How I Knew I Was Ready to be a Stay at Home Mom
It was never in the plan for me to be a stay at home mom. In fact, whenever I thought about the idea I quickly dismissed it from my mind. It seemed like a dream world that I would never get to be a part of. When my twin boys were born, I dreaded going back to work. The idea of staying home started to CONSUME me. After two years of being a full-time teacher and mom, I took the risk and handed in my letter of resignation. I hope to share some ideas and insight with this blog post to help others make this big decision. Here is how I knew I was 100% ready.
I Felt Like I Sucked at Everything
Being a working mom is a constant juggling act. It was so difficult for me to live in the moment because I was constantly thinking of things that needed to be done. The house was dirty, the laundry and dishes were piling up, I had stacks of papers to grade, and my lesson plans were rushed and sloppy. On my most productive days, I could get everything checked off on my to-do list but these tasks were not done well. I hated feeling like I gave 50% to my career and 50% to my family. I didn’t want to feel like I was barely keeping my head above water anymore. I was only surviving mom life and I wanted to thrive. For me, this meant I had to make being a mom my full-time gig.
I Lost My Passion For My Career
When I landed my first teaching job I was ecstatic. I would wake up early with happy energy to get to work and see my students. I put my heart and soul into lesson planning and constantly sought out ways to make learning more engaging. When I became a mom, my priorities shifted. I hated leaving my babies at daycare every day. I wished I could plan fun activities with my own kids instead of other people’s kids. I felt overwhelmed by the amount of work I had to do, and my passion turned into stress. This stress caused me to lose patience with my students and I wasn’t building the types of relationships with them that I once did. All kids deserve to have a teacher that loves what they do. My wakeup call was when I realized I was not being the type of teacher I would want for my own kids.
I Found Contentment
I knew if I resigned from my job, we would have to make some lifestyle changes. At first, my husband and I didn’t know if we were ready for that. We found ourselves discussing if it would be possible to enjoy family vacations or going out to dinner. Not to mention, I love clothes, shoes, and Target. I knew that if staying home was something I wanted we would have to make some sacrifices. I started keeping a gratitude journal that changed my mindset from constantly wanting more to being satisfied with what we have. I also limited social media, which makes it too easy for all of us to compare our lives to others. I strongly recommend Rachel Cruze’s The Contentment Journal if you are looking to improve this area of your life!
I Started Using the B-Word A lot… Budget
I’ll admit it, my husband and I used to be very careless spenders. We didn’t think twice about eating out several times a week, even when we had groceries at home. We never paid attention to how much debt we were in. We thought we were doing fine as long as we were paying all of our bills. When I decided to stay home, I knew we had to change our ways. We sat down and made a very strict budget, down to every last dollar. It was amazing to see where our money was going, and where we could cut back. Month by month we cut back on more unnecessary spending and paid off both of our vehicles quickly. This freed up a lot of our income every month making it even more possible for us to live on my husband’s income alone. If you need some help in the budgeting area, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.
I Knew My Family Needed Me More.
Shortly after my boys turned one, my husband and I noticed that one of our twins was throwing up every time he drank cow’s milk or ate eggs. We avoided those foods for a while, and then one day he got a hold of my husband’s protein bar and he immediately broke out into hives. This started our long journey with food allergies and diets. Daycare became more difficult at this point because we had to pack his lunch and snacks. I was so uncomfortable with sending his Epipens and praying he wouldn’t try to steal other kids’ snacks (which toddlers love to do). When he was around 15 months we also noticed he wasn’t hitting milestones as quickly his brother. A visit with our pediatrician confirmed that our son had some significant developmental delays. We started Speech Therapy, Developmental Therapy, and Occupation Therapy to support him. Most of his therapists worked with him at daycare so I never got the chance to speak with them. Then another bombshell hit us. We found out that he has a genetic disorder called NF1. (To read more about our NF1 story, click here) At that point, I knew what I had to do. My son needed me and that was the biggest push for me to stay home.
Being a stay at home mom definitely isn’t for everyone. I didn’t even think it was for me! It took a lot of lifestyle changes, planning, and two years to finally feel ready to do it. I know now that if I didn’t make that choice, I would regret it for the rest of my life. My boys will only be this little once and I only get one shot to be the best mom I can be for them. I never want to wonder “What if I would have stayed home and really focused on my family for a few years? Would it have made a difference?” Now I never have to wonder and I couldn’t be happier. I can always go back to work later in life but for now, this is what I am meant to do.