I have been a working Mom. I have been a stay-at-home Mom. I have even been a pregnant working Mom. The main take away from this blog post that I want Mama’s to know is that any of the above is the right choice/opportunity. Whichever is your “situation,” just make sure that it is what is best for you and your family! It does not matter what others think or say. You know yourself and your family much better than anyone else. That being said, here is my experience as a Mom over the last, almost, 12 years.
I got pregnant with my first born at 25 and delivered at 26. My husband and I are what I call “late bloomers” when it comes to marriage, kids, and all that adult stuff. That’s for another blog post. I digress. Anyways, my husband and I had been married for almost 2 years when BB1 was born. I worked at The Home Depot and held a few different roles. Head Cashier was my main role, but later in my pregnancy I was able to work bookkeeping and make schedules most days during the week. This was great, because my shifts were easier, Monday – Friday, 8-5, with a few super early morning shifts starting at 5 a.m. I worked, big and pregnant, all the way up until my doctor said that it was time to go to the hospital to have BB1. I had to be induced and he was born 6 days before his due date. When my 6 weeks maternity leave was up, my husband and I decided that it was best, for me to stay home with him. So, I turned in my written resignation and stayed home with him for just over 2 years. Our financial situation changed.
So, I began the job and daycare search. Once I found a job and a daycare, which I was very particular about, I went back to work. This was a hard and a big adjustment for not only me, but for BB1. We had some rough mornings. I had to make sure that I left early enough to spend some time at daycare with him. He needed long hugs and cried most mornings. I thought that this daycare was great, but BB1 just did not seem to be that happy there. I thought it was just still new to him. I believe he started there the end of June of that year. I knew of a private daycare opening soon, so I put his name on the waiting list. They called me the next year, just a few months after they opened, in November, with an opening. Of course, we switched. At first, he was still real clingy and did not want me to leave him. But as the weeks went on, he got better and better. I saw a complete change in his personality. He was not as clingy and would go sit with his friends after giving me a hug and let me leave more and more. He started talking more and more. I’m sure that part of his lack of happiness and not wanting me to leave him at the first daycare was the newness of not being with me all day, but I realized that it was also that, for some reason, he did not like that daycare. He/we loved his new daycare. He stayed there through pre-k 4. My BB2 also went there from 18 months through pre-k 4.
While I was pregnant with BB2, I was still working at my office job. I had been there for a couple of years when I got pregnant with him. After my 6 weeks maternity leave, I returned to work. This time was even harder than the first time. Probably because he was only 6 weeks old and so little. My Mom kept him at my house for the first 6 months, then I had a sitter for him, a family friend, until he was 18 months. Then he went to daycare. I pumped while I worked until he was 4 months old. This added to my stress of being a working Mom.
Just before BB1 started Kindergarten and BB2 had just turned a year old, I switched jobs and went back to college to finish my Bachelor’s Degree. I worked there for about 3 ½ years before I got pregnant with BB3. Once again, after my 6 week maternity leave I went back to work. This time my sister kept him until he was 19 ½ months old. I pumped at work until he was 6 months old. Then I continued breastfeeding him until he was 19 ½ months old, but I supplemented. When he was around a year old, my husband and I decided that the end of January that I could leave my job and become a stay-at-home Mom, once again. This time with 3 boys. This was right before the closures of EVERYTHING due to COVID-19. I just graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in December 2019. Thankfully, that was one less thing I had to worry about, studying for my classes.
In March, we got the notice that schools would be closing as of that following Monday. WHAT!? So, I became a stay-at-home Mom & a Homeschool (of sorts) Teacher of a 1st grader & 5th grader. Boy was that fun! 😊 Let’s just be real! That was the longest “summer” EVER! I was not expecting to be quite that busy as a stay-at-home Mom. My schedule had a schedule!
Fast forward to today. My 2nd & 6th graders are still homeschooling. Well, it is online, but still through the public-school system. They each have at least 4 live classes per week that are less than an hour long each. Then I teach/help with everything else. I only have to monitor and help as needed for BB1. BB2 is completely hands on. I also have a homeschool pre-k 2 curriculum for my 2 year old. We do his 3 days a week. But THIS! THIS is what I love and where I am meant to be. We do have some chaotic days. My older boys do gripe and complain about school-work, sometimes. But I am able to schedule in family devotionals/prayer in during the mornings before school stuff and pledges that they would not be getting if they were to go to a b&m school and/or I was not able to stay home with them. When it is all said and done, we spent quality time and got through it all, together. BB3 loves his pre-k 2 work. So, he never complains. LOL! He gets excited when I tell him it’s time to get to work. This is what is right for our family!
At the end of the day, if it is best for you and your family for Mom to stay at home, DO IT! If it is best for you and your family for Mom to work, DO IT! You can make a list of pros and cons of both and each Mom will have a different list for each. Not all Moms are the same. Not all children are the same. We all have different needs, different passions, different beliefs. Do not ever let anyone tell you that you are not doing it right as a Mom. As long as you are doing your best to take care of your children, self, and family, you are doing it right!!