March 11, 2013

Life at Home with the Little One

About a year ago, I decided to leave my amazing job to take care of our amazing little girl.

My maternity leave came to a close when our daughter was about 2 1/2 months old. When the day care organized was not meeting the needs of Clara, the best option was for me to leave my job to jump fully into raising our child. The transition was quite difficult, and I was challenged more than I thought possible... but with time, patients, support, and faith I think I have been able to get thru the change with at least a little grace. I am really thankful to know that I can handle the full responsibility of being with Clara all thru her day. It has been a great opportunity to learn how to manage a house and a child at the same time.

I think unemployed moms sometimes struggle with how to title themselves. I know that when I quit the questions of, "What will you do all day?" and "Won't you be bored?" caused me to be self-conscious that I no longer had a paying job. I did lots of research online, fining different, "Stay at Home" or "Full Time" mom blogs, explaining how they went about their day... cleaning, cooking, and organizing activities for themselves and their kids. Many of these blogs help with my transition and proved to me that I wasn't just keeping myself busy until my husband came home. I really have a job that matters. What I do during the day makes a huge difference to my husband and my daughter.

I also stumbled upon many debating or defensive articles regarding stay at home vs working moms. People from both sides defending what they do, the choices they make, and telling others what they should or should not think about the different scenarios. It seems like the self doubt of moms, coupled with the judgement of those looking in, has caused this weird rift in society.

Life at home with my little one has been (and still is) an adventure. Learning how to move at a child's pace, coming up with creative ways to organize time and money, taking day trips to the zoo while at the same time wondering if I am missing out on a paying job... this can all turn from joy to doubt and regret if I let others get to me, or let myself doubt my decisions.

I'm sure most moms (and dads BTW... I know you are the other half to this discussion) do what they think is truly best for their families. It is up to us as friends and extended members of the families to give encouragement and beneficial advice to couples who are making the most challenging decisions of their lives: How to best raise their children.