If my old self could see me now. Five years ago, newly wed without a care in the world–other than when to take my next girls’ trip–I would have never imagined being a stay-at-home mom of two. It’s not because I didn’t want kids; I just couldn’t fathom my priorities shifting so dramatically…and me being OK with it.
Since I was in 8th grade, I knew I wanted to be a journalist. I loved to write, learn new things, meet people, and tell their stories. Each year, that ambition grew more specific: from wanting to be a feature editor, to a news reporter, and finally settling on the dream as an entertainment news host. I won writing contests, edited and did layout for a newspaper, and did my internships. I went to the best journalism school in the country, where I experienced the radio news world, and reported the news on TV.
Fast forward time to 2015, when I became pregnant with our first son. Before he arrived, my husband and I discussed and agreed upon me staying home to take care of our son. I felt fortunate and nervous, even a little scared, but determined. Looking back, I had no idea what being a stay-at-home mom entailed.
Sometimes I hear wistful comments like, “You’re so lucky” or “Must be nice.” I am very grateful to stay home with my kids. But just because I’m grateful, doesn’t mean it’s easy. What you don’t hear about as much, is the putting aside of personal dreams and professional goals to be a stay-at-home mom. I’ve definitely struggled with this. It’s been insinuated to me that my college degree is probably a waste now, but I don’t agree with that. I have no regrets about college or my work experience, because I haven’t ruled out revisiting either one someday.
JUST a stay-at-home mom?
“So you’re JUST a stay-at-home mom?” That can be a punch in the stomach, especially when you may already be comparing yourself to your yuppie friends. Sometimes, that question is raised internally, which is a disservice to one’s self. Don’t be a glutton for punishment. In a world full of mommy-shaming and judgement, why add more weight on your own shoulders?
Feeling insecure as a stay-at-home mom looks like questioning your worth. Am I doing enough at home? Am I feminist enough not climbing the corporate ladder? Was my work experience for nothing? Was my degree a waste of money? I’ve got news for ya, sister. “Just” is waste of a word. In the context of motherhood, let’s stop using that word altogether. Whether you stay at home or work, we are all mothering and doing what is best for our families. That is no easy task; it is a huge responsibility, and YOU MATTER.
You’re so far from JUST a stay-at-home mom. You wear allll the hats. You are the comforter of physical boo boos and hurt feelings, negotiator of toys between siblings, (hungry) chef, queen of multitasking, and so.much.more.
They’re only little for so long
The reality is, our babies won’t stay our babies forever. (No, I’m not talking about what you may call them or how you may see them in your mind.) Time waits for no one, and flies especially fast when you’re raising little ones. I hold on to the belief that there will still be time for me to pursue the professional dreams I have. If not now, then later. I’m also a believer in different seasons of life, and God putting you right where you’re supposed to be. For now until as long as possible, I will enjoy all the snuggles, lazy days in pjs, and play dates. I think someday down the road, God-willing, I’ll have time to chase the career dreams on hold. The sacrifice now is 100% worth it, and I have the cutest bosses to spend my days with.