The winner of the matcha giveaway has been posted! Is it you??
As most of you know, I was a stay-at-home mom for the first year and a half of Mason’s life. Then, a little over six months ago, I decided I was ready to give the whole working mom thing a shot. (You can read about my reasons here.)
So, how are things going now? Do I have any regrets?
Really, I don’t think things could be going any better. Mason loooooves his daycare (like, that probably isn’t enough o’s) and is in very, very good hands, so that’s the most important thing. And while I miss my stay-at-home mom days sometimes, I’ve found that working has put me in a really good place mentally.
I come into work, my office is quiet, my time is my own, and it’s just…easy. In comparison. I’m not spending my days going through the same cycle of feeding, cleaning, changing, and entertaining, dealing with tantrums and poor sleep habits and weird phases, and feeling myself go a little bit crazier every day. (But like I said, I still do miss it!)
And at the end of the day, I’m not desperate for a break—I’m eager to get into mom mode. I even have energy to work out and clean the house a lot of the time.
I know people say that being a mom is the hardest job on earth, but I always wonder if they’re just saying that. In my experience, after having done both the SAHM and working mom gigs, staying home (at least with a baby) is definitely harder–at least mentally.
Some of that might be unique to my situation, though, I’m not sure. I struggled a lot during Mason’s first year, trying to sort out his health situation and make the “right decisions” while feeling pretty isolated and overwhelmed. If I could do it all over again, there are lots of things I would change to make things easier on myself (for example, I’d force myself to get more social with mom groups, etc., despite the scheduling challenges with a baby). Plus, Mason is no easy kid, on any front.
But I think the first baby is a huge learning experience for every mom, and no matter what your situation is, it ain’t easy.
Logistically, being a working mom is more difficult—setting up and getting to appointments during the day is much more of a hassle, for one thing. When he’s sick, we have to scramble a little. Things like grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, and cleaning are harder to keep up with (and much more of it falls onto the weekends). And, of course, there’s all the commuting and getting up early.
But one thing that’s nice about daycare–that I didn’t really expect–is having other primary care providers of Mason to talk to about him. It’s so nice to get some help on all the decision-making, from people who know my kid as well as I do. To get gut checks from people who are simultaneously caring for several other kids at the exact same age. (Really helps with the whole “is this normal??” paranoia.)
It’s easy to assume that moms know what they’re doing with their kids, but a lot of the time, we don’t.
Before daycare, I couldn’t imagine letting someone else be the person my kid spends the majority of his waking hours with. And while I’m still jealous of that sometimes, now that we’ve been at it for awhile, I’d feel guilty keeping him home with me all day. Having him miss out on all the fun activities they do at daycare, the socialization with other kids, the huge variety of toys, the constant exposure to new foods and experiences… (He eats a wide variety of foods that I doubt he’d be eating if it weren’t for daycare—kudos to peer pressure!)
I’m not saying that daycare is the only answer—I can’t even promise that we’ll do it forever. I just know that it’s working great for us right now. Everyone is benefiting.
I also definitely don’t regret staying home for that first year and a half. Not only was it a blessing to be able to spend those precious first months with him, but it was easier in a lot of ways (like not having to pump at work and being able to manage the allergy situation) and he wouldn’t have been benefiting from daycare the way he is at this age.
I know I’m going to be missing my stay-at-home mom days like craaazy this summer, though. But only for selfish reasons: I remember all the long, long daily walks and the lazy afternoons at the park last year. I remember feeling energetic and fit from all the activity and fresh air, and I’m already jealous of last summer’s tan (haha).
But I know Mason will have a complete blast at daycare this summer—way more fun than he’d have with his old lady, ha.
In a perfect world, I’d have a part time job that would let us get the best of both worlds. Who knew those would be so hard to come by?
Anyway. We’re in a nice little routine now. I leave for work a little earlier in the morning so I can also leave earlier in the afternoon (I’m out the door by 4:30), which gives me a tiny bit more Mason time before he goes to bed. For a few months, I was being super selfish and keeping him up until 8, basically to hang out with me, but I’ve finally come to my senses and we’re working back toward a more reasonable 7/7:30 bedtime.
The end of the day is hard sometimes, when he’s tired and hungry, and I just want to spend time with him. So that’s a definite pitfall.
Staaaaay with meeeeee!
And as much as I still hate the idea that I spend at least an hour and a half in the car everyday, I’m totally used to my commute. My only complaint is that my favorite podcasts don’t release new episodes fast enough.
I’ve also decided that the world needs more podcasts in general—anyone want to start one?? I’ll listen!
So that’s where things stand right now.
Ask me again in 4 months, when we have to rethink everything to make room for kid #2!
Anyone else done both the SAHM and working mom things? What were your experiences?