“I’M FREE! I’M FREEEEE!!”
That’s pretty much what I texted to my husband last Friday as I walked out of work for the last time. Over the holidays my husband and I decided that it would be best for our family for me to resign from my job and become a stay-at-home mom. Because, in case you didn’t know, being a working mother is JUST A BIT HARD. I won’t bore you with all the gory details of what a nightmare it’s been to try to be a good wife and mother while working for a company that only paid lip-service to employee work/life balance. So I’ll bore you with only a few details: massive stress, lots of tears, exhaustion, and barely surviving.
I’m stressed out and exhausted just writing about it.
(shaking it off)
SO ANYWAY, my experience as a working mother was not a good one. I’m not going to say that it’s more difficult than being a SAHM. I’m also not going to say that being a SAHM is more difficult than being a working mother, although it seems like I hear “Being a SAHM is the hardest job in the world” every time I turn around. My (pretty worthless) opinion is that people that say that are usually making a veiled jab at working mothers (the words “passive aggressive” come to mind). And I’m sure that’s born out of the belief that SAHM’s are not valued or appreciated. The bottom line is that every situation is different and we shouldn’t judge someone until we’ve walked in their shoes and don’t judge a book by its cover and i before e except after c…I think I lost my way there, but my very long-winded point is “Being a parent is the hardest job in the world” and I’ll leave it at that.
MOVING RIGHT ALONG…..I’m so excited to finally be able to focus on my family. I’ve got plans. Big plans. But I’m trying to rein myself in by focusing on a few important things:
- Spending time with my husband. Garrett and I have been in Survival Mode for far too long. Before I resigned from my job, every minute of my day was spoken for. We hardly ever went on dates anymore. And even just laughing over silly things had become a rare occurrence because I was always too stressed to relax. But we are committed to changing that and making time for each other.
- Spending time with my son. Even though I worked from home a lot, I needed to turn care of my son over to a nanny so I could, you know, WORK. I can’t tell you how it broke my heart to hear him laughing and having fun during the day, and then being too tired/stressed/exhausted to play with him for the little bit of time I had him before bedtime. That in itself was enough to keep me in a constant state of depression.
- Making home a sanctuary. It got to the point that the only time the house looked presentable was when we were expecting someone over. Which meant that a lot needed to be done to make it that way. Which meant that I had an all new reason to be stressed and to stress out my husband. I want better for my family.
- Getting healthy. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes fifteen extra pounds. Then comes a baby in a baby carriage along with a few more pounds. The stress and downright lack of time has not aided my efforts at weight loss. Ask Dr. Oz. He’ll tell you.
- Deepening relationships. Survival Mode does not include meeting friends at Starbucks, taking a walk with a neighbor, or even going to Bible study. If I don’t get friend time, and soon, I’ll have to create imaginary friends. And there’s no guarantee that they’ll even like me.
- Becoming a better follower of Christ. I put this at the end of the list to show that I’ve let it fall to the wayside lately. And I hate that. I won’t be able to do any of the things above if I don’t stay connected to my Savior. And, quite frankly, I miss Him. I still pray and cry out to Him and have felt His comfort and guidance, but I’ve missed all of the focused time I used to spend on my relationship with Him. I need that back. And my family needs for me to get it back, too.
I do plan on contributing to my family financially by doing some type of part-time work eventually. But Garrett and I have agreed that I need at least a couple of months to get my bearings at home and get into some sort of rhythm. And did I forget to mention that baby boy is teething? And has had a nasty cold? And started crawling at five months? And hasn’t stopped since?
It’s a good thing he’s so cute.