Will you be able to recognize when your stay at home mom days are coming to an end. Following the signs of you and your family’s needs and wants. And not letting society determine your worth.
After having our first child, I often wondered if I would know when it was time to trade in being a stay at home mom to working outside the home again.
Before having children I had no intention of staying home with them. I knew I did not want to slow down in my career and sadly questioned the sanity of those new mothers around me who had decided to take a break.
Didn’t they know how hard it would be having a huge gap in their resume?
Career to Stay at home Mom
Shortly after becoming pregnant, we received orders overseas and only one of our two cars were able to make that journey with us. After arriving, they wouldn’t have a house available on base for us, for over two months!
We were lucky enough to find a small basement apartment that allowed dogs over 25 pounds. To say that our prayers had been answered is completely an understatement.
It was up on the hills of Honolulu with views of city and ocean before us. It wasn’t new or shiny. This was a true Hawaiian family home. Close to our neighbors, hard to find parking and laundry was underneath the tall porch with a curtain for privacy.
It was perfect.
How will this Pause affect me later in life
I had no intention of finding work back then but only to
enjoy this small moment in my life that I knew would be over if I dared to blink.
And so it was. Two months later we were on base, still as a one car family.
From time to time I questioned if I should be doing more in my personal career. But still being a new mother in a strange place with no family around, it felt right to stay home.
To play at the park in the mornings and rock her to sleep for her afternoon nap.
But wherever we ended up next my resume would have to carry me, even through the long gap that I stayed home with my children.
Full time Mother, Wife and Home Manager
I realize that not everyone has a choice between working and staying at home. In our situation, if we made sacrifices and stuck to a budget, we could make it work.
Since family was 5000 miles away and our schedule was unpredictable
A full time parent, a full time wife and home manager was my career for the time being.
Still in the back of my mind I questioned if I was falling behind, and at other low points if I was even enough.
Are you enough?
Was I enough… That can turn into a pretty dark question if you dwell on it.
I was looking around to other women my age and comparing myself to their success and what they must think of “just a stay at home mother.” As if our roads were in any way similar to one another.
It didn’t seem to matter if they were other military spouses or facebook friends only putting the highlight reel for the world to see. I still worried about the future and if it was ok that I was enjoying this time with our children.
Food, Family, Fun
In comparing myself to others, I had become my worst enemy. I had forgotten why I was important, even though my children and husband had always shown me their gratitude for what I do for them to keep this house going.
In comparing myself to others I tossed aside all the little things I do with my family. Yes the laundry, cooking, cleaning, errands, appointments, kids are sick, bill paying, yardwork, ect. But so much more than that.
I was far from worthless; I was far from not enough.
Build a Strong Foundation
Once I was able to stop comparing the social media highlight reel to my life, I was able to enjoy this time again. Because this time is in fact a blink.
A chapter in my life where we are building a strong foundation. A strong foundation with my husband and a strong foundation with our children.
Are your stay at home mom days coming to an end?
So if you’re questioning how will you know when its time to go back to work? I can promise you, you’ll know.
For some it might look like a house thats clean for more than 10 minuets. The kids helping unload the dishwasher and a morning routine that includes them getting shoes on without tears.
It could look like feeling the time is close and browsing job listings, and one day that career you left behind is right before you. Just waiting for you to grab it.
Its a strange feeling knowing the stay at home mom days are almost over. When it seems like just yesterday you were coming home from the hospital.
How you watched them take their first steps, try their first lemon, make their first friend, cry their first real tears when it wasn’t a boo boo but a sad heart after saying goodbye to friends who were moving away.
You wonder how so many years passed by when at times it felt like you were drowning in an endless amount of spit up and laundry.
One day this chapter of babies, toddlers and staying home, will end. But your time will not be the same as mine, and my time won’t be the same as yours.
This isn’t a game of comparing or judgment, and our paths are not the same. So let the worry fade and read them one more story. Rock them one more time and sing them one more song.
Right now you are making a strong foundation that the rest of your lives will be built on.
Because before you know it you’ll blink, and that small moment you had staying home with your children will be years in the past.