i’m blessed…

The few blogs I know about and read with authors who are new moms, along with a few people on the Faceplace who also just had their first child, all seem to have one thing in common: they have to go back to work and none of them seem very thrilled about it.

Going back to work is not a want.

It’s a MUST.

It’s a requirement.

It isn’t optional.

I feel really, really lucky to be one of the few people who will have the chance to stay at home with the sprout. I don’t *have* to go back to work (not that I have a work to go back to at this point, anyway). I get to stay at home and be a mom. I know there are not many people who have that luxury and I feel exceptionally blessed to be among the few who get to do this.

Honestly, I have to thank Tim for working his ass off every single day for me to be able to stay home. Without his hard work…we wouldn’t be in this position. It *has* been an adjustment…getting used to one paycheck versus two…but things have been looking better and better for us and we’re learning how to pay more attention to what we’re spending. Before, we just bought whatever, whenever.

Since one paycheck versus two?

We’ve scaled back.

We have to plan big purchases.

We make a budget every month.

Obviously, we probably should have been doing this all along, but we didn’t, so beginning to do this was hard at first because it was completely different than what we had been used to doing.

Now that we’ve mostly figured it out, instead of me looking for a job, I will instead get to see the sprout all day, every day. I don’t have to leave him – and my trust – in the hands of a daycare five days a week. I may get tired of being “mom” sometimes but doesn’t everyone get tired of doing their job at one point or another? Just sayin. Carry on.

Some women are really keen on going back to work and can’t wait to do so…which is totally fine…for them. I made a decision…awhile ago…that I wasn’t going to be one to let my job define me. Granted, had I not gotten married and continued climbing the corporate ranks, I may have thought differently.

However, I did get married and I married someone who was already well on their way climbing the ladder, so to speak. I could have either chased the same thing or I could stop going down that path and give myself over to running the household, so to speak.

Plenty of people turn their noses up at this. Plenty of people think this is old school and ridiculous.

I don’t.

My mom stayed home to raise me. Tim’s mom did the same with him. We both see lots of benefits to this kind of arrangement, even though it will mean I won’t become Ms. Corporate America. When people ask me what I do, I’m going to have to say I’m a stay at home mom.

And I have to be ok with that. Proud that I can join the ranks of the “SAHM’s” and raise the youngin’s.

This idea used to bother me, a lot. I always felt like I needed something to define ME.

Until the end of college, it was basketball.

That’s how anyone knew me.

If you and I were friends back in the day, that’s who I was: Jessica, the basketball chick.

I was ok with that. I had an identity and people saw that as an accomplishment. It was acceptable. It was my life.

Now, though, staying at home to be a “mom” isn’t seen the same way as being a basketball star was, even by those mom’s who have kids and go to work, allthewhile wishing they could stay home.

Why is that?

Don’t throw stones. Don’t judge me.

I know I’m in a position to do something most people don’t and devoting yourself to staying at home and solely being a mom is such a privilege…such a unique opportunity that rarely seems to exist in our society anymore.

It’s my opportunity.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want to be my own person and figure something out to do on the side but my main goal, especially during the formative years, is to be the sprout’s mom.

What is so wrong with that?


33 Responses to “i’m blessed…”

  1. 1 thoughtsappear January 20, 2012 at 8:20 am

    It’s awesome that you can stay home. I hope that I can do that when I have a child.

  2. 3 becomingcliche January 20, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I think it’s great when women embrace the choices they have made, whatever the choices are. I, too, stay at home. I may return to work when my youngest goes to school, but my preference is to do something from home. Having to rearrange major meetings because a kid has to stay home sick is so very not fun.

  3. 5 Kathleen Reifsnyder January 20, 2012 at 8:40 am

    It is one of the most fulfilling and important jobs, ever!!!!!!!

  4. 7 jobo January 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I think this is the most amazing opportunity anyone could ever get, because it IS so rare these days!! My sister Jen is doing the same thing right now and I know it is the best for my niece, and for her. She does daycare now a couple days a week, but more for social interaction, and I just applaud it, friend. I am so glad you get to do this and have the opportunity to and KNOW it is a blessing. AMEN!

  5. 9 psychevida January 20, 2012 at 9:49 am

    No mother is ever just a ‘mom’. And identifying yourself when people ask as a SAHM, often sounds as if you do nothing…

    In fact, you are likely to become (if you’re not some of these things already!) your family’s Chef, Chauffeur, Travel agent, Bookkeeper, Receptionist, Executive director, Housekeeper, Purchasing Director, Therapist, Financial Planner, Garbage Collector, Activity Coordinator… the list goes on. And these are just things that you do.

    There are also the things that you are, like a writer and lover and dreamer and whatever else… artist, poet, dancer…

    What we do is not how we should identify ourselves – even if what we’re doing is awesome!!

  6. 11 maureen January 20, 2012 at 10:20 am

    That’s cool that is what you want to do, and awesome that you get that choice. It’s a personal decision and not up to anyone else to decide or judge. I personally couldn’t do it, which is probably why I also am not married and don’t have kids. For now, I am the sole money-earner in my relationship. It works out well enough, but sometimes, I like to think of the day when the roles will be reversed. Not because I want to stay home, but so that I’ll be able to go back to school and get an even more awesome job.

    • 12 Jessica January 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

      It took me YEARS to get over Tim being the “breadwinner,” so to speak. I mean, it came down to a realization during a long run a year or so ago where I told him, flat out, that I was finally ok with being second…with being the supportive spouse versus the money earning one. Had I not been able to get to that point…we wouldn’t have even started talking about having kids. I was so used to being the big fish in the relationship that it took a lot of soul searching to let that go…and it was really, really hard…so I completely understand how you feel and where you’re coming from.

  7. 14 KB January 20, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Yeah! Good for you. And to answer your last question… Absolutely nothing! 🙂


  8. 16 Shannon January 20, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I think it is awesome. My Mom stayed at home with us and I would love to do the same. I think either way you look at it everyone has an opinion and feels differently. To each his own.

  9. 18 Angelia Sims January 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

    You are going to be awesome!! Sprout is one lucky dude to have you both for parents.

  10. 20 Wildology January 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    You are already an awesome mom:)…and I am so happy that you are happy with how the future is going to play out. That is the most important thing.

    I relish my work and am happy that I will be going back…and I really like the push-back against the crazy-judgey people out there. Each person makes there own way:)

  11. 22 ruggedgrace January 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I JUST blogged about these pains yesterday!
    Congrats on taking on THE hardest job of all time, staying home with kiddos trumps everything!

  12. 24 Michelle Kreifels January 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    My mom had to work three jobs and that barely covered the bills. I, being the oldest, helped her with the twins. I feel like a parent more than a big sister. Sometimes I wish it could’ve been different but, that’s just the way it was.

    I admire your decision. It’s not easy to dig your heels in and stand strong when people are constantly judging you. There is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom. I think it’s awesome!

    • 25 Jessica January 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Wow. That’s more than dedication with your mom. Obviously, she did all she could to provide for you all…and that really says something.

      I feel like we’re always judged, no matter what we do. I’m just starting to not care. 😉

  13. 26 JessSutera January 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I love this. I am so happy that you have the opportunity to stay home to raise sprout – and I love that you fully appreciate that blessing. It is so rare these days that mom’s get to do just that – be a mom. Full time. No distractions. I think it’s awesome. You guys are going to be awesome parents!

  14. 28 Mrs Loquacious January 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I, too, plan to be a SAHM if Hubbs’ job permits (which it currently does). It is indeed a blessing to be able to live and thrive on a sole income, and to be present for all of those “firsts” in baby’s life. I don’t envy my friends and family who need to return to work to maintain certain “lifestyles” and the socio-economic pressures of living large; many of these are women who are torn between career and child(ren) and I don’t think that either they or their kids believe this to be the ideal arrangement

    I want to come up with a better title than SAHM or “Domestic Engineer” though…

  15. 30 PJ January 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    First off, I think that you coming to this decision is great! And I’m all for a parent staying at home to raise to kid(s) when it’s feasible and when it’s what the parent wants.

    My mom stayed home with us too (I also had a “play group” growing up that I loved) when we were growing up and I would/could never do that because I saw the pain and dependence on another person that it caused. In bad situations it can be so crippling to have no job, no money… if you should need to leave. (I’ve actually seen this in more than one case and it scares me more than anything in this world.)

    Not to worry you or anything. Sorry, I didn’t mean to freak you out.

    • 31 Jessica January 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      If I’m honest, that aspect of it terrifies me. What if something happens and then where would I be? That part of me strongly desires to figure out a way to make $$ now…doing something from home…just incase…because you never know, even though Tim swears up and down that nothing will happen…the child from the divorced family is still cautiously optimistic.

  16. 32 Amber January 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with that at all! I too feel very fortunate to be able to stay home with my little one. I never imagined I would one day want to be a stay at home Mom and do domestic type things but I love every minute of it and also feel blessed to have a husband who works hard to make it happen. 🙂 They are only little once so we have to enjoy it and you are the best person to raise your child. 😉 Good luck as the time draws closer.

  17. 33 Jenera January 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    When we started having kids my hubby was a trucker so it was key that I stay home because it was hard enough with having one parent gone all the time. Then I found jobs or work I could take my oldest with me or stuff I did from home. You’ll find a balance. I’ve worked and haven’t worked and both ways are hard. Eventually you will figure out the best route. But being able to be home with the baby in those first few months is awesome.

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