Ava Grace's Closet: Mama Monday : A New Feature

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mama Monday : A New Feature

If I'm being honest, ever since I made the decision to leave my corporate job and stay home, I have struggled with how much life has changed.
Don't misunderstand, I know what a blessing it is to be able to spend this time with my little one;something I wasn't able to do with her older siblings. I am thankful, yet, it was {and is} a complete change compared to the life I used to lead.
No longer getting up and getting "ready". No longer rushing out the door, grabbing coffee and quiet time in the car. No more incessant phone ringing. 
And in that, a certain peace, yet also a strange feeling of not contributing...not knowing where I fit in anymore. 
I often wonder what led other mother's to making a decision either way. To work or not to work.
Here, in this forum, I hope to share some of those stories with you and in that, selfishly, a chance to hear how other mother's are feeling. 

Christina from The Olive Tree is mama to 3 beautiful little ones, 2 girls and a boy! 

She provides me with inspiration almost daily and is one of the most helpful and kindest girls around. Not to mention beautiful, inside AND out. 
She also loves sweets almost as much as I do. Obviously, we're soul sisters. 
family3
blog...shop...pinterest
  Do you work outside the home or are you a stay at home mom? What led you to either decision?
I am mostly a stay at home mom. About 10% of the time I work outside the home and about 35% of the time I freelance from home. My husband has a very unique work schedule so we work it out that one of us is always home with our kids. I was very adamant about not having kids until we were in the position to for me to be able to stay home with them, so I guess that was always the decision from the beginning.

 Did you always see yourself in this role? Was it a dream of yours?  

I have to say deep down inside I really wanted to stay home. Then, when motherhood became a reality it really did become a dream...a dream to mold them, be with them, care for them...

What frustrates you most? What would you change if you could?
Potty training! lol. I actually wouldn't mind working/freelancing more from home but the second I take on more work is the second I realize my kids are the ones who suffer from it.  It is very tough finding a balance without my kids being the ones who bare the brunt of it. 

If you are home, do you plan to return to work one day?
For sure! In about 10 years I will have 3 teenagers...3!? If anything I'll have to go back to work to stock the 
pantry ;) 

Any words of advice for mama's who are struggling with this decision?
I think my biggest advice would be for those who are struggling with the money aspect of staying home. It is very doable...hard to lose the extra income, but very doable. Don't let the money part rule your whole decision. If you budget out and eliminate extra expenses you will realize how much you don't really need. Remember, they are only little once you can always work later. And if you make the decision to work, go, don't beat your self up, lots of mamas work... I grew up with a working mom and I never felt like I was lacking. In the end as long as your kids are loved it doesn't really matter.

The decision to work outside the home or stay home with your children is such a personal one. There is no right answer or right decision but rather, I truly feel each woman must do what is right for her and her family.

I commend each and every mother out there for this. It is not easy.
We are women and man, we're amazing.

A huge thank you to my sweet friend Christina for being here today and for sharing her voice with other mama's. 
MAMAMONDAY

32 comments :

  1. Such a great interview! I'm going to love this feature.

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  2. Fabulous interview! Though I'm not a mama - not being able to be out there working in corporate; I can relate to some of things you mentioned - like the time in the car; rushing out the door; and most of all feeling like I'm not contributing. I think many readers (mamas and non-mamas alike) are going benefit from this series...Happy Monday, xo C. (HHL)

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    1. Celia, you could actually relate to how I'm feeling even more! A child and the decision to stay home changes your whole world not unlike what you have been through.
      Love you sweet friend.

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  3. I really, really enjoyed this. Great feature! I struggle with this all the time.

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  4. thank so for sharing friend! I've told you this before...so days it would be easier to work . lol.

    i have a feeling we are going to see how guilt-ed a mama's heart can be on both sides of the coin.

    hugs!thanks for the kinds words :)

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    1. Agreed! lol. And yes, guilty if you do. Guilty if you don't.

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  5. i love this feature susan!

    christina i love your heart.

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  6. This is the toughest thing we face as women I think. Kids know if you have to work, or you want to work, and even though you can be a better person, contributing and feeling like a producer, you do have to be a good mom over everything else. Sooo tough!! I think you have to think about what you'll think about the most on your death bed. Then, you'll have your answer.

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  7. Love this feature. I think it's good to hear what other mother's do/go through. Great post!

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  8. Oh I love this kind of post! Thanks for starting this up Susan! and thanks Christina for sharing with us today!

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  9. What a beautiful post! Making that decision to stay home has gone from being something that women just do, to now being a huge decisions that each mother has to make. And many times women get ridiculed for it, which I think is wrong. What decision a mother makes should be respected and she shouldn't be ridiculed. I have been harassed and ridiculed for my decision to be a stay home mom, and made to feel as though my calling to be home with my children is not as important as going into the workforce and creating a career. But honestly, no success outside of the home can compensate for failure inside the home! If I wasn't there for my kids when they needed me; I would not be able to handle it.

    I am a stay home mom, I've always been a stay home mom and I love it. Definitely a challenging job, but I think it has the most rewards as well. Rewards that can't be measured. I now work part time from home, but my first job is always to my kids and I would never change it.

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    1. Thanks Amber. And I agree...a challenging job but the "pay" is SO worth it! Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Oh, this is a great feature! Can't wait to read more of them!

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  11. Oh Susan this is such a great new feature! I struggled so much with my emotions when I first started staying at home. This is great! Thank you so much!

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    1. I'm still struggling Shannon...tell me it get's better?

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  12. I left the business world to stay home w/my last one and I've loved every single second of it! He's in Kindergarten now, so as soon as I finish one big project that I'm doing, I'll be headed back into the corporate world. I already know I'll miss being home waaaaaaaaay more than I ever missed work (and I loved my work).

    The post is a good one. I think we all struggle with such thoughts and/or decisions at one point or another.

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    1. I had no idea you worked in corporate and then left to stay home. We share similar stories! I will be very curious to hear how things are for you when you do go back. And someone wise once said to me work will always be there but the kids are only little once.
      I try to tell myself that all the time. Especially on no nap days! lol.

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  13. i've been a s.a.h.m. for 14 years. it's hard. i have not loved every moment of it, but i see that all that has been gained from it out weigh all that has been sacrificed.

    and i don't think it's for every household. God calls each of us to something different. we should have grace for each other in that.

    great post.

    love christina!

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  14. This is such a great idea and I loved reading Christina's responses just as much as I love reading her posts. I find other mom's stories inspiring, so I'm going to LOVE this feature!

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  15. What a great post. I think that no matter what you choose ( I chose staying home) there will be times when you doubt your self and your decision. Don't ever be afraid of changing your mind. You choose to work its ok to change your mind, you chose to stay home its okay to change your mind. And it is ok to stick with what you chose. Just rmeber that your kids need you to love them and keep them fed and warm if you are doing that you are ahead of the game.

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  16. Very uplifting interview! My husband left when my children were 4, 2, and 6 months. I didn't know what to do; but I did know one thing: My kids had lost their dad to divorce. They were not going to lose their mom to a job.

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    1. Wow Lisa. I had no idea...what a strong woman you must be. Your children are lucky to have you.

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  17. i've always considered myself a SAHM. however, i do some odd jobs on the side and lately the work has been piling up and therefore my kids, my house and my health/stress levels are suffering tremendously from it. i'm just a mess and can't wait to be done working so i can be sane again. so. i guess i'm just not cut out for it at this stage of life. i'm cutting down tremendously this month and next.

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    1. I so hear you. I often take on too much and then feel guilty when I realize it has been x amount of days since a play date or fun excursion for my little one vs just running errands.
      Good for you for recognizing it!

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  18. I remember that day.. Your heart was broken. Regardless SAHM or working mom ,our children will never forget what sacrifices we have done. The boys remember both good and bad.. one thing they will always remember. you will love them forever no matter what.

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  19. Nice to meet you.
    I think that's what women need to hear...that the lower income is doable. I've been off of work for 2 years now but with careful budgeting, we are making it work.
    I'm very blessed to be able to stay at home with my son...errrr...now that he's in school...I'm blessed to wash the toilets by myself :)

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    1. Ahhh, the things I would do to wash toilets in peace...

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  20. Love Christina and her blog! Such a great post. xoxo

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  21. Chucking in a paid job to become a SAHM isn't easy. You have to find your balance again, and even determine who you are all over again. But it can be done! It just requires stamina and willingness to do some serious soul searching.

    http://www.momfever.com

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I love reading every last one. Thanks so much for stopping by our little blog. xo.

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