A Stay-At-Home Mama

There is big news to share today! After much deliberation, back and forth wavering, T-chart making, and thoughts of “What the $#%# am I doing?”, Steve and I made a decision that will change our lives. I put in my resignation at work. I am officially a stay-at-home mom. Wow. If you knew me 5 years ago (or even last year) – you know that this was never on my radar. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be a stay-at-home mom. I’m a “worker.” I thrive off of projects and deadlines. I like professional conversations. I feel a sense of accomplishment by checking things off my list.

Not to mention, I think there is a stigma about stay-at-home moms.

Chelsea Fagan says in her blog “There is a message being conveyed relentlessly that if I am intelligent, fun, interesting, and worth talking to — I shouldn’t be wasting my time raising children. I should be in the working world, actually doing something with my life.”

Most people were happy I have the opportunity to do this for Jax. (Steve was behind me 100%.) But, I did come across some resistance. People would say things like “Well, can’t you just work a couple of hours a day?” or “What will you do all day?” It’s like a SAHM isn’t as good as the professional mom who can work 40 hours a week, keep the house clean, go out with friends, and then find time to spend with the kids. (I know a lot of awesome mama’s who do just this and I’m proud of them!) I felt like they were trying to tell me that “stay-at-home moms are taking the easy way out…”

This was not an easy decision to make.

Could we afford it? How will I make sure my brain does not turn to mush? How could I leave an organization that has been a part of my life for the last 13 years? Would I be letting my bosses and co-workers down by not returning to work? Would I lose my identity by not having a career? How would I make the transition from the workforce to the home front? Did I even want to make this transition?

Would I be taking the easy way out?

But, really, why shouldn’t I have time to focus 100% on Jaxson? We (well, he) worked so hard to get home. He did everything we asked him to do: breathe, eat, regulate his heartbeat. Day after day, he fought for his life.  But, we still left him alone each night at that hospital.  For the first three months of Jax’s life,  he had doctors and nurses, and machines, and tubes, and pokes, and scratchy blankets.

For the first three months, he did not have home.

The more I thought about it, the more it became clear to me. Jax deserves this! After sharing laughs and smiles with him since he’s been home, I know in my heart I made the right decision to be his primary caregiver.

But in all actuality, there wasn’t much of a choice anyway. I have no options. Lockdown restrictions have eliminated the possibility of putting Jax into daycare. There is no way we can afford skilled 1:1 care, which Jax needs because of his Chronic Lung Disease and oxygen support. Jax has 4 – 6 doctors appointments per week – taking that much time off of work would be impossible to coordinate and manage. Steve’s job provides us with health insurance, and we absolutely needed that, so having him stop work isn’t reasonable. I had only one option: quit my job of 13 years to become Jax’s full-time caregiver.

I can manage his medical appointments and follow-ups. I can manage his insurance claims and hospital bills. I can manage and track his developmental progress. But most of all, I can teach him about love, and family, and respect, and fun. I can teach him to sing. When the weather gets nicer, I can teach him to appreciate the feel of the warm sun on his face and the dirt in his hands. I can show him all day, everyday how much I love him.

I can teach him what it means to be home.

Hooray!
Hooray!
Power to the people, mama!
Power to the people, mama!
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Author: Andrea M

Oh man, what an adventure! I went into labor unexpectedly when I was 23w3d pregnant. Jaxson was born weighing 1 lb 8 oz. A tiny little peanut, but boy was he feisty. He still is! We love it now, but we probably won't when he is a teenager. I write about our journey and all other things that come with it, including a brain tumor. We look forward to "meeting" you - come hang out with us...we're pretty cool.

24 thoughts on “A Stay-At-Home Mama”

  1. You know, moms who work outside the home are still full time moms. You won’t get far combatting any “stigma” against stay at home moms by putting down working moms.

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    1. It was never my intention to “put down” working moms – quite the contrary, actually. It was my plan to be a working mom, but I did not have a choice. It was a very difficult time for our family. I think every mom does the best she can and everyone’s situation is different. That’s why I was sad when I came into contact with the “stigma” of being a stay-at-home mom. Thanks for your comment!

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  2. You did the right thing by leaving your job. When you are at work you sit & wonder what he is doing & is everything ok. This way you will be there for it all. All the many more milestones he will have in his life you will be there for them. Enjoy every second & don’t look back. There will always be place of work when the time comes. Enjoy & have fun!!!

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  3. Andrea, I’m so glad you are able to do this! After getting to know you this summer, it doesn’t come as a surprise. You fell in love and totally invested yourself in your son. You are putting your son first so welcome to being a mom. Not to say that mom’s that go back to work don’t love their kids as much but those of us that are lucky enough to want to and can stay home are blessed, and in return, so are our sons. I took care of a baby in 47B tonight and it just seems like it is still Jax’s room. I have loved reading your blog and hope to catch up once the cold season is over.
    Jennifer

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Wow – room 47B seems like just yesterday that was Jax’s room. I’m so glad he’s home! I hope we left some positive energy for the baby who’s there now. They are in good hands with you as nurse! 🙂 We’re looking forward to catching up this spring, too! See you soon! (But not soon enough…)

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  4. Amazing choice. Welcome to your new job. Chief Life Officer (CLO). I have been a SAHM for over 13 years now. I have had bit paying jobs here and there. It is a very difficult decision to make, there are sacrifices. But in the end the reward completely overshadows all. There is a stigma, and yes we do get alot of grief because of June Cleaver. I wore pearls one night with my stained jeans and stained tshirt after spending the day with 3 kids under the age of 4 when my hubby got home just to be snotty when he was bugging me about something not getting done. It will get done when it gets done. I felt I had to be super Mom for a long time, but it only wore me out and made my butt bigger. Whether you are a SAHM or a full time working Mom you are going to find oposition to both. Both jobs have equal amounts of guilt. Most important no matter which you are is at the end of the day you have LOVED your child(ren). If you need advice or someone to talk to so your brain doesnt go mushy i’m always available. SKYPE, texting and email have been blessings since I started in my position many years ago. SIlver linings and lots of PIXIE DUST!!! God Speed my friend!

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    1. CLO – I love that! I’m definitely feeling some pressure (from myself) to be a supermom. I need to realize that I will never be that! The only thing I can do is be the best I can be…and accept the dirty dishes in the sink! I have a feeling you and I will be connecting ALOT!

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      1. CLO sounds so much better then homemaker, if I was a homemaker wouldn’t that make me a carpenter 🙂 My ear are always open, my fingers at the ready, and my door welcome to anyone.

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  5. Andrea, I did it both ways – first two kids I worked full-time. Last one I stayed at home. Tougher staying at home, and very humbling. I do believe the SAHM stigma. I felt it a lot, but when I look back (I work 2 nights a week now) I know the kids were a lot better off with me at home and able to do whatever they needed me to do. Yes, the money’s not always there, but I made a lot of money working and am still trying to figure out what I did with it! Lots of conveniences, obviously! Jax will be so much better off this way! There’s my two cents’ worth. Good for you!

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  6. Andrea- I absolutely love the idea. Tough though it may seem, you are 100% right in my book. You will accomplish much at home also but most of all, Baby Jax will always have his Mom close by. Great decision!!!!!

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  7. Good for you! I have to say being a stay at home mom is one of the hardest most noble jobs out there! I did it for two years and even though I loved the time I had with my boys. I went back to the corporate working world. Being at SAHM is MUCH harder than working full-time. Don’t ever let anybody tell you that your house should be spotless, your kids should be spotless and you should have it all together and everything perfectly organized because you are a SAHM. That couldn’t be further from the truth and that’s okay! My philosophy was as long as the kids were in one piece and fed during the day, I was in good shape! If I got other “stuff” accomplished beyond that, it was fantastic. Morale of my story….do not be too hard on yourself to be “super Mom” though you already proved you are! Jax is one lucky guy!

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    1. Thanks, Kelley! I’m already realizing that being a SAHM is the most difficult job I’ve ever done. I like your philosophy – fed and clothed. That’s a good place for me to start! 😉

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  8. I think you have made an amazing choice for your entire family! Not just for Jax, but for you and Steve too! Once the weather gets better, and Jax remains healthy-there are some of us Mom’s that meet up a Ponds park about once a week, sometimes more-sometimes less. Kids play and Moms talk. Would love for you to join us. Kids are from 7 to under 1, so it is not all bigger kids. They have fun, and so do us Mom’s-great support and friendships! Would love for you to come up with us, if and when you feel alright with it!

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    1. Thanks Tracy! I’m really looking forward to summer when we can get. out. of. this. house! The playdate sounds fun! We’ll have to feel it out this year, but please keep me posted on the dates and times.

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