PIVOT! When I Realized I’m Not Meant to be a Stay at Home Mom

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I always pictured myself as a stay-at-home-mom. I envisioned days filled with picture books, kitchen dance parties, park play dates, and craft projects. In my pre-kid naiveté, I knew without a doubt that my children needed and deserved a mother who spent the majority of her time with them. After all, I didn’t want anyone else raising my children in my place. 

Honestly, I want to both hug and slap pre-kid me. Bless her heart. 

PIVOT! When I Realized I'm Not Meant to be a Stay at Home Mom | Houston Moms Blog

I was a full-time SAHM for almost 7 years, and for the majority of that time, it was the best situation for our family. Our oldest has profound disabilities and there was a period of several years when managing his care was almost a full-time job. We also have two other children, and childcare costs and scheduling logistics would have made it next to impossible for our family to manage with two working parents.

Now that the kids are just a little older {and two of them will be in public school next year}, I’m slowly pivoting, both philosophically and concretely, in my work. This past school year, I took a part time job and worked 3 days a week, during the hours my younger children were in preschool. It was an ideal situation :: I was able to drop off and pick up the kids from school, spend time with adults, and make a little money while they were there. 

PIVOT! When I Realized I'm Not Meant to be a Stay at Home Mom | Houston Moms Blog

Over the course of the school year, I realized something about myself :: I love to work. While I love my children dearly, I crave projects, creativity, and social opportunities completely separate from my children. The toddler and preschool years have been far more difficult than I ever imagined they would be. My patience isn’t as long as the day, and my personality doesn’t jive with the constant neediness of little people. Working outside the home gives me the structure I crave, a to-do list that usually has an endpoint, and financial incentives to get the work done. 

This summer, I enrolled my younger kids in daycare and have worked full-time. I have no guilt about this decision, because it truly is the best situation for both my children and for me. They had a blast doing endless crafts, pretend play, and water activities {which, let’s be honest, I would have given up on after 3 days}. They made great friends, practiced their social skills, and were engaged {screen-free!} for 8+ hours a day. And the very best part…my 2 year old’s teacher potty trained him in less than a week. She is truly a wizard. 

PIVOT! When I Realized I'm Not Meant to be a Stay at Home Mom | Houston Moms Blog

Listen, I know many, many full-time SAHMs who are thriving in their role, and it truly is the best for their families. As it turns out, me being a full-time, long-term SAHM is not what’s best for mine. Honestly, I’m envious of those women who are content to be home with their babies day after day and year after year. I marvel at moms with a seemingly endless supply of patience and motivation to engage their kids in activities without retreating to lock themselves in the closet with a bottle of wine {not that I’ve done that…too many times}.PIVOT! When I Realized I'm Not Meant to be a Stay at Home Mom | Houston Moms Blog

I am fully aware that the choice to work vs. stay home with my children is a privilege that not many women have. I am grateful for the years I was able to stay home full-time, especially when the kids were babies. I am thankful for the flexibility I have in my current job. My boss is incredibly supportive and understanding of my demands as a mother, and I never feel as if I have to choose one over the other. 

I am also incredibly grateful that we, as mothers, are not bound to one particular path for the entirety of our parenting years. We are allowed to change course, try a different path, and pursue our own goals. We can change our minds, and admit that maybe the idealistic vision of motherhood doesn’t quite match up to the reality of this moment, with these children. We can pivot.

PIVOT!!!

PIVOT! When I Realized I'm Not Meant to be a Stay at Home Mom | Houston Moms Blog

 

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