As of last Thursday, September 22, I am officially a stay at home mom. It was a very easy decision to make, but a little tougher to follow through and actually hand in my resignation.
I think David and I first talked about me being a stay at home parent before we were even married. At any rate, I knew that this would be my new job even before we talked about having children. It sounded fun and glamorous! Obviously, I wasn't really factoring in the actual work it takes to raise a child and keep the household running.
I was off work for over a month before Georgia was born, and the last four months have flown by. I really didn't give a second thought to my job, until HR called to confirm my date back in the office. I believe they called on Thursday or Friday and I confirmed that I'd be back the following Wednesday.
The next few days were the most miserable of my life...and that includes being super pregnant in 90 degree weather! I knew that I didn't want to go back to work, but I knew it would be very difficult to just walk away and leave my career behind. My career that I've worked the past eight years to build...nevermind that I spent 18 months constantly studying for and passing the CPA exam.
But I knew deep down that being a working mom wasn't for me. I would truly have to split my time between work and home, and I knew that in the end my family would be on the losing end of my decision. I was at the point in my career with my company when I needed to either step up or step down. I got a promotion right before maternity leave, which made me know that much more (dedication, time and effort) would be expected from me when I returned.
So I fretted, cried and prayed for three days. I went back for one full day and my stomach turned every time I thought about telling my bosses that it was my last day. They gave me my annual letter, which is a letter detailing a raise I received while I was out and my bonus for next year. My stomach turned at the thought of walking away from that much money. But then my heart ached when I thought of missing Georgia's first step, her first word, and the thought that someone else would be feeding her pureed peas for lunch pretty soon.
In the end, I am one hundred percent sure of my decision. Georgia validates that every morning when she wakes up with a big smile on her face that's only for me. But I would be leaving out a big chunk of how this decision feels if I didn't tell you that I feel much more pressure now, and that the thought of not having real time off or away from my job is daunting. I put much more pressure on myself now because raising my family is my only job...if my children turn out to be social deviants I will fault myself; in my previous life as a career-girl, there were checks in place to make sure I didn't send anyone to jail! I'm also the mom, 24/7, year round, no paid vacation. In my previous life, if I needed a break, I simply booked a few days off or hit the spa on the weekend. Now, even if I'm able to get away, I know I'll miss and think about little Sweet Potato and never have an actual break from it.
In all honesty, I really wish I'd written this post last week when thoughts and worries were running through my head a-mile-a-minute. I had several versions of it in my head, but today when I sat down to write...well, all is right with the world and none of the stress and angst are there to be put down on paper (computer screen).
For any stay at home moms who read my blog...how do you maintain a work-life balance when your life is your work? My husband works at a very mentally exhausting job about 60 hours each week...it doesn't seem fair for me to pass off a grouchy or hungry baby as soon as he walks in the door just so I can have a break...how do you get your little breaks in? She's too young for mothers day out right now, but she's also not an infant anymore, so she's awake much more than she's asleep during the day, which means I'm tasked with teaching and entertaining her quite a bit!