First, I just want to start out by saying how much all the kind words, encouragement, and feedback means to me♡
One of the requests I received was the story of me becoming a stay at home mom and the struggles associated with it. I was a junior in college (an early childhood education major) when we found out I was pregnant with Kaiden (this was our year to get engaged and then married, not to mention being a week away from closing on our first home. Hey, who likes life to be so predictable anyway). The original plan was for me to return to classes after taking a semester off with baby. As my due date approached Taylor and I started to really think about all of the details…finding childcare arrangements for him, how emotionally difficult it would be for me to leave him, and if our life together really required me to finish my degree (and eventually get a teaching job). Finances aside we definitely always knew we wanted me to stay home and raise our children. We needed to sit down, figure out the numbers and decide if that was possible a couple years earlier than we originally planned. Ultimately in the end we decided that me staying home with him (and our future children) was best for our family and extremely important to us. We would find a way to make it work.
Taylor is four years older than me. He had already graduated college, was pretty well established in his career and making decent money. He was pretty sure he could support us on his income but it might be tight, at least for awhile. I suggested that I have an in home daycare. This would allow me the ability to be home with our son, give him the social aspect of having another child around and also provide me a source of income to help out financially (not to mention I love children and knew I would love every minute). So I posted on a childcare site that I was expecting my first baby, would be staying home with him and was looking to watch another child in our home as well. A woman (who is now also a dear friend of mine) reached out and said she was expecting her first baby, had a part time job and was interested in meeting. We met at Starbucks, instantly just “clicked” and worked out the details. Now over two years later I am not only caring for that child (an adorable two year old boy who Kaiden absolutely loves playing with and has formed a friendship with) but also his baby brother (a precious five month old boy who Owen shrieks in excitement to see). I adore those little boys. I watch the boys a couple days a week and hardly view it as a job. It’s been ideal for our family. I love that I can help out financially when needed (not quite as often anymore which allows for my money to be used/set aside for fun things) and also have some spending money of my own.
I always knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom but with our timeline suddenly on fast forward I wasn’t sure that was a possibility. Taylor was always so supportive and reassuring that we would find a way to make it work. I am so thankful to him for working as hard as he does to provide for our family. I know that it puts pressure on him to (for the most part) be the sole income provider for our growing family. Although he plays it off like it’s no big deal, it means a LOT to me.
I think the reason our set up works so well is because we have a balance and we respect each other. We know our own personal strengths and combine them to better our family. I appreciate him going to work everyday and appreciates everything I do back home. We are a team. We always joke that he wouldn’t survive one day home alone with the boys and I would get fired within a few hours if I had to do his job. I also like to joke that I “let him” go to work, since so many times it’s said that a husband (or wife) “allows” their spouse to stay home with the children (Eye roll. Both jobs are equally important, traditional paycheck or not!)
I absolutely love being a stay at home mama, and can’t imagine it any other way. Being a SAHM means never “going home” from work. There aren’t holidays or days off. That’s what I love most about it, but it isn’t always easy and might not be a good fit for everyone (my husband, for example, is an AMAZING daddy but would most likely be locked in the bathroom while the boys took over the house! Ok, ok I’m joking but it would be a challenge for him). Owen is 8 months old and I haven’t left him yet and Kaiden is almost 3 and I’ve left him just a handful of times (usually while he was asleep…oh and that time I had to go deliver another baby). I’m sure some mama’s feel the same as me when it comes to not leaving their babies, some mama’s lives require them to be apart from their babies even when they don’t want to be and some mama’s love their jobs and can’t imagine not having some time away to do their own thing. That’s what makes motherhood amazing. No one way is right or wrong. You just have to do what’s best for you, your situation and your family. This is what works for us and we wouldn’t want it any other way. (Side-note for those mamas(or dads!) who would love to stay home, always remember there are options for making money while staying home with your little ones. Just be sure to look into all your options and don’t be too quick to write it off as impossible) Find the set up that makes the most sense for you and everyone involved and then just do your best to make it happen, mamas!