Life is funny sometimes. Sometimes when you think you have it all figured out, you quickly find out that you were way off base and had it totally wrong all along.
In my life, this has happened more than once, in several areas of my life. With that being said, the one time that this rings true more than any other time is when I made the decision to become a stay at home mom. I don’t even know that I can say I felt I had the choice really. When I became a mom to my oldest son, it became a need. A need I would find myself obsessing over each and every day until it eventually would become my reality.
Let me start by saying that I never dreamed I would be a stay at home mom…ever. In all honesty, I must admit I had a very misconstrued image, an undeniable misunderstanding of what a stay at home mom was. To my defense, I must add that I never knew anyone who was a stay at home mom. Strange as that might sound, every mom I knew worked outside of the home, including my own mom. With that being said, I found myself believing the stereotypes that one often hears about stay at home moms. I like to think of those stereotypes as those of yesterday as I’ve seen a major shift in the way stay at home moms are looked upon in more recent years however I realize it may just be my own realization of this error of sorts and not a realization that has been discovered by a society as a whole. For that astounding revelation I’d like to say “Thank you life for slapping me in the face and opening my eyes to the reality of it all”. I am forever grateful.
Looking back, admittedly I was wrong…very wrong. I wish I could go back and tell that naive young girl exactly how wrong she truly was. I wish I could show her a small snippet of what a stay at home mom’s life is really like . How a mother’s choice to stay home with her children may not have anything to do with what she doesn’t want to do but may have everything to do with what she hopes to do.
When I became pregnant for the first time I remember so vividly telling my employer that there was no way I would choose to stay home. I would definately be back to work. I couldn’t be a stay at home mom and had no desire to be. Man was I presumptuous…to think I had it all figured out long before even becoming a mother? Wow! I laugh at that now. How naive I was, not knowing that I would soon find myself eating those words over and over again.
The moment I laid eyes on my oldest son, all that I thought I knew, all of it went out the window. Suddenly, I found myself begging my husband daily to support my decision to stay home with my baby. How could I go back to work? How could I leave my baby with someone else when all I wanted to do was be there with him each and every day? How could I allow a stranger to raise him? Unfortunately, I hadn’t prepared to feel this way. No one warned me that just maybe I was wrong about the job of a stay at home mom afterall.
After going back to work, I fought bouts of depression, sadness, anxiety, thinking of my sweet boy often and wishing I was home with him…holding him, watching him grow, experiencing all of the little moments I kept finding myself missing out on each and every day.
This love…so overwhelming, all consuming and ever empowering love wasn’t something I was prepared for. Why didn’t anyone tell me I would feel this way? Why didn’t they give me a heads up and let me know that this would be so hard?
Suddenly, what I wanted more than anything else in the world was to be a stay at home mom. How could I have been so wrong about what I wanted and what I believed for so long?
It took me two years and having my second son before I was able to become a stay at home mom. I remember that day so vividly…the day I walked out of my job knowing that my life was about to make a complete and total shift. It was one of the happiest, most freeing moments of my life. I have never felt more in control of my life than I did in that moment. Never once regretting, questioning or doubting my decision.
A week later I welcomed my second son into my life and from that point on, I embraced what would soon become the greatest adventure of my life. Was it hard? Absolutely! Let’s just say it was and has been and still is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There were days, lots of days in those earlier times when I would cry…a lot. I still have those days but for the most part the good outweigh the bad, the happy times outweigh the “I want to pull my hair out” times. I’ve found my place in life and that alone makes me happy.
Being a mom in general is hard. It doesn’t matter if you are a mom who works outside of the home or if you are a stay at home mom, it challenges you daily. I’ve been on both sides of the equation and being a stay at home mom just suits me better. Is it the right choice for all mothers? Absolutely not. Everyone has to find their own path in life. This just so happens to have been mine.
I have to admit, this choice changed me and helped me grow into what I believe now is the best I have ever been. I found my path and encourage others to find theirs. Open your eyes to the possibilities and recognize that you may not have it all figured out afterall. Once you are able to see that, then the possibilities are endless.
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