Accepting That I'm a Stay-At-Home Mom
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
Not to be mistaken as "funemployed"
In Mason's earlier months, aside from the stress and self-doubt that I shared in Mama Meltdowns, I also felt very out of place because I was not employed for the first time in over 10 years. I put my career on hold to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). While being a mama to Mason 24/7 felt natural and right in my heart, I would have these brief moments of feeling left out of the career environment I had grown accustomed to. I'd see my (past) co-workers on Instagram, posting pictures or stories together, and I would think - Wait a minute, that's where I used to be. I would be standing right there with them! I'm grateful that I had such a wonderful group of people to work with, and I miss them. Yet, I didn't have a moment that I felt this pull of I need to go back to work now! I understand the chapter of that part of my career-life has closed (for the time being), and today, I'm much more comfortable saying that I am a SAHM.
There were a few awkward (totally on my part) conversations at the beginning of mamahood for me. Whether catching up with a friend or meeting someone, the usual and fair question is often exchanged, "What do you do (for work)?"/"How is work going?". In the beginning, I felt silly saying that I'm a SAHM. Usually, this was responded with "Congrats! How old is your baby now?" followed by, "Did you work before you had the baby?". And don't get me wrong, these are valid questions, and I wasn't offended by them; I honestly just felt odd answering. I think there were times I even responded with a questioning tone due to me being uncomfortable with myself...Oh, I'm a stay-at-home mom?
There is a difference between simply asking a new mama about her day versus making assumptions about her day. When Mason was 0-3 months, on rare occasions, some people would say something along the lines of "It must be nice staying home all day with the baby who just feeds and sleeps. So what do you do all day?". Meanwhile, I'm internally on fire - SO WHAT DO I DO ALL DAY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? But I'd take a deep breath and remind myself that some people just don't know. And that's OK, but these few words really got me thinking that maybe I wasn't doing enough for my son, and wondered, what was I doing for myself? I looked to the mom community and found that this is a common occurrence. That some people assume that a SAHM does nothing; that a mama may downplay her role as a SAHM because she's no longer in a career-setting, which I loved reading about here; that there are plenty of ways for a mama to embrace being a SAHM and found this personal boost here.
I had chats with B about this, too. He really set my thoughts straight when he said, "Look, you shouldn't be embarrassed by saying you're a SAHM. You've got the hardest and best job there is. Mason is so lucky to have you as his mom. Are you embarrassed to be Mason's mom?". I remember that last part sunk into me. I'm never embarrassed to be Mason's mama! I love that kid, and I'll let the whole universe know that I love my son. Thanks to B (per usual), my mindset changed for the better. While I was always focused on taking care of Mason and bonding with him, I realized that I didn't embrace this new role for myself.
So yes, I am a SAHM. The hours are long, I never know when I'm going to get a lunch break, I'm unpaid, and I love it. Before the pandemic, I thought that I was going to start working again around Mason's first birthday, which was just this past August. As B continues to work remotely, Mason continues to be much more active (wobbly walking, grabbing everything, and the newly discovered thrill of climbing), so it's great that I'm home with him. Whenever I have time to myself, I'm working on the someday room, which I'm genuinely LOVING! I feel so lucky that I have B's support to go back to work when I'm ready. I love being here for every moment of Mason's day. Even though B still works at all hours from home, he too gets to be present for Mason's milestones, which is so special for all of us! While I know that someday he will go to daycare or Preschool, it makes me so appreciative that I do have this time with Mason now. I'm thankful that I have this opportunity to be with my son and learn every detail about him as he learns about the world around him.
Besides sharing my experiences with you, the reader, I hope you're finding a little pep-talk for yourself here, too :) Especially during this unprecedented time when things may seem to only be going downhill, remember that you can still embrace who you are and put your best foot forward (I remind myself of this every day). To all the mamas, whether if you're working full-time, part-time, taking care of your baby by day and going to school by night, or you're a SAHM, too; YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR. We are each doing our best. Moms supporting moms - that's the team I'm on.Thank you so much for reading my blog!