Coming from a family with a stay-at-home mom, I always knew that if I wound up having kids, I’d want to be home with them. What was the point, I figured, of having children if you weren’t even going to be with them to raise them?
But fast forward many years and I certainly didn’t order my life in a way that would make being a stay-at-home mom even moderately possible. I racked up college loans and credit card debt like a doomsdayer stores toilet paper and ammo. I worked entry level office jobs and coffee shop gigs that barely paid the bills. I also bought into the notion that I wasn’t worth anything if I didn’t have at least something above a bachelors degree, hadn’t traveled the world, and been a career girl for a number of years before maybe possibly settling down, getting married, and enjoying life as a DINK couple (double income no kids – anyone remember that acronym from high school sociology class??) while my husband and I saved up money and lived an awesome life of youth and fun. So the bills were for Future Me to worry about, and that Future Me had gobs of disposable income to do whatever I wanted with and pay my debts off too. I’m not sure why I even thought that “gobs of disposable income” was going to happen with a B.A. in cultural anthropology.
Anyways, I bet you can guess that pretty much none of that happened. Not in that order. I mean I traveled and I moved around but it wasn’t as glamorous as I anticipated, neither was the job I got working at the largest television studio in North America. The masters work I did just landed me with more debt to pay off at some point and my now-husband, being a few years younger than me and just starting his own business, certainly wasn’t in the financial position to live a wild, extravagant lifestyle, and neither was I.
Instead, we dated for a year, I got pregnant, we got married a year later, had another baby and another baby…suddenly, the dream I had of being a stay-at-home mom was so far in the distance that the chances of it coming true were as likely as my kids cleaning up the first time I ask them to.
I was devastated each time a maternity leave ended and I had to go back to a job that I had long ago checked out on. But I had made my choices before I had met my husband and we had made other choices since then together and it just didn’t seem possible…until four and a half years after my first was born, when I submitted my two week notice and then a short while later, packed up a little box of belongings, said goodbye to my cubicle and colleagues and happily turned in my employee badge.
I had craved being at home for so long that I didn’t even stop to think about the inevitable transition period aLethargic would occur as I got used to life with my children at my side 24/7, as my kids got used to me being their primary daytime caregiver, and as we all got used to a new schedule. It was awful. Or at least I should say, *I* was awful, lashing out at the very people I quit my job to spend more time with.
It was a rough time but ultimately, through prayer, planning, and just working through it, that tough transition became a beautiful home life – a harmonious, lovely home life, exactly how I had once dreamed it would be (don’t misunderstand me – it is NOT all rainbows and unicorns, that’s for sure, but it IS the life I had always wanted, focused on raising a really good family with children on their way to being decent and virtuous members of society).
It’s been just about two years now since I logged off my work computer for the last time, and as that anniversary approaches, looking back, I can see what I did right…and wrong. And so I wanted to share those struggles and that goodness with other moms who may be considering or who might be in the midst of transitioning from full-time office life to full-time home life themselves
What I learned – what I would have done differently, what I’m happy I did – is all covered in Episode 96 of The Catholic Mama podcast, which you can listen to here, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or iHeartRadio.
I also recommend reading the book A Mother’s Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul by Holly Pierlot.
Like what you hear? Then don’t forget to subscribe and leave a nice review for The Catholic Mama podcast. That way you won’t miss an episode and you’ll also help spread this little ministry.
Need help we answering some basic questions about Christianity and Catholicism? Then be sure and grab The Catholic Mama’s How to Talk to Your Kids about God, available for FREE here.