Posts tagged ‘sahm’

November 15, 2012

Stay At Home Mom…What Does That Even Mean?!

Dancing like nobody’s looking

Recently our family made a fairly big lifestyle choice.  For many reasons, but mostly we love change and we also have always believed in those tired cliches of ‘living life in the moment’ and just really being able to fully enjoy our little kidlin. After 10 months of working full time and having H go to daycare, we decided that I would call it quits (hate that word!) and that we would be pulling him from daycare…I am truly excited and happy to say that I am now a Stay at Home Mom.

Let’s discuss this.  What does that term even mean?  Though it may seem innocuous enough, it seems it is actually quite heavy with meaning.

I’ve come across various ideas of what a SAHM is from different people but they seem to veer on either end of a bizarre spectrum with the two major assumptions (and I say assumptions since these are in no way actual definitions) outlined below:

1 – Depressed and overly-stressed woman who has zero adult interaction and who regrets her decision to stay home to raise her kid/kids. Waits anxiously at the door for her husband to come home and release her from crazy screaming toddlers and baby mayhem. Commonly found with cake batter in her disheveled hair and coffee stains on her sweatshirt.

2 – Perfectly coiffed Super-Mom.  This chickita manages to somehow make gourmet meals, look amazing, squeeze in lunches with girlfriends and arrange fun playdates for her well-behaved Super-Offspring.  Hubby jokes about her spending habits but comes home to model show-home that is clean every evening and a happy family all the time.

Realistically I fit into neither category, as I’m sure most don’t, and yet these seem to be the prevailing assumptions made when the term ‘stay at home’ is used.  For me, it is simple – I’m choosing to spend more time with my family.  In no way does this mean I am sacrificing my self-worth, social life, intelligence, or ability to contribute to society.  On the flipside, neither will I be churning out beautifully plated meals every night, signing up for pilates or teaching my child five languages.  I think I’ll probably end up falling somewhere in between where, just like any job, there will be good days and bad days.

I also think Stay at Home is a bit of a misnomer since most days we are out and about 🙂  H is signed up for some fun programs and we are lucky enough to have friends to have playdates with, so while we cherish our rest time at home, its more like a home-base for our various adventures in the city.

We got a range of responses when letting friends and family know about the recent choice we made.  It was sad that some immediately thought that something negative happened at work and that me staying home was a default.  I guess it was such a natural decision that once we figured we could make it work, I didn’t have to think twice about it.  What stood out was the ton of positive reinforcement which was awesome.  Every family is different and you just do what ya gotta to make it work.

Though I enjoy working (outside the home that is, since what I do now is definitely still work!) I really feel, and this may be naive or overly optimistic, that I have lots of time to do that.  So while it was sad to leave, it was definitely bittersweet.

Right now I’m looking forward to spending some fun times with the little guy and just taking life as it comes 🙂

 

July 27, 2011

Bye Bye Mommy-Guilt! Can I Get A Hell Yeah

Couldn't do it!

You may recall a few postings back that our lil family was gearing up for the dive into daycare.  We had done all we thought we needed to prepare, had been fortunate enough to get a spot in our desired facility and I had some awesome job opportunities lined up.  Things seemed amazingly in tune with the universe.

Until we decided that daycare just wasn’t the right fit for our family at this point.  Dun dun dun.

Like with many choices as a parent,  I found myself guilt-ridden no matter which option we took.  Am I the only Mom out there that feltguilty at the drop of a dime?!

Finding a job you love – guilty, you are abandoning your child to the care of others, missing out on his growth

Staying at home to care for baby – guilty, you are not fulfilling your ‘potential’, not bringing in dizzough

Using disposable diapers, feeding store-bought baby food, forgetting sunscreen, not using flash cards, using flash cards.

Guilty, guilty, guilty!

You know what? I say bye bye to guilt!  I’m over you!  I no longer bend the knee to your frown-inducing, brow-furrowing and overall wrinkle-causing ways.

I thought that Baby H would benefit greatly from being around the other babies and having constant socialization.  Which, at the end of the day, he definitely would.  But when it came time to actually being able to part with him at 9 months, I realized I still want this time with him.  He is still a baby and I’ll never get this time back and the time really DOES fly by.

All tired cliches aside, I felt tremendously happy and just lighter when I FINALLY came to the conclusion that:

1) I don’t need to plunge headfirst into a full-time career immediately

2) We don’t need to push Baby H to be any more independent than  he already is

3)  I’m fortunate enough that I can stay at home and spend this time with him

4)  Our family is making the decisions that are the best for us and not necessarily anybody else

But to get there the most important step was to crush the guilt.  Just destroy it.  It wasn’t making any decision-making any easier.

I realize there will be many challenges waiting for me as a SAHM (more fodder for blog posts!)  Life isn’t going to be all baking, shopping, lunches and playdates…

And I am still a strong believer in the positive aspects of daycare – we still have him on the list for when he is older.

But for right now, I just want to spend every waking moment smooshing his cheeks 🙂

And not feeling guilty about it one way or the other!

Amen.

What do you feel guilty/not guilty about? How have you coped (or not) with the guilt?

June 8, 2011

Delirious with Daycare Dilemma

Baby H is confused too

Not really delirious but a little illiteration never hurt anybody.

Baby H is now 7.5 months old…and so the discussions of going back to work, putting him in daycare, doing part-time of both, or being a SAHM have surfaced.

First of all, ‘going back to work’ for me means finding a job and a new career.  After spending the last 7 years running my own business (with trusty partner V) and then selling said business earlier this year, it will be a completely fresh start for moi.  This in itself is a daunting but utterly exciting prospect.  There are so many possibilities running through my head and I definitely feel lucky to be in such a unique position at this point in my life.

That being said, being at home with Baby H has been simply awesome.  Watching him grow and learn something new, literally every day, has been totally amazing.  Seeing his personality blossom into the combination of super sweet, cuddly, and thoroughly mischievious has been a total trip and I wouldn’t have traded this time for anything.

So the next step is to figure out what it is that I want – so much easier said than done. One day I feel like I definitely want to get back into the working world and flex my brain a bit more.  The next I am content to embrace my role as mommy since I know this time only comes around once in a child’s life.

Hubby and I (and Baby H) went to check out a daycare nearby and it was pretty much all we could ask for.  And with Baby H’s strong personality I don’t really feel worried about leaving him per say – he’s pretty independent and vocal about what he wants.  Now its more about figuring out what I’d like to do – and when you’re used to putting somebody else’s needs and wants ahead of your own (cue crying babe here) it’s a bit of an adjustment to go back to examining what YOU need and want.

What did you mamas out there do? Go back to work? Become a full time SAHM?  A combo of both?

Would love to hear!

Happy Hump Day 😉

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