22 November 2013

Not what I intended.

Something that may surprise you, or maybe not... I never intended to be a Stay At Home Mom. (Or in my case now, a Work At Home Mom). Pre-marriage, it just never even occurred to me. And in my teens & early twenties, it's not what I wanted.

Before I had kids, I never had an amazing career or anything, but I made plenty to be comfortable, and I always enjoyed working. Truth is, I actually never finished my college degree... which is something I will probably always regret. But when Philip and I were first married, he was right in the middle of finishing his degree & I was working full time to support us. And I guess I always kinda assumed that I would go back to school when he graduated. I always pictured myself in a professional setting, working my way up the chain, and being successful in whatever I did. Pipe dream? Maybe. But it's always how I envisioned myself. Of course, I always wanted to be a Mother, but I the thought never crossed my mind to "stay at home with the kids."

But then, POOF, I'm pregnant. My Husband is still in school & I am pregnant. Philip was graduating in December 2010, and Bennett was due a month later. Throughout my pregnancy with Bennett, Philip and I had countless discussions about what our options were, and what we were going to do to support ourselves and this new little baby we were expecting. Would Philip be able to find a job after graduation? Would I go back to work? Would I find childcare and go back to school?

I was asking so many questions, but never once did I ask "Will I stay home with my baby?" It was actually Philip that first suggested it. Of course, he would support me no matter what, but he's always expressed how incredibly important he thinks it is for a Mother to be at home with her children. In this day & age, honestly, Stay At Home Moms are few and far between. And understandably so. The cost of living is through the roof, so a lot of people can hardly afford to live, even with both parents working. And also, there are so many opportunities for women in the work force now, that it makes perfect sense for them to want to be successful and accomplished. That is after all, what I wanted as well.

But as my pregnancy progressed and we got closer & closer to the end, we did a lot of thinking & praying about what the next steps were going to be.

The answer to my prayers were so loud. And it was that I needed to be home with my kids, so that's what I did. It hasn't always been easy, though. We have struggled financially because of this decision. And there have been times that I've questioned my ability to Mother my kids 24/7, because I have been so frustrated with them. So frustrated in fact, that many times, I have sworn I was going to hire a nanny and go back to work. Obviously I said that in the heat of the moment, but you get what I mean. And to add to it, since starting my business, things have gotten even more hectic.

But I'll tell you something, with every little smile & giggle, with every hug & kiss... I'm reminded that I'm in the right place and I'm doing the right thing. And I don't take it for granted. I know that so many Mothers would do anything to stay at home with their kids, so I realize how blessed I am and I am so thankful.

This life as a Stay At Home Mom, it might not be what I intended, but it is what I'm meant to be doing. And on the hard days, I'm going to look back at this post and remember that.

I saw this video floating around Facebook, it it literally gave me chills and brought me to tears.
Every Mother should watch it.

What about you? Are you in the place you'd thought you would be growing up?


Fiona Woelfle said...

I am not exactly in the place I thought I would be growing up either. I always thought I would be a stay at home mom when I had kids, at least during their preschool years...and I am a working mother because financially, we do not have any other choices. We are hoping in the next couple of years to change that, though. I also thought I would have my "dream" career by now, and that hasn't happened yet either! But, you are right being right where I am supposed to be at this time. While I am not completely at peace, I am praying for contentment. I want to remember these early years with my children with fondness. Love your blog!

anb13 said...

So beautiful. I watched this from my desk at work and cried. Makes me want to run home and hug my boy. It is so powerful. Makes me thankful for what I have. Thank you for sharing this and also, love your blog :)

Brooke Tolly said...

I love that video!! I never thought of becoming one either and I still don't want to be at least "full time" but it's funny how things happen :)

Lizzie Simantz said...

I can totally relate to this post! Although I'm not currently a stay at home Mom. I never really thought I wanted to be either, even when I was pregnant with my first the thought didn't occur to me, but it's now that my kiddos are a little older that I'm dying to be home with them! Hopefully that will be happening in the near future!

You are amazing for staying home with them and they will remember it forever!

fifth house on the left | family blog said...

i'm not exactly where i thought i would be at 33. i worked a full time job right out of high school and ended up making very good money for myself in the financial advisory industry until i was 31 when we made the decision for me to stay home after having rawley. i'm still staying home with two boys 18 months apart currently under 2.5 years old and there are EXTREMELY hard days where i just cry and wish i was back at work. then there are days were there is no place i would rather be and realize i can rock this new career. when i was growing up i was always in daycare before and after school and all summer long. i would have to get myself ready for school and walk myself to school all by myself starting when i was in second grade because my parents didn't have any other choice. i can't even imagine my boys walking to school and getting ready for school by themselves. makes me sad and makes me feel so thankful we are able to have me stay home. we are fortunate where my husband makes enough money for us to be comfortable, have a beautiful home and able to enjoy things that others probably can't. it was my husband who wanted me to stay home and i remember really struggling with the decision to do it. it's a pretty amazing blessing. although this is not where i expected to be right now in my life, i'm pretty thankful that i am right here in my life. :) i hope when my boys get older that they will remember how loved they were/are and how mom was always there both emotionally and physically for them whenever they needed it.

Courtney said...

I'm exactly where I thought I would be. I knew I would be a stay at home mama someday. I thought I'd be on about my 4th kid by now...but infertility has kept that from being the case. Thankfully though, I do have my one little girl and get to do what I always dreamed of. Stay home with her.

PS. I never finished my degree either and don't regret it one bit. Not everyone needs to have a college degree. I have a cosmetology license, you have your photography...you don't need a 4 year degree to have success :)

Stephanie Clark said...

Lately, I've been back in a phase where I am longing so badly to be at home more and reading this I literally teared up. Then I watched that video and that didn't help a bit. "She's so busy all the time." I feel like jonah will say that about me. I never considered that I'd want to stay home. I don't know if it ever even crossed my mind as a teen and a college student. Now I'm at this point where I feel so stuck working and I hate it. It's like I live for the weekend and then the time just flies by. I'm such a downer :/

Sarah Wilder said...

Love love love this post. Also a work from home mom to a toddler and its really isn't where I thought I'd be. I don't even know what I thought I'd be when I had kids. But its such a special, fun, frustrating, tiring, ever changing, lovely thing. (I can use all those adjectives right?) Thanks for this post. And the video. We all need a little encouragement and perspective sometimes!


jessica | piganddac said...

Ohhhhh my gosh...totally cried watching that video. I needed that. I feel like a failure all the time being a SAHM, like I wasn't cut out for it. It's a hard job but definitely so rewarding. I hope my kids see me in a better light than I see myself. You're definitely doing an amazing thing, I remember always wishing my mom stayed home and didn't work.

Abby Barstow said...

this is just what I needed to read! I'm pregnant with our first one and due in June and I would love to stay at home with baby. But as of right now, we absolutely cannot afford it. At the very least, after three months I'd have to go back to work part-time. But it's a hard decision to make before baby comes...I don't want my future kiddos to feel "tossed" around with my husband getting them in the mornings while I work and I'd watch them in the afternoons/evenings while my hubby is at work. Not that there's anything wrong with it, that's what my parents did and my brother and I turned out fine. But I've never wanted anything more than to work from home and be with my babies all day. But you helped remind me that no matter what, God has got it under control, even if it's not what we originally planned. Thanks for this lovely post about your sorta fairytale :)


Jodi said...

I think it is awesome that you stay home w/ your kids. Being a full time stay at home mom is the hardest job so anyone who does it deserves a pat on the back!

Fran said...

I think it's awesome that you stay at home with your kiddos. I'm not 100% in a place I thought I'd be but I'm happy with my life regardless :)

Julie S. said...

I always wanted to be a SAHM with something on the side to get my creative energy out. It made sense in our situation but after those first 6 months, I had the itch to do SOMETHING else! So, I started photography, and I love the flexibility it gives me. It's not always easy (as you know!) but it works.