Wednesday, October 1, 2014

From a Stay At Home Mom to a Working Mom and Back Again

When John was born I wasn't sure how long I would get to stay home with him but was hopeful to stay home as long as possible. I wanted to be the "ideal" stay at home wife and mother. That's not exactly how it happened. I was learning how to be a mother. We had just moved into a fixer upper. I was frustrated. Very frustrated. My husband was working extremely hard and trying to keep his grades up in his Masters program. Eventually due to financial needs I went back to work when my son was six months old. It was very hard. I wanted my son. I wanted him close to me. I was breastfeeding. I needed him and he needed me. I was lucky because we had worked out a schedule were my husband could stay home with him while I was at work and we would switch when I got home. I longed to hold him instead of the babies I was holding at work but, eventually it felt like those babies were mine too. John did fine when he was home with his dad and I got more comfortable with it. Some days were still very hard but we made it through them.

I am so excited that starting in November, I will be back to being a full time, stay at home mom with my little man. I prayed and prayed and prayed for this to happen. This time around I feel like I have a little bit more of an idea of what I'm doing. I'm going to try to keep a schedule. I'm going to take John to the park, go for walks and daily Mass too. I feel like I am so much more prepared this time around. It helps that John is older now and that doesn't want to nurse every time I start to work on something. It will all change when the baby comes. Hopefully because this one is my second I'll know what I'm doing more and feel like I can get more done.

I learned through my experience that working moms need just as much support as stay at home moms. It's hard for working moms to leave their children. It's hard for them to leave their children for eight hours a day with someone else and feel like they are missing out on so much of their child's life. They are jealous of their caretakers if they choose to admit it or not. It makes sense, THEY want to be the one taking care of them and playing with them and changing their poopy diapers. They need advice, they want to connect with other moms, they want to feel like they have worth too.

I've learned that stay at home moms want to feel respect for all the things that they do. They want society to realize that they are doing hard work. That raising children, cleaning the home ( 5 or more times a day after children constantly destroy it), running the household, and trying to keep up an attractive appearance is exhausting, honest, hard work that has you constantly on your toes 24 hours a day. Stay at home moms want to connect with other moms, they want to know that they are not the only one feeling lonely, tired, frustrated, and like they aren't doing a good enough job.

Having done both now, I can not judge. Each one has its benefits and it's downfalls. I am looking forward to staying home again and becoming more involved with the groups I was previously apart of before I had to go to work. I am so excited to get out and meet other moms and swap stories. I am even more excited to be able to snuggle my little man and watch him learn every day.