To say that my life has changed significantly is an understatement. I’ve given up life as I knew it and moved on to greater, yet completely unfamiliar things. Was it the right thing to do? Yes, a million times over. How did I know it was time to make the move? I just knew.
One day I woke up, and I was a Work At Home Mom. There were no meetings on my to-do list for the day, nowhere to go, no phone calls to be made or emails to be sent out. Instead, I had a 6am appointment with myself in the kitchen to prepare a packed lunch for my husband to take to work.
This was followed by breakfast with my son at 8, then play time, lunch at noon, bath time after lunch, and more play time afterwards. Oh, and I remembered to throw in some writing exercises, and a bit of cleaning up in between.
At 6pm just a few days earlier, I was shutting down my computer at work and preparing to head home to spend time with my son. On my first day as a WAHM, at 6pm I was turning on the spare laptop that we allow my son to use, so that I could take a break while he played games.
I was completely worn out from a full day spent with him. Wow!
I’m not that good at being a mom. Not yet, at least, by my own standards. Don’t get me wrong, I know in my heart that I am a good mom, but I still have a lot to learn about BEING a good mom.
For the last six years, my son has been raised by the same woman who raised me. My mother has always been a Stay At Home Mom, and this proved to be a huge advantage during my Working Mom days. She played grandmother, substitute mommy, nanny, school bus driver, chef, playmate and friend to my little boy during his toddler years.
Of course, my husband and I made it a point to be there for the big things – first day of school, class presentations, Halloween, Christmas, birthdays. But we couldn’t be there for the little day-to-day things, and I am eternally grateful to my mom for stepping in. I’m glad we never needed to hire a nanny because, at home, I already had the best person I could think of taking care of my son.
Over time, I realized how much he had grown, and how quickly he had become a strong and independent pre-schooler. And I knew then that I had already missed so much, and I refused to lose any more time being this guy’s mom. It was time to step into the unknown, to delve into the uncertain. It was time to take the path less traveled.
It’s been three weeks since I said goodbye to myself as a Working Mom. My time spent at home has proven one point – that I am not yet that good at being a mom.
I managed to forget to give my son his vitamins three days in a row. Twice I’ve fed him lunch at 4pm because breakfast wasn’t served until 11am. There was one day where I got so carried away cleaning our room that I realized too late that he had spent close to five hours straight playing video games. I’m really awkward with toy soldiers, I find Play Doh messy and I make funny sounds when we play with robots.
The funny thing is, my little boy doesn’t really mind. In fact, I don’t think he sees any of my shortcomings as flaws or mistakes. All that matters to him is that I’m at home with him every single day. And that I am trying with all my might. So I may have a lot to learn but I am off to a good start.
I’m not as occupied as I would like to be with the Work part of my being a Work At Home Mom, but I choose not to be too hard on myself over it. On the up side, I’ve already done a couple of good projects in my first three weeks, so I think I’m off to a good start. Plus, I know I will definitely pick up the pace once I have my daily dose of free time, when my little boy starts school in a few days.
I guess I’m still adjusting to the feeling of not having deadlines to meet on a daily basis. This is something I definitely need to get used to. These are minor withdrawals from giving up work cold turkey after eight years of full-time employment. I must say, the grass on the other side really is greener beyond what I ever imagined it to be.
I remind myself every day that being a mother is also a full-time job. That I am somewhat a novice in this job position. I know that I have so much to learn and six whole years to make up for. I know I can do it, and I’m sure this will be the most enjoyable learning experience I will ever get myself into.
I already am the best mother for Tristan. With a little fine-tuning, I will most definitely become the best mom he can ever ask for. And I promise myself, no matter what happens, I will definitely learn how to speak robot.
Have you experienced leaving the workforce to stay home with your child(ren)? If so, how did you manage the transition and how did things change as a result?
This is an original, first-time post to World Moms Blog from our new WAHM and mother of one in the Philippines, Mrs. P. Cuyugan.
Photo credit to the author.
You are very brave to have taken this decision and trust me, u sippy not regret it
Thank you so much Leena!
I can relate to this feeling very well. My situation differs in the details but the feelings are the same. I love what you wrote about knowing that you are the best mama for your son. You are all that he wants, imperfections and all. I remind myself of that as much as I can. Great post!
It’s so good knowing that I’m not alone in feeling this way. It makes things easier. I’m really happy I get to meet other moms like me thru WMB. Hope to hear more from you soon, Ms. V!
I soooo envy you! I was fortunate to have the first two years at home with my first son before I had to work outside of the house – and the stay at home Mom thing really is a FULL TIME job!! But it’s a wonderful job!! My second son is now 2 years old and I’ve worked outside home his whole life. I’m not in a position to stay at home with him right now and I so long for it. Don’t be so hard on yourself. The fact that you are analyzing your performance, proves that you are a great Mom!! Enjoy it!! 😉
I think “Enjoy it” is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received yet! I will definitely make sure to do that. I really hope you get the opportunity to be an at-home mom too in the future 🙂
I love your post! 🙂 Especially when you said you already are the best mom for Tristan! 😀 We all try our best (and FAIL A LOT, most days! LOL!) to be the moms our kids need for us to be, I guess, but just knowing that we were chosen to be their moms, out of all the billions of women here on earth, suffices most times! 🙂 Looking forward to blogging together with you over here at WMB! 😀
Hiya Tina! I look forward to blogging with you too! Thanks for the support!
I like the humor and authenticity in your post!
I quit my job of 6 years at the end of my 1st pregnancy to be a stay at home. It definitely was/is the right thing for me. I love it. That’s not to say there aren’t hard moments, but it’s where I want to be.
But there were 2 things I found tough to let go of from the working world. One was being able to walk away from the office at the end of the day. When does one’s day end as a stay at home mom (or any mom for that matter)? Never. But being at home all day can make it hard to disconnect from chores, projects, etc. The second part is not having formal performance reviews. There is not built in system of praise and recognition as there is in the working world. So I needed to learn to feel the praise of a hug and recognize my own success story once my son was potty trained (which was one of the toughest projects I ever have taken on 😉 ).
I love what you said about feeling praise in a hug. I sometimes take hugs for granted, until I stop and realize that my little guy gives them at just the right times. And this is exactly where I want to be too! I never thought this would be the ideal setup for me, but now that I’m here, I’m beyond glad that I chose to do this. 🙂
I love your honesty, Mrs. P. Cuyugan! I think we’re all doing the best we can when it comes to mothering. There’s no perfect recipe! Yes, there are days that I feel like I’ve said yes to too much sugar or put them to sleep too late or shouldn’t have skipped that nap or stressed that they watched too much tv. But, those times are not the norm. And, sometimes you have to let yourself off the beaten path.
Also, if you’re worried about serving breakfast too late, find put something simple (like a bowl of dried cereal or a granola bar) in your child’s reach. I do that sometimes when they tell me that they’re not hungry and it’s a meal time. They always wind up gobbling it up!
Wow Jen, thanks for that tip! It’s such a simple solution, I love it! Will definitely do that whenever Tristan decides to be difficult about eating. I’m so glad I get to write about these things here on WMB. It allows me to learn so much from more experienced mommies (like you, with your amazing mealtime trick!) 😀
Well done for making this decision. I am on maternity leave with my second son (I have a 6 year old and a 5 month old) I am really enjoying being at home and I am thinking of ways I can spend more time at home. I am due to go back to work 4 days a week (one day working from home) very soon.
The hardest thing is .. no one teaches us to be parents, we learn as we go. At work we are generally taught what to do and can measure if we are soing a good job.
Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing your experience.
So awesome to be in the company of wonderful moms like you, Patricia! I commend you for your decision. The WAHM life is not for everyone. We learn as we go, we manage, we deal with the same disappointments in life, albeit an office to report to. Blogging has been wonderful for me as a work at home mom, because it’s through blogging that I’ve made new friends, new connections, despite being displaced from the office setting.
Congratulations on your first WMB post! This is a wonderful community, and I’m sure you will enjoy the journey!