I am happy to have Deja guest post today. She is talking about what influenced her decision on when stay at her job and when to be a stay at home mom.
When I was a child I fell in love with childbirth and insisted I wanted to be a doctor ( if I had known the word for it back then I would’ve said, midwife).
And growing up, both of my parents worked full-time so I assumed that was how all families functioned. I don’t remember anyone being a stay-at-home mom and, if they did stay home, they watched other people’s children. That was my normal- moms and dad work.
Therefore, I assumed I would become a doctor, get married, have kids, then return to work shortly thereafter. It was just what you did, right? Oh, how naive I was…
My Catalyst For Change
The week my daughter was born I got laid off from work. It sounds tragic but it was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. I was very fortunate and received eight weeks of maternity pay, ten weeks of severance pay, and then unemployment while I found a new job.
My daughter was a “high needs baby” and demanded to be held almost 24/7 by me or she screamed. Thankfully, my midwife introduced me to babywearing and I was able to wear her in a wrap the majority of the first two years of her life.
Therefore, it was no surprise when I started working from home as an obstetric case manager when my daughter was five months old and she did not take well to the babysitter. There were many days (and evenings) she would be with me in the wrap, feeding, in the bouncer, or playing on the floor while I was on the phone. As fortunate as I was to be working from home, I hated it.
I no longer felt my purpose in life was to help pregnant women- at least not at that point. My priorities had shifted and my number one role was being a mom.
Making Tough Choices
After a year and a half, my husband and I decided we were ready for baby number two. He had seen my daily struggle and tears overworking while I felt my daughter needed me so he instantly supported me when I said I wanted to be a stay at home mom. However, this meant we had to make a lot of changes.
We have never been rich but we had always had two incomes so the thought of such a drastic change was terrifying. We already lived on a tight budget so we knew a lot would need to change.
My husband grew up on a farm so he suggested we downgrade our home and move to the country. It was a lot for me to take in but I would have walked through glass to stop working at that point so off to the country we went. Our mortgage went from $1400/month to $880/month. Much better but our budget was still in the red.
Then we decided we didn’t need two cars which honestly seemed insane to me but I wanted to stay home with my babies so bye bye car.
Getting rid of my husband’s truck freed up about $300 more a month. It took time to get used to being at home for 24 hours at a time but I quickly adjusted. We also started shopping in bulk at Sam’s, downgraded our cell phone bill, and got rid of our cable.
The budget was tight- but it worked.
My daughter turns four this month and, as challenging as these last four years have been, I would not change any of it because it led my family to where we are today. Our journey has been a unique one but we’re more than okay with that.
Along the way, I have learned a lot about and life in general. Here’s what I hope you take away from my journey thus far:
1. Your Calling and Purpose Can Change; Follow Your Heart
Whether you have found it or not, everyone has a purpose in life. However, neither people nor circumstances are fluid throughout one’s life and it’s okay if your purpose changes throughout your life.
2. Be Honest With Yourself
Sometimes we can be so set in our ways we have a hard time seeing what’s in front of us. If something in your life isn’t working, admitting it to yourself has to be the first step. Once you acknowledge it, you can make the changes needed to feel at peace with yourself and your situation.
3. Your Journey is Different from Everyone Else’s- and That’s Okay
When I told my family we were selling our 1700 square foot home to live in cabin 20 minutes away from the closest store, they looked at us like we have three heads. But that’s okay! Our decisions and the path we have chosen has to work for us, not for them.
4. Do the Scary Thing
Change is scary. But sometimes in life you have to take a leap of faith and do something that completely different in order to see changes. We have all heard the saying “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again expecting different results.”
If you want your situation to change, sometimes you have to do something you have never tried before which can be scary- but worth it.
5. (Some) Things Happen for a Reason
Sometimes things in life happen that cause us to question ourselves or our journey but often times things happen for a reason. Getting laid off seemed awful but had I not been laid off, I would have had to return to work when my daughter was two months old and I would have never found the work at home position (which, as much as I hated it, was one of the best things that could have happened at that time)
6. You Will Know When To Be A Stay At Home Mom
When I first started thinking about being a stay-at-home mom, it seemed impossible. There was no way we could trim our budget by almost half and still make ends meet. No Way. It was impossible… until it wasn’t.
Life is a journey and life is messy but that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with stepping outside of your comfort zone and doing something new and challenging. Sometimes a leap of faith is just what the doctor ordered.
What about you? Maybe you did not have to turn your entire life upside down, but have you ever made a drastic change in order to follow your inner voice? If so, leave a comment below.
Deja Cronley is a Registered Nurse turned Blogger. She fell in love with natural living four years ago and has dedicated herself to educating others about organics. She loves Crossfit, the beach, and playing with her kids. Read more about organic, non-toxic living at DejaVuOrganics.com.