Well isn’t this a controversial topic?! If you clicked for a ‘stay at home parent’ vs. ‘working parent’ blood battle then I am sorry to disappoint, this is not the post for you. There are plenty of messy online forums for that, although I would not recommend searching for them. They will leave you feeling like this…
The elephant in the room/on the blog is that I am an educated, 20-something woman, in 2018, who is married and at home raising babies. All day, every day, for I don’t know how long, I plan to pour almost all of my time, energy and heart into raising these sweet snuggle bugs into somewhat decent humans. I have chosen this full time SAHM (stay at home Mama) life and I really want to start talking about it.
I am very aware that our family set up looks pretty old school and I would happily bet that it curls the toes of some people (sorry ladies).
However, this is without doubt what I feel called to be doing right now. I am so thankful for those that have fought hard for women like me to have choices. I am thankful too for my education and the potential career opportunities that were there for me when I graduated. But from the moment I held my first baby, I knew that full time motherhood was my calling. Really, I knew it before, but that sweet girl confirmed my suspicions.
Sure it is hard, and I am totally guilty of complaining too much on the harder days, but this is life right now and I have never looked back, even when my whole world is covered in strawberry yoghurt.
J and I got married YOUNG. Like 1950s young. We graduated and just a few weeks later we were married. I was totally that “when I grow up I want to be a Mummy!” kid. I always wanted to be a Mum, and together we hoped to have kids young, but I also had a good Law degree under my belt.
A year or so passed, finally we BOTH had jobs and we had fallen madly in love with London. We were part of an incredible church, we had made some great friends, and we were about ready to start our family.
Whilst we were ‘ready’, we assumed that it would take a little while to conceive. Incredibly, it didn’t. Which by the way we never ever take for granted. We have seen too many friends battle with infertility, loss and that desperate ache to become parents to ever lose sight of what a huge blessing it has been to fall pregnant right away with both of our sweet babies.
We both wanted the same thing
Jono and I actually decided really early on that, if we would get married and be blessed with children, our ‘Plan A’ would be for one of us would stay home to raise them, that ideally it would be me. Not because I am a woman, or because J wasn’t open to it, but because I desperately wanted it to be me. We had both been raised with great examples of stay at home parents, so that must have fed into that desire.
This is a total team effort. Yes, I run the home day to day, take care of the kids, cook, clean, yada yada, but J and I both work hard to make this happen. Our decision for me to be a SAHM has not been ‘easy’. We are relatively young and doing this one income thing is often tough. Let me tell you that London and NYC are not designed for one income families. But we are patient, we work through it, make sacrifices, wait and trust God. We have seen God move in the most miraculous of ways.. but that is a whole other blog post.
Who knows what we will be doing next year and the year after? Maybe this is a short season, maybe not.
But what about your career?
To be totally honest, starting our family before establishing my ‘career’ was / is a little scary.
But, in faith, I am letting go of that. Easier said than done, I know. But I know that full time #mumlife is where I should be right now and so I will let next year and the years after worry about themselves.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34)
This is my career. I am not at home with the kids by some accident. Motherhood is my calling and my passion. I know that this season of little ones will pass and who even knows how long I will get to be at home with them?
What I do know is that whilst it is HARD, there is nothing that I would rather be doing right now.
It is not for everyone…
This wonderful but brutal internet parent world is bursting with advice, opinions, rules and methods for raising these mini humans. It is totally overwhelming. Whether you are a working Mama, stay at home Dad, working part time, part time daycare, you employ five nannies or you are an old school housewife like me – you do you.
What works for you, your family, lifestyle and convictions is exactly what you should be doing. If you are a 100% organic, bedsharing, attachment parenting, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, teaching your kid four languages before their fourth birthday parent, or whether you’re more of a Goldfish crackers and PBS Kids parent (I can relate to that one!) then that is your choice. It is just important that you have a bigger picture vision as to where you and your family are heading and what you want to achieve. Once you have that, then run with it.
Quitting employment (I don’t like the word ‘work’ because it assumes that being home isn’t work and let me tell you – it is!) to take care of children full time is not the right decision for every family. I get it.
Some people would love to be home but don’t have that option, some have careers that they cannot take time off from, some cannot make it work financially and others just know it would be a bad fit for them. Some have family close by to help raise their kids, or incredible childcare options available to them. Some have no maternity leave at all, some have a year.
There are a million ways to do this parenting thing. No choice is without its drawbacks and sadly I think that we all end up feeling a little judged, whatever choice we make.
All of this to say, comparison is a total waste of time and energy. Love your family, pay attention to the big picture and where you are headed as a family and most stick to your convictions.
This whole ‘stay at home mama’ thing is such a beast of a topic and there is so much that I want to talk about that it will have to be a series of posts. I will getting working on it!
Remember… we have got this Mamas!