Making the switch from working a corporate job to staying at home with my son fulltime was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I use to joke with friends that my dream was to become a stay at home mom. But I wanted to be the kind where you are surrounded by help, like a chef, a housekeeper, a nanny, a driver and personal assistant, so I could be free to go to the gym and work on my businesses and passion projects.
Ha! What a joke that was. Because in March 2020, I did unexpectedly become a stay at home mom and over a year later, I’m still waiting for my chef to arrive.
The term “stay at home mom” is such a narrow title for the breadth of duties and responsibilities that come under it and it requires broad shoulders and a determined spirit to take on this job.
And I am not the “Pinterest Perfect” stay at home mom, who bakes or creates learning activities out of construction paper and glitter. I am still struggling to get my son on a schedule, fall asleep anywhere else but in my arms and eat solid foods – you know, the basics.
I’m doing the best I can but it’s hard, like really hard. It’s harder than any job I’ve ever had. I pour every bit of my soul and strength into it and I still fall short.
One whole year of practice and I’m still nowhere near perfect.
How I transitioned from corporate to stay at home mom
Last year as I was approaching the time to return to work from my maternity leave, I didn’t feel ready to leave my son and so I prayed and prayed that I would have more time with him and boy did God answer that prayer quick!
For those of you who do not know, less than 3 weeks after returning to work from maternity leave, I was laid off. You can read the full story here. I wanted more time with my son, but not like this.
But it’s my son’s health that has kept me at home for so long. He spent the majority of 2020 in and out of hospitals, it was (and still is) a very scary time. His health has vastly improved but Coronavirus is still a threat and the thought of putting him into daycare is terrifying. We’ve had to be extra cautious to not expose him to anything that would send him back to the hospital.
What do I do all day?
Listen, didn’t I say that I’m struggling to get my son on a schedule? But after noting somewhat of a pattern in his sleep and wake times, I have finally created a simple schedule or really an outline for Story each day. We watch Sesame Street, dance to music, run errands, read books, sing songs and play with toys. The best thing that has happened to me really is the break in the winter weather, so now we can play in the back patio or head to the park. And that wears him out, he barely makes it back home with his eyes open. Then I can get a little break or take a nap myself.
How much money should a stay at home mom make
Just for fun I decided to do a little research on how much a stay at home mom or dad should make and Investopedia.com says this “According to 2019 data from Salary.com, if you are a stay-at-home mom (or dad), and paid for your services, you would be looking at a median annual salary of $178,201. Why? Because many stay-at-home parents work around the clock. If you have young children, work can often mean nighttime feedings, greeting early morning risers, and late-night meal prep.”
Guilt on guilt on guilt
Social media has made me acutely aware of what I “should” be doing with my child at home. The comparison trap is almost inescapable. And even when I log off social media there are plenty of people who are more than glad to tell me what I should or should not be doing as well.
This adds to the mental exhaustion that does not go away with a nights sleep.
I find myself apologizing that I’m at home and the house isn’t clean 100% of the time.
And even finding little pockets of time to write isn’t without guilt. I enjoy working on my blog and sharing, it’s a beautiful escape, a labor of love that I’m working toward becoming lucrative one day. But, I feel guilty about taking that time away from my son.
Bored and Busy
Is it possible to be bored and busy at the same time? Oh yes, it’s possible. My son’s a cool kid but the sheer monotony of the day can be boring. There I said it. Phew, that was freeing, so don’t judge me.
Jobs for stay at home moms
There are people out there that prey on stay at home moms. They must think we are just sitting around waiting for someone to approach us to sign up to become a Diamond Level seller of essential oils. Spoiler Alert: we are not.
Once I made the announcement that I had been let go from my job, the multi-level marketers came running into my DMs. Their opening lines usually go like this: “What do you do for work?” or “Are you interested in trying a product to give you more energy?”. Now I have no doubt that many of the products they sell are great, but I have ZERO desire to sell teas, shakes, moisturizer or life insurance. I am old school, I’ve lived through Amway, Melaleuca, Mary Kay, Organo Gold Coffee and more. And I’ve seen many of them come and go. I may support and make a purchase but I will not be a seller – Period.
The biggest piece of advice I can give
Make the time at the beginning of your week to create a schedule. It is the only way that I have been able to function optimally and not get overwhelmed. Within my schedule, I’ve set aside the early mornings as my time. Before my son gets up, I pray, read the bible, go for a jog and then I’m able to sit at my desk and work on my blog. This has completely transformed my spirit really and truly and has set the tone for my day. I have more energy and focus to be able to pour into Story. So I highly recommend making space in your day to incorporate something you love, something that fills you, just for you and make you feel joy.
Right now in my life there is no bigger blessing than being able to take care of my child and watch him grow and develop. It’s an honor and a privilege and I’m thankful to be able to serve my son and husband in this manner. I may not get the 6 figure salary but I am happy to be paid in Story’s hugs and wet kisses.