May 14, 2013

Why Being a SAHM is Important to Me

I can remember after Kendall was born the uneasy feeling I got every time I thought about going back to work.  It's true that when we got pregnant I knew that staying home with our baby wasn't an option but I think deep down I was wishing, hoping and praying that something would change to make it happen.

I read countless blog posts of other working moms who were able to quit work as soon as their bundle of joy arrived and I remember getting mad, angry, upset, but most of all jealous.  I swore if I read one more "I quit my job!" post I was going to scream.  Why couldn't I be so lucky?  All my life I've wanted nothing more than to be a mother and now I was finally getting my chance but it seemed like it was only part of the time.

I was lucky enough to have my mother-in-law offer to keep Kendall so I knew she was in good hands when she wasn't with me, but it wasn't the same.  It wasn't me spending most of her waking hours with her.  It wasn't me rocking her before her nap, teaching her how to crawl, taking her on her first trip to the zoo.  It wasn't me.

I used to listen to the Dr. Laura show while I was at work and day after day I'd hear her say how mother's didn't belong in the workplace, they should be at home raising their children, no matter what.  She, although a little outrageous in her views, had a point.  We, as mother's, bring them into this world, we should be the ones raising hem.  Now obviously circumstances don't always work in that favor and some mother's don't want to be a SAHM and, to me, that is fine too.  But I couldn't help but feel like she was talking to me, day after day.

When my former employer notified us over a year ago that they were moving, and therefore giving us the opportunity to voluntarily resign from our position or move with them, I thought "this may be my chance, even if it's short lived" but I never really thought it could be my reality.  I didn't think that we would be able to make it work, we struggled on two incomes, how on earth would we survive on one?  When I asked Jimmy for his input he never hesitated, "resign".  And so I did, and I never looked back.

Being a stay-at-home-mom doesn't just mean I get to wear comfy clothes every day.  It's only perk isn't the fact that I can go to Target during the week instead of the weekend with all the crazies {although that is a BIG perk}.  I didn't take this job for the love of daytime TV.  The pay certainly isn't worth it but it's so much more than that to me.  It's the opportunity to raise my child.  Raise her the way I want her to be, learn the things I think are important for her to learn and know that no matter what I am here for her, I am her mother.

It's such an amazing feeling when I see or hear or watch her do something so smart and think that I had something to do with it.  I doubt myself as a mother a lot but there is no denying the proof that is my brilliantly smart, almost 3-year-old.  I mean of course I had a hand in that intelligence, who else does she spend her days with, learning from, and modeling after?  It's all me and that's a great feeling.

Looking back I wished I had quit my job so much sooner.  Sure times have been tough, they still are, but money is just money and we make it work.  Some months we scrape by and we don't know how we do it but whenever the conversation of me getting another job comes up we quickly realize that it's not worth it, to us.

I am sad that I waited until Kendall was 18 months before deciding to be a SAHM.  If we would have made the decision sooner I can't help but think how much closer she and I would be today.  I think of all the things I missed out on while I was being miserable at work.  And then I think of how grateful I am for the time I have had with her and will have with her baby brother.

I have gotten several emails over the past year{ish} asking what Jimmy and I have done to "make it work" or if I have any tips for those wishing to be SAHMs but don't think they can financially.  My advice to them is that if you really want it to work, you make it work.  You cancel cable and watch Teen Mom 2 on the internet.  If you have credit cards out the wazoo you can consolidate. I just got our internet bill lowered by $20/month just by making a phone call.  Cut coupons, try direct sales {if that's your thing}, refinance if it's an option, these are all things that have worked for us and are why we are able to finally make my dream come true.  Because we wanted to and it was important to us.


30 comments:

  1. I wish this was an option for me when we have kids but with the amount of debt I have from college its just not possible. I think there is a lot to say though about working mom's, my mom worked and I don't feel any less adjusted. I plan to be a working mom too unless I win the lottery.

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  2. I totally have the jealousy of SAHMs. It really isn't an option for us right now as we are buying a house at the moment! But I do hope to someday! And I am lucky as a teacher to have my summers off! :)

    wordsaboutwaverly.blogspot.com

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  3. I so wish being a SAHM was an option for me. It's all I've ever wanted. I despise the fact that I have to go to work and my husband is the one who gets to stay home with her everyday. I want to show her how to do things. It's just not fair. :(

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  4. We're in the same boat. I love being a SAHM! We scrape by some months and then other months we feel like we're rich because we have a couple extra hundred dollars in the bank and then we think to ourselves, "How in the world did that happen???". It all seems to work itself out though. I refuse to let money keep me from being away from my daughter.

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  5. I wish wish wish I could be a SAHM. Before I had her, I thought no way (I love my career and have worked SO hard to get where I am) however, now I would IMMEDIATLEY resign without hesitation. One day I will - one day. Paying off debt now and hopefully will be able to survive on one salary in the next year or so. I am glad you wrote on this topic. I was curious as well:) I have lists and lists of all that needs to happen - debt paid off, loans consolidated, animals gone, part-time work lined up, spending drastically reduced etc. I know exactly where we need to be so I can put in my resignation papers. One day {soon} it will happen.

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  6. I went back to work for 3 months before making the decision to be a SAHM and it was the best decision we have ever made. It's hard work but I wouldn't trade it for anything. It truly is a gift and sometimes I have to remind myself of that. Thank you for the reminder!

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  7. Sending this to Carl as we speak...I was totally one of those emails to you, remember?! I am so confident we can make it work!

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  8. Great post. This sounds like me right now! Miserable at work. But I am quitting too!! Ashlyn will be in around 18 months old when I can finally leave and I can't wait!

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  9. I soooo feel jealous of sahms! I'm getting a little taste of it with my maternity leave and I wish it could be permanent.

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  10. I am so glad you are getting this SAHM experience! I'm thankful to enjoy my job enough most days that my wants to stay home have subsided. But I have no doubt when Baby 2 comes around these desires will present themself again and I may just have to throw in the towel. Because you're so right, this is such a precious time and OMG it goes so quickly!

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  11. I was able to stay home with Noah until he was 3. Then I HAD to work. It wasn't an option for me to stay home anymore. He was starting preschool though so I think that made it a little easier on me... a LITTLE! lol I cried so much when I had to leave him the first few days. When we decided we wanted another child I knew we had to wait until we could financially be okay with me staying home. I knew what I would be missing out on and I knew I couldn't do it. I know tons of moms do go to work everyday and their kids are happy and fine. I'm sure if I HAD to work I would deal with it because that's life. But I would be very sad about it =(

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  12. Once again an amazing post. SAHM has always been my dream job. I know it wouldn't work in our situation, since I am basically the bread winner, and I am good with that. But I will always wish I could be a SAHM. I understand completely about getting jealous of the moms that post they are quitting their job. I have a friend that has recently gave her boss her notice and her last day is actually my due date. Makes me happy for her but sad at the same time.

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  13. Being a SAHM has always been my dream when I had children. My mother stayed home with us and I really never thought it would go any other way for me. Well, here I am 21 weeks pregnant with my first baby and the numbers just aren't adding up. I am devastated with the thought of having to go back to work. Especially since I'm a teacher but I work at an extended day school 30-40 min from home, so my hours are 7-4 with a 30-60 minute commute both ways. I can't deal with leaving my baby with someone else for that long day while I take care of other people's children. We are trying everything we can but I'm not sure it's going to work just yet. I'm glad to see I'm not alone in feeling this way.

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  14. I have been having some icky feelings about staying home. Honestly, I am not just a stay at home Mom. I am a child care provider for others, just so we can make ends meet. Recently, my husband had the flu and two parents pulled their kids from my care due to the inconvenience that I was not able to keep them for two days - even though I always inform parents to have a back up plan because my family is first, always! Sadly, this has taken away half of my "in home money." So I have really been struggling with the thoughts of, "if I should go back to work outside of the home." It is really is a nightmare feeling for me. Before Curtis and I married, i was a single Mom for 5 years working second and third shift plus attending school, so I long to be home and not miss precious time that I did before. Thank you for posting this as a reminder of the thoughts that I had before staying home.

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  15. This post is great! I was put on bedrest when pregnant with my twins and now they are 16 months and I still haven't gone back. I used to question daily if I would enjoy working bc it's hard some days raising twins, but in the end I strongly feel we have made the right choice having me home. Even if I do feel like I am losing my mind some days :) we struggle some months too but it's worth it!

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  16. When I had my last baby I stayed home for 8 months and we scraped by month after month. My husband worked a ton of hours and did a few side jobs so that helped. Now I'm back to work and it doesn't even seem like we have more money. It's so weird how that works. We just spend more now and we don't really have to budget. I can tell you that I was 100% happier while making less money and staying home. It just seems like such a risky move to resign and make it permanent. Also getting a teaching job can be difficult so I don't know if I'd ever get a job again. It was stressful at times living on one salary and I know my husband is less stressed with me making some money too. I keep telling him he needs to find a way to work less hours but make 100,000 a year, then I'd be happy. Ha! Probably still not, I would just spend more and still complain about not having enough.

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  17. love this post! I wrote a post on this same subject a few weeks ago called: "I'm in the 20%". I love being a SAHM! :)
    -Priscilla
    http://gracefullyrefreshed.blogspot.com/2013/04/i-am-in-20.html

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  18. i am in the same boat. and i am so thankful for the chance to be a SAHM. despite the looks i get from other adults sometimes. its what i want to do and feel is best for me and my child!/family. im proud of you for doing what you want and heck yes to having supportive husbands!

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