I have always worked. I began babysitting when I was 11. When I turned 16, I got a job at a dry cleaners (where I met JD). In college, I often had 3 jobs at once. I enjoyed the different people I worked with and different experiences I gained, but mostly I really enjoyed shopping and needed the extra money to afford my lifestyle. I've cleaned houses, nannied, worked as a barista, a boutique shopgirl, a nurses' assistant, an office manager, a chart runner and a waitress. And now, my greatest job to date is being a stay at home mom to Beatrice.
This job is by far the most demanding. My day starts somewhere around 7:30am and is nonstop until 8pm. There are a few naps in there but that only means I have to shift my focus on household chores while Beatrice sleeps. There is always laundry to fold, dishes to wash, meals to plan, checks to write, bathrooms to clean, floors to vacuum, litter boxes to be scooped, toys to organize, emails to respond to......phew. Once she goes to bed, I can then clean up the kitchen from dinner, fold another load of laundry, clip coupons, crochet a hat, pump milk, and maybe have time to read a blog or a book or do something for me. And on the rare occasion that Beatrice does not sleep her solid 12 hours (a gift from God), then I'm up in the middle of the night nursing/rocking/shushing her back to sleep. A mom is never off the clock.
I have never worked so hard because the work never ends!! But I wouldn't want it any other way. When I was pregnant, I never thought JD would agree to let me stay home. We spent big, saved big and enjoyed vacationing a few times a year. I dropped a few hints but he always let me know that we were a dual income family.
So I prayed. I prayed that God would open the door to let me stay home. I prayed that God would work on JD and convince him that we could survive and thrive on 1 income. And then I waited.
We were laying in bed one night and out of the blue JD says, "I think it would be best for you to stay home and raise our child." HALLELUJAH!!! God had answered my prayers. We quickly worked out a financial plan to save and live on 1 income to prepare us for the transition.
When Beatrice finally arrived, it was a very easy transition financially. I was the one having a hard time getting used to being home all day. In those first few weeks of learning how to nurse and care for a newborn, I felt like I had made the worst decision by quitting my job. I feared my mind was going to turn into mush and I would go crazy being confined to our house all day. I missed my coworkers, I missed phones ringing off the hook, I missed the stress of meeting deadlines and dealing with clients, I missed having a purpose to my day (other than being a milk factory and poopy diaper changer).
It took about 2 months for me to enjoy staying home. I think that's when Beatrice starting napping and being on a somewhat predictable schedule. But also, I remembered what God said about work: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if you are working for the Lord, not for men" Colossians 3:23. Being a stay at home mom was my job and I needed to do it as if God were my supervisor. That really convicted me to get showered and dressed before lunch every day! And to not watch TV. I didn't want to slack on the job. When I began working everyday like I was serving the Lord in my home, I began to have a heart for my work.
Now I love being at home. Some days I wish I had bigger decisions to make than which stroller to take to the park, but I realize what a huge blessing it is to raise Beatrice as a stay at home mom. I also realize that working moms are the hardest working people on the planet. They really do it all. Major props.
So as I work hard at working at home, I try to give my family the very best I have to offer. The pay is measly but the perks are priceless.