lol. We have just been blessed enough for me to pull off two years of full-time momming and off and on once a week jobs. Reason 3 is the fulfillment factor. My self-diagnosed postpartum depression was fueled by this constant feeling that I wasn’t achieving anything. I’ve always been driven to work hard and do/be the best and staying at home (in the beginning) was kiiiilllling me!
I dealt with it by getting back to my old ways of planning and organizing. I created a Facebook group (NYMOA) to connect young moms, organized and attended countless meet-ups, joined a book club, joined a small group, joined a mommy hiking group, scheduled weekly activities for Noah, nannied a few times and taught English in Costa Rica. I decided to ignore limitations that insisted that 1) I couldn’t do the things I did before now that I’m a mom and 2) that I needed to settle into any job regardless if it fit my interests or goals. Now at 25, I’m re-entering the workforce as an educator (yay!), but it does feel bittersweet. I started settling into my role as a stay-at-home mom and even on my worst, fed up to here, feminist-I’m-worth-more-than-this days I would remind myself that this was only temporary. I reminded myself that I should be glad that I have this time when so many women I know have to go back to work 6 weeks after having their baby.
Having not worked for 2 years I have ZERO work clothes, so I shopped Boohoo’s 50% off sale and got these simply pieces I can wear and re-wear!
Pros & Cons of being a Stay-at-Home Mom:
You get to nurture and teach your baby everything. Every mom wants what is best for their baby and what’s best is different for every mom. For me what was best was the curriculum at a too-expensive private preschool…sooooo I created everything at home. We worked on a concise schedule with playtimes, reading, yoga, crafts, lunch, naps, etc. all accounted for. This also made it easy for the times I decided to nanny.
When you’re teacher and mom, your “me” time is limited or spent planning the next day or week’s activities.
No consistent income. Being a young couple, I did not have the luxury of a large weekly allowance to fund all my excursions or even a hobby. I constantly had to budget for Noah’s activities and my hobbies, like yoga and dance, have basically been paused aside from free collective classes or practicing at home.
Mommy support groups and meet up groups are the beeesssssstt!! I’ve made wonderful mommy friendships over these past 2 years. Be it virtual or the weekly coffee strolls the advice and comfort is always right on time and we’ve pulled each other through some of the toughest times.
Pros & Cons of being a Working Mom:
I start working on Monday, so I can’t fully speak to this yet so if you are a working mom please chime in! But here’s what I’m projecting will be my P&Cs:
Money, money, moneeeeyy! Money! I can afford yoga classes again! I can budget two incomes for trips! And I can purchase a museum membership!
Money, to my dismay, is very important for growth and sometimes it’s hard for me to be motivated by money. I’ll probably miss Noah more than I can imagine right now and to put a dollar value on our time together is going to HARD AF. (I’ll probably have to whisper to myself multiple times a day, “the yoga classes will be worth it! Taking Noah to Guatemala will be worth it!”)
Mutual respect for and from my partner. As all moms feel, but especially SAHMs, even the best most supportive man can lack understanding of your workload as an at home mom.
If you’ve gone back to work recently or are a stay at home mom I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience!
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