What comes to mind when you first hear the phrase stay-at-home Mom? I am sure a lot of you think my day is full of crafts, music lessons, and cuddles. On good days maybe I squeeze in one of those activities, but most days I am just trying to survive until 5 pm when my husband walks through the door so and I can have a break/take a shower.
The choice my husband and I made for me be the stay-at-home Mom has been ingrained in our relationship since before Day 1 of our marriage. We have always been willing to make immense sacrifices both financially and personally to make this priority a reality. All of the decisions we make come with sacrifices; it's how we choose to move forward and see the blessing it in all that makes a difference.
When my husband and I were dating, we had conversations about family all the time. We both wanted kids but we also had the desire for one of us to stay at home. We wanted to make sure we were the ones instilling morals and a good foundation in their life; not a daycare, or a nanny or even grandparents. We always viewed being parents as an incredible blessing but also an immense responsibility, in that we would be the ones to raise them. This was a priority for our family from the very beginning, so we were determined to make that choice a reality.
It seems that the choice to be a stay-at-home is not the norm in society today. Today’s world is all about me. Going after what I want, when I want it. Making sure that my needs are met and that I feel important. Society doesn’t celebrate the selfless choice to be a stay-at-home Mom but instead celebrates when you put yourself first.
So, when you choose to be a stay-at-home Mom, the priorities that society sees as important are no longer important to you. Your needs are put on the back burner because your life now revolves around a tiny human who counts on you for everything.
Some days are really good, and other days are really hard. I am not looking for sympathy from anyone because this is a choice I made, however, I do need some understanding. Like most stay-at-home Moms, I feel alone in this journey. No one is seeing the day to day of feeding, entertaining and cleaning that goes on. No one understands that you don’t get a break from Mom-world until the end of the day when your partner comes home. No one is there to celebrate the victories with you or join in the challenges you face. No one is there to watch the kid so you can take a shower or even just go to the bathroom (silly I know, but it’s true). But no one gets to experience the adventures, memories, and love that I get to every day by being a stay-at-home Mom.
I know this choice is not for everyone, but for me, it was the right choice.
I have a lot to offer in the “professional world.” My resume is strong, I have a stellar degree with lots of accolades. I am determined, hard-working, organized and driven. These skills would obviously push anyone else to pursue a career outside the home, but for now, the type of parent (and spouse) I want to be and the type of profession I want cannot exist in the same life. I am sacrificing progressing my professional desires and goals. I am choosing to sacrifice the comradery, community and adult conversations people find in their workplace, for everyday life with my precious daughter.
With me being a stay-at-home Mom, we are sacrificing having a second income. We are a solo income family and that comes with lots of sacrifices. We don’t have expensive cars, a house or fancy things. We are on a tight budget that pushes us to say no to a lot of luxuries that other families with two incomes may have the privilege to say yes to.
Sure, I would love to live in a fancy house up in some adorable mountain town and drive my fancy Subaru to work every day. But instead, I live in the desert of Colorado. We choose to sacrifice beauty for cost of living. If we chose to live in our dream mountain town, I would have to sacrifice raising my kids for the luxury of a beautiful location, and that’s not a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
The idea of putting a professional career on hold for the unforeseeable future and learning to live with less may be a sacrifice to some, but for this stay-at-home Mom, it’s a no-brainer decision!
I know there are so many Moms out there who wish they could stay at home and don’t have the privilege of doing so, so please know I do not take this opportunity for granted because I see it as an incredible blessing and responsibility.
Because of the choice we made and the sacrifices that come with it, I have the privilege of being the one who raises our daughter. I have the privilege of being the one who creates her schedule and gets to experience all the firsts. I get the privilege of teaching my daughter her moral foundation.
As a stay-at-home Mom, I am blessed with being able to do life with my kid!
Whether your story matches mine, or not at all, know that the choices you make in life may have some sacrifices, however, there are always blessings to be found. Maybe your decision to go back work is the best decision for you as a Mom, and I bet you are a better Mom because of it. But in that decision to go back to work there are sacrifices you have to make but blessings that evolve through that choice. Maybe you recently decided to switch from breastfeeding to formula. This choice may have some sacrifices depending on the situation but the result could be a huge blessing. By choosing to switch to formula-feeding you are no longer stressing about producing enough milk and can now rest in knowing your baby is getting what he or she needs.
Whatever choices you are having to make, and whatever sacrifices come from those decisions, know that there are always blessings to be found! Choosing to be a stay-at-home Mom is hard, but for us, the blessings far outweigh the hardships and sacrifices.
Abby is a first time Mom, and an amazing team member of Baja Baby. She lives in Colorado with her husband Alex, their beautiful new baby girl Amelia Grace and Maple the dog. You can find Abby on Instagram by clicking here.
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