Goodbye to office culture, silly jargon, meetings, and endless slices of birthday cake doing the rounds. And hello to my new life as a stay-at-home mom!
Corporate life never suited me, but tea parties and babies feel like second nature. I’m so grateful that I get to do this every day. Before taking maternity leave with my second daughter, I hemmed and hawed about my future as an employee. I loved that job and the people I worked with. But that feeling of guilt, of not being allowed to give my child the attention I thought she deserved, that ate away at me. Looking down at the sweet smile on my newborn, I couldn’t fathom missing a second of her babyhood. It goes by a lot faster the second time around.
Another roadblock for me was the pressure I feel from outside sources to be a working mom. It’s like you’re not valid unless you bring in a paycheck. But isn’t that completely upside down? Everyone around me is childless, unmarried, and almost 30. I stick out like a sore thumb and I don’t see sentiments changing any time soon. The fact that I even have children creates this huge canyon between my friends and me. There is so much I can’t talk about because my head is full of cute toddler antics. Always going against the grain is tough. These waters are unpredictable and uncertain.
In my community, the role of a stay-at-home mom is synonymous with ‘villain’ to the work-a-holic’s ‘hero.’ My closest female relations tried to talk me out of it but my husband gave me his total support. I’ve heard them speak scathingly of “yummy mummies” and women who allegedly waste their time going for coffee or the gym. Distasteful to some apparently, idyllic to me.
Imagine a whole decade of adulthood goes by… disappearing into a blur of hangovers and working a typical job. The image of high-flying twenty-somethings is a lie. I don’t see my peers doing anything that I couldn’t do with small kids. I grew out of hangovers long before babies entered my life. However, getting up early on a Saturday morning for a brisk seaside walk and coffee? I am living my dream. Even better than that is watching the joy on my daughter’s face as she races along. I don’t know which of us loves life more.
Minimalism, homemaking, slow living, and lifestyle design – there’s a reason all of these trends have spoken to me for years. Being intentional with building a life has been a huge part of my growing up. Maturity is understanding how to take elements from each of these areas and use them to add value. Quitting my job means I’m no longer working 80 hours a week!! And I’m back in the driver’s seat of my own life, “employed in the home” as we in the SAHM circle like to say. I can finally breathe and focus on my health and children in an intentional way.