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Leaving the comfort of a salary that just arrives in your bank account at regular intervals is extremely difficult. But there’s more to it than that.
Work is also a major place where people get social interaction each day. Your children won’t provide that in the same way, no matter how hard you both try.
Deciding to be a stay-at-home working mom is tough. Letting go of your childcare set up and committing to being your child’s exclusive caregiver is harder than you might think.
But it’s also freeing. No more meals to pack, extra clothes to replenish or rigid schedules to follow. You’re free, your child is free and you can both enjoy unstructured play throughout the day.
I’m here to say it’s worth it. But I’m also here to say it’s hard.
Whether you negotiate with your boss to work entirely from home, change jobs to something work-from-home friendly or start a business, you face challenges ahead.
Taking the leap stay-at-home working mom
For me, it was many months of planning, testing to see if I could actually work with a little one around and getting finances in order. It didn’t happen overnight, and I’d wager a guess that yours won’t either.
So take a deep breath and give it time the time and planning it deserves. Stay at home motherhood in and of itself is hard. Babies cry, toddlers throw tantrums and children are constantly bored.
Then there’s your to-do list staring you in the face during theses meltdowns. So hang in there through the tough times.
If you can, build a network of other stay-at-home working moms to help you feel sane during this time. Most especially, have people you can hang out with.
Getting out of the house
One of the most important aspects of stay-at-home motherhood for me has definitely been getting out of the house. When I first started the process while on maternity leave, I was unhappy, unfulfilled and struggling emotionally.
So I went back to work and tried to figure out where I went wrong. For me, the key was the fact that I didn’t get out enough. I didn’t build a network and I didn’t reach out. Part of it was that taking a newborn out of the house takes forever, and breastfeeding in public is hard at first.
Take the time to build a schedule. Whether that’s just story time at the library or a trip to the grocery store, plan where you’re going to go each day that gets you the social interaction that you thrive.
I learned that I needed to be around people every other day. So the grocery store was great, but I wasn’t having meaningful conversations. That made the grocery store an outing without a true social aspect.
Visiting family or friends, going on a business meet up or heading to a mom’s support group all qualified as true social interactions for me. So every other day, I found a way to make one of those happen and I now feel fulfilled.