Life’s Surprises: From Full-Time Working Mom to Stay-at-Home Mom

From the moment my first child was born, I always had it in the back of my mind that I would love to be a stay-at-home mom.  However, I knew it wasn’t possible because we needed the two incomes.  We went on to have a second child and that was all the children we were planning on. Having two children in daycare is expensive, but we could afford it and have some money left over.  God however had a different plan for us. I found out just before our daughters first Birthday that I was expecting again.  This put us in a whole new predicament.   

Do I stay working or put my career on hold and stay home with the kids?  If I stayed working, I would pretty much be working to pay daycare.  Was it worth it to give my whole paycheck away for two years until our oldest got into kindergarten?  I was torn.  I would love to stay home, but was I ready to give up my career and have to start fresh with a job when the kids all got in school?  The whole idea of starting over again gave me anxiety.  I loved my job, but I also wanted to be there for my kids.  I didn’t know what to do.   

Our third child was born. She ended up coming two months early and spent some time in the NICU. During this time my husband came to me and said, “I want you to quit your job and stay home with the kids.” I was glad that I had his support and knew how he really felt. I knew I had to take the chance and stay at home with the kids.  I was just nervous about all the unknowns waiting for me.

On my last day at work, one of my coworkers who was soon to be retiring came up to me and shook my hand. He said, “You are doing the right thing. Those kids need you at home.” His words reassured me that I did indeed make the right decision. As I punched the time clock for the last time that day, another coworker came up to me and told me that she wished she would have been brave enough to quit her job and stay home with her kids. She went on to say she regretted not taking the chance of staying home. Hearing her story helped boost my confidence in my decision to stay home, and it also gave me a different perspective that it is indeed brave.

Fast forward to today. It has been seven months since I walked away from my career. Do I have any regrets? Nope. I’m so glad I listened to my husband and didn’t let the fear and the anxiety of leaving a job and starting over from scratch in a few years keep me from quitting. Of course, being a stay-at-home mom isn’t always easy. There are tough days and yes, we have had to make financial cuts, but it is all worth it.  Do I have it all figured out? Nope, it is a day-to-day learning experience. I admit, after seven months, I am still trying to figure out a schedule and feel weird not having to go to work every day, but I wouldn’t change it for a minute.  I get to be there to watch my children learn and grow and help shape them. They are only little once, and I am so glad I get to share this with them. I get to soak in all the smiles, hugs, and cuddles!  

If you are on the fence of keeping your career or staying home with your children, I say take the leap and stay home with them. You won’t regret it. I’m so glad I did!