Ahhh I am so happy to be moving forward with this fun series. We are working to bring all moms together by featuring working moms and stay at home moms. Each mom will have a chance to give us a glimpse into her life! You can see our first working mom post here, by Lindsay (me).
Onto the good stuff… also I might be slightly biased since Erin is one of my besties! I immediately knew I had to ask her to help with this series!
Introduce yourself mama!
My name is Erin and I’m a 35 year old former workaholic who decided to become a stay at home mom to my 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter after the birth of my baby girl. I’m married to my hilarious husband whom I’ve known since the 3rd grade, been together with for twenty years (yes…twenty) and married to for almost ten! He is the cause of all of my laugh lines and the best Dad to our little ones.
What do you do ?
I was a full time working Mom with a wonderful job in Medical Sales until my daughter was born. Now, I spend my days chasing my wild and crazy daughter who is covered in stains and constantly has hair in her face while trying to answer questions from my son about where EXACTLY dinosaurs are now…(if anyone has a better answer than dinosaur heaven, please let me know). I make car trips to and from school and work with my daughter on the things I remember my son learned at daycare; letters, numbers, colors and ABC’s while trying teach them both what it means to share and be kind. I take care of all things laundry, cleaning and shopping for everyone and on the craziest days, I try to stop what I’m doing and get down on the floor to play for a while because I know these days go by way too fast and I’m utterly grateful to be at home.
Why did you choose to stay home ?
I started working in the real world a week after college graduation and had been until I decided to stay home. That was always my goal at some point so I wanted to work super hard and get to a point where I had the choice on what I wanted to do, financially and professionally. My Mom stayed home and some of my fondest childhood memories are of being with her and my three sisters. When my son was born, going back was super hard but we were not in a place financially where I could stay home just yet so my son started daycare right away and I went off to work. I loved my job, which made it easier, but I longed to be home with him.
My husband and I have struggled for years with infertility and we longed for another baby not long after our son was born. After over a year of pure hell, constant rejection and more tears than I can quantify, we FINALLY got the news we were waiting for and found out our daughter was on the way. We were elated and talk of going part time became the topic of conversation. That was the original plan, however, my boss that approved me cutting back ended up leaving and my new manager (whom I had never met) told me a mere two days before my leave was up that part time was no longer an option. My husband and I talked about options and he made a beautiful spreadsheet (which he loves doing) of finances, costs of daycare, cost of preschool (which our son could go to if we pulled him from daycare), etc. We figured out we could do it but he left it up to me. Of course there would be some changes but none that to me seemed a bigger deal than achieving what I wanted which was staying home with my kids that we went through so much to get here.
Anything you don’t love about staying home?
To go from a job where I was in outside sales and did NOTHING but talk to people ALL DAY LONG, it was certainly an adjustment to being completely on my own with my littles. Even daycare dropoff and pickups were fun because some of our closest friends went to the same place so I’d get to see friends all the time! I’d say that there are days where you can feel lonely and miss adult interaction!
What is a tip for a first time stay at home mom?
If you are coming from a fast paced working world, know that it is an adjustment! I remember my sister telling me that at times, it is a very thankless job, but try to remember that what you’re doing is super important even though it won’t always feel that way. At work I was told what a great job I was doing, I won awards and got bonuses…clearly at home that is not going to happen so you can have moments of self doubt wondering if you’re doing the best you can do but know that you are and reach out if you need help.
What is a perk of being a stay at home mom ?
Being able to witness my daughter’s firsts (first time rolling over, first words, etc) at the very moment it happened was and is incredibly special to me. The other day I was singing the ABC’s and out of nowhere, she sang along and finished them on her own to my surprise and I realized that I taught her that! Also, I would say that anytime my kids are sick and knowing that I can keep them home and not have to worry about calling their grandparents at 7 AM for help is a huge bonus. I hated ever leaving them when they didn’t feel well but as all working Moms know, there are days where you have to work and can’t get out of it.
How do you balance Mommin’ and running a home?
When you stay home, schedules are super important not just for your kids, but, for Mom’s sanity! It can also be very hard to get things done with the kids running crazy and there are certainly days where I wish I got more accomplished but I had to make a last minute run to the Pediatrician’s office or some other distraction that throws a wrench in my daily ‘To Do’ list. I have learned to roll with the punches and do the best I can. I try really hard to be present with them and even though repeating myself 1,000 times a day is exhausting, there are moments I catch between my two where they share or say ‘I love you’ to each other without me prompting and it makes me feel like MAYBE they do listen to me.
What would you say to a Mom trying to decide if she wants to go back to work or not?
Do what is right for you and your family and don’t care what other people think or say about your decision! Co-workers of mine were shocked I made the decision to stay home and said I would go out of my mind but I can pleasantly say that I really do love it and am cherishing this time at home! I plan to go back to work one day but for now, I’m soaking up every once of it!
Is your house clean?
Honestly it depends on the time of day! I am a bit of a neat freak but while the kids are playing, all bets are off. I do make them pick up before lunch and dinnertime. I kind of thought it was a win when my son complained the other night saying, “Mom, why do you ALWAYS make me clean up?” Between all of us, the house is fairly picked up at night. It makes me feel less stressed in the morning if I walk into a clean kitchen! (Erin is the house still clean after all of our kids are playing in the basement, need 15 drinks, and 75 suckers?!)
What is the most annoying/funny thing someone has said to you about staying home?
I was at Target with my daughter while my son was at school one day (he goes a few hours a day three days a week) and ran into someone I knew who had taken the day off to watch her little boy that was sick. She said, “Oh wow this must be all you do (walking around Target) all the time, like every day, right? Must be nice.” Well, I like to think I do more for my kids and family than hit up Target although I would LOVE to go every day and buy everything I want from there but that is not my reality. I think there is sometimes a misconception on both sides that Moms can resent about the other that needs to cease to exist. Do not assume you do more than other moms or know their situation. I’ve been on both sides and BOTH are HARD WORK. Both working moms AND staying at home Moms deserve high fives and support without judgment, ESPECIALLY from other Moms!
What are your top 5 things you want to say to a stay at home Mom?
- On the days where your children are both horribly misbehaving and you look at the at the clock thinking it’s 4:00 PM and it’s 9:30 AM, take a deep breath and get a cup of coffee (you might find it in the microwave) and know that it’s going to be okay.
- Don’t let people make you feel guilty for your decision or like you don’t have goals or are lazy because that is simply not true.
- Enjoy this time. Our kids are only young once and watching them grow is a privilege.
- Make as many Mom friends that stay at home as you can so you can have someone that understands the challenges and is there for you on the longer days.
- Take pride in what you are doing, just like you would working a job outside of the house! You may not be getting awards or bonuses, but you are working very hard to be there with your kids around the clock and I doubt you will ever regret it!
Hope you gals loved reading more about Erin and her adventures at home with her cuties! If you are interested in being part of this series send us an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – !