Respect to the Stay at Home Parent.

Before I had kids, all I could think about was climbing the corporate ladder. How fast could I do it? How much money could I make? What would my next title be? I always knew I would go back to work after I had my baby, most people looked puzzled when I said that – but that was what I wanted – to keep making my own money. But then, it happened. I had my baby, and the thought of going back to work brought tears to my eyes. It made me realize, “wow I do not love my job enough to leave her”. Making alot of money was no longer a priority for me and I finally understood the puzzled looks I had received.

I think it’s stating the obvious that we all have different relationships with our jobs, and that we all have different situations going on at home.  Some of us need to work more than one job to support our families, some of us are able to work part time, some of us have to leave our jobs because the cost of child care is more than we make each week. How about some of the single parents out there who don’t have any help from families and need to pay for child care and support their family? Whatever your case may be, I fully respect your hustle.  I use to judge the crap out of those who pushed products on their friends. But honestly, I get it. I understand your selling point now.

I left my job in April for a few reasons, one of which I was just not happy at my job anymore. I switched jobs thinking it was my previous job that I didn’t love – but I was just not fulfilled in the industry anymore.  Something was missing and I was no longer willing to leave McKenzie to commute to the city for a job I didn’t love.  The timing of my decision worked out well because Brian started traveling every single week, sometimes weeks at a time.  For me, it was more convenient that I was home then juggling finding grandparent to watch her for 12 hour days and worry do they even want to do that for that long. I’d always end up taking a day here or there when Brian would be gone for full week’s as well to break up the week for who would have to watch her.  I didn’t want to put her in a program until she was at least 2 so we just made it work with the help we had. These are things I would always think about while at work, my head was never fully there and I was counting the minutes to leaving at 5pm.

It’s funny because my expectations were a little bit different for being a stay at home Mom. I thought I would have a lot more spare time to work on my blog or take different photography courses. Since Brian has been gone so much, I haven’t really asked for too much outside help and have just kind of been doing it all on my own. McKenzie may only be 2, but when I am on my phone man does she hate it. Even if I try to send an email or work on a post on my phone in front of her she will sometimes hit my phone from my hand. Shout out to all the stay at home Moms out there because it’s really a lot harder than it looks. Or those who are able to work from home and watch their kids, more power to you because it’s not easy.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of my day with McKenzie is filled with fun things that we do. We go to the beach, we have play dates, we play at the park or a play place or go get lunch somewhere. Then once she is down for a nap, I have my 2-3 hours to get my life back together before she wakes up. I usually prioritize this with working out so that I don’t have to do it at night, then I will straighten the house back together. It can be exhausting and can also get lonely, which is why I always try to do something fun outside of the house when we can. I know that probably bothers people for me to say it’s exhausting too, especially working parents. I know both worlds now. I know what it’s like to be gone from 7-6:30 for work and then to come home and have to put on your Mom hat and soak in every second that you can before you put your kid to bed. Then you finally have your time to do something for yourself at 9pm or for some, sign back onto work. For me, it was just constant stress and scheduling. You really had to shake yourself sometimes to be present with where you were. These are 2 different worlds being a stay at home vs a working parent. We should really all learn to support each other, one of us doesn’t have it easier then the other. The grass is greener where you water it, if we support eachother and encourage one another to believe they are doing a great job then we can all start to feel that way.

Luckily I do have things to work on in the spare time that I do have, but when you are with your kid for full days and then full nights solo you can start to feel lonely. If you know a single parent or even a stay at home, I encourage you to check in on them. How are you? No, not how are your kids, how are you doing? Like I said up above, I now understand the side hustle of people getting involved with the companies and pushing different products on their friends.  I get it now.  Even if it’s for some interaction with adults and the outside world during your spare time, I have a new outlook as respect what you are doing. (This does not mean I want to sell anything, I just get it).

I have never been happier then I am right now at home with my girl and my family. It has been so nice to be available as a family on Tuesday-Thursday when I do have my husband home. I know we have a unique schedule at times, and I couldn’t be happier as to how flexible my schedule is. I do feel extremely lucky to be home where I am happy. I would love to start something for myself, something that I am passionate about and that McKenzie can one day be proud of me for. But for now, I know I will not look back and think I spent too much time with McKenzie.

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