Transitioning From Corporate Life To Stay At Home Mom
In a former life, I was a traveling sales rep. That was only a year and a half ago, yet it feels like a lifetime. I fixed my hair. Every day. I wore heels. Every day. I was in a different town nearly every day. I met new people, and had interesting “adult” conversations every day.
Like many others my age, I had always determined my worth by how successful I was at work. It was a sore enough spot for me that I wasn’t working in the field that I had spent 4 years immersed in. Unfortunately, I think a lot of college graduates can say that. However, sales was a natural fit for me. I loved meeting new people, and made friends everywhere I went. I also really enjoyed traveling. Exploring new cities and building up my hotel points was fun. I didn’t love the never-ending conference calls and spreadsheets, but that is just part of any corporate job. My job was fun, and I really enjoyed it.
After I got pregnant with my daughter, I started to feel a bit differently. The stress started to get to me. It’s also really hard to enjoy traveling when you’re having to stop on the side of the interstate to throw up. Gotta love morning sickness, or rather, all day sickness! I also started getting major anxiety at even the thought of having to leave her. Every time I planned on checking out the local daycares, I’d always find some excuse not to go.
Once my daughter was born, I fell quickly into the “mom groove.” Everything revolved around her, and I didn’t really consider that a bad thing. I absolutely loved being a Mom. The bad part was that I began to forget who I was.
When my maternity leave was up, I did return to work. Luckily, due to the nature of my job, I was able to make my own schedule. I scheduled out-of-town appointments on days that my husband would be working from home. We made it work for a little while, but it was rough. Every time I had to leave, I would cry. The entire drive. I couldn’t go on like this for very long.
My husband and I eventually agreed that I would resign from my job, and become a Stay at Home Mom. I was pretty excited about this. What could be better than being home with my baby all day? I would never miss another moment!
I soon settled into a routine. Every day mirrored the one before. I was on a baby’s schedule, and schedules had to be kept to maintain any semblance of peace around the house. Between nursing sessions, playtime, and nap attempts, there wasn’t a whole lot of time left for me. I had fallen into a pattern, and it was difficult to find the motivation to change it.
That first year wasn’t easy, but I eventually began to find little moments for “me time,” and found the motivation to do more than just sit at home with the baby. The crazy thing is, what seemed to help me the most was getting (and actually using) a new planner. Somehow, seeing the housework, outings, and appointments lined out on paper helped me to stay focused and get things done. I also love my to-do lists. Crossing things off as I get to them gives me a feeling of accomplishment. It really is the little things that can make a big difference.
How are things now? Well, my curling iron and straightener haven’t been turned on in lord knows how long. A year? Two? No clue. I’ve become the queen of wash (when I get a chance), air dry, and pile it up in my mom bun. My hair is long, and I do like it down, so some days I fix it (and by “fix” I mean brush it…) but this only lasts maybe an hour before I go searching for a ponytail holder (who am I kidding, I always have like 3 on my wrist). Long hair flopping around just doesn’t work well when chasing a toddler all day. I still wear yoga pants and workout clothes a lot of days, although I can’t remember the last time I actually worked out.
I’ve had to adjust to a new normal. On the tough days, I count down the minutes to nap time and then bed time, but most days, I enjoy every minute of watching her learn and grow. Every cute expression, every little giggle, every time she says, “Mama” just melts my heart. This face makes it all worth it.
It takes a lot more motivation and planning to get everything done these days. If there were such a thing as a SAHM welcome bag, I’m sure it would contain a giant Tervis and a Costco size box of K-cups. Coffee is definitely a huge help each morning. Even better if I actually get to drink it before it gets cold.
This is a drastically different life than one I lived a short time ago and it has been quite an adjustment, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I know how lucky I am to get this opportunity.
If you are a SAHM, how was the transition for you? What are/were your biggest difficulties?