When my kids were first born, I worked full time—and I hated it. I missed my kids and I despised my job. I believed (and still do) that I made the wrong career choice early on. But I had to work—I had no choice. My husband was working for a small start up company at the time that paid next to nothing with no benefits. Of course we all had dreams that this company would take off and we’d all be rich and famous. Sadly, dreams don’t always come true.
The problem was this: I’d work all day at a job that made me unhappy, then come home and handle the kids and all the housework. My husband was (and still is) little help. It’s not a putdown, it’s just a fact. Growing up, he learned that the women did all the work inside the house and the men did all the work outside the house, like mowing the lawn and taking out the trash.
Oh, I’ve tried year after year to beat that mentality out of him—to no avail. It’s not that he ignores me; it’s just that it’s never really sunk in.
Back then, I was always angry. I was stressed at work and stressed at home. I was overwhelmed and unhappy. My anxiety level was through the roof. I was mad at my husband for not being more helpful and mad at myself for being so miserable. What little time I did have with my kids, I couldn’t enjoy.
Fast forward to today. I’m now home and have been for the past three years. It was not easy to get to this point: There were arguments, tears, doubts, fears … and lots of number crunching before this decision was made. But here I am, a stay-at-home-mom.
Today, my husband has a good job that pays well and offers benefits. I am now the little housewife I swore I’d never be. I am grateful every single day that I am able to stay home; that my husband’s salary covers our expenses; and that he is so supportive of this arrangement. I am also grateful that I have a little freelance business that allows me to bring in some cash and exercise my brain from time to time.
Being a stay at home mom is stressful, of course. My kids drive me crazy and their schedules are sometimes hard to manage. But this stress, I choose. The dynamic in our home has changed. I still do pretty much all of the housework and the mom stuff, but I am no longer resentful of it. My husband works hard to make money that allows me to stay home. He never complains about it or makes me feel guilty about not working.
We struck a good balance. I always thought I’d be a full-time working mom. My mom did it and she did it well. But my dad was very helpful around the house and with the kids, so that didn’t hurt. For me, I just couldn’t find the balance; I didn’t have it in me.
Though I sometimes feel guilty about not working, I am content with where I am and the choice I made. Sure, funds are tight. But for us, the financial sacrifices are well worth the calm that now fills our home. This works for me. And more importantly, it works for my family.
Thanks to those of you who read and vote for my blog, I’ve made my way into the top 30 Family Life Blogs on TopMommyBlogs.com! Thank you and please help me keep it going. Click below, please. You ROCK!