I’ve always wanted to be a nurse practitioner (well, that was after I got that whole doctor concept out of my head). And since becoming one, I’m not sure what else I’d rather be. I truly love what I do. I’m proud of my achievements and grateful for all my experiences as an NP. My latest job has allowed me to learn so much about hospital medicine. Things I wouldn’t have learned in my previous jobs in an office setting. It’s also given me the opportunity to meet some fantastic people who I now call friends. I really love the social interaction of my job. With patients, doctors, other NPs. It’s awesome. Not to mention, being able to flex my brain muscles on a daily basis is seriously underrated. I love being a Nurse with a Purse.
I’ve also always wanted to be a Mom. Whether that was a stay-at-home (SAHM) or a working Mom, I didn’t know. A Mom was enough for me. I realized I was ready to take that step probably 2 years ago. I knew motherhood would open a whole new chapter in the book of life. One of excitement and new beginnings. One of challenges. And one that would give me full responsibility of raising a little human, including both the fun parts and the scary ones. Though terrifying in concept, the reality of mommyhood has always sounded overwhelmingly worth it.
All throughout my pregnancy, I thought a lot about what life would be like after baby arrived. Besides the obvious, of course. Yes, I realized I would be a sleep-deprived milk machine. That’s not what I mean. My thoughts mainly revolved around my return to work. Would I go back after my 12-week maternity leave? Would I return part time instead of full? Who would take care of our baby? All of our family is 2+ hours away from us. Do I really want my baby in daycare at such a young age?
And then the inevitable question,,,
Should I just stay home?
My mom stayed at home with us when we were growing up. There were three of us. And though I didn’t have much of an appreciation for it at the time, I now understand just how hard of a job it really is. And I only have one baby (for now)! There are long days full of diapers. The occasional tears and frustrations. The daily struggles just to get a shower in. On the flip side, there are TONS of positives that come with staying home, including endless smiles, time to go midday Target-ing, and milestone-witnessing. There is no doubt that SAHMs do not get the credit they deserve. And I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t take that into consideration when making my decision.
True to form, I made a pro/ con list in my head to assist in my decision-making process.
- More time with my baby.
- Being able to watch him grow day by day.
- The ability to travel, cook, run, explore.
- More time to focus on finalizing our house-building projects and ultimately our upcoming move.
- A lack of adult interaction.
- The possibility of going stir-crazy at home.
- Leaving a job where I’ve grown tremendously.
- Losing the NP skills that I’ve worked so hard to gain.
- The reputation of SAHMs.
For whatever reason, there seems to be such a stigma about being a SAHM. And quite honestly, I couldn’t care less. Everyone has their opinions. And more importantly, everyone has an important role in society. As well as a reason behind their decisions to do what they do. Teachers have the reputation of being under appreciated. But do you see them stepping down because of it? No. Same goes for SAHMs. Just because there are people out there that classify them as unkept, yoga pants wearing, frazzled soccer mom types who run around ragged, doesn’t mean they are any less important. Or serve a lesser role in the community or to their families. Not to mention the lack of truth to that above statement (though I do love my yoga pants 😉 )
So here’s what I think,,,
I am a successful person. I have a masters degree. There have only been a few months since graduating in 2004 where I have been without a job (relocation related). I’m very proud of all my educational accomplishments. And in my opinion, I deserve to take this opportunity to be the one thing in my life that I have so strongly desired to be: A mom.
My decision came down to one thing: The fact that I’m fortunate enough to be able to stay home. And since I am, then I will. So many people don’t have that luxury. And since I do, there’s really no other choice in my eyes. Yes it was hard to make the phone call and give my resignation. But it would be harder to walk out my door everyday and leave my son in the care of a stranger. If I had family close-by, my feelings might be different. But they’re not. I’m lucky that I chose a career that is highly sought after, so when I choose to return to work, I most likely won’t have a problem doing so. I’m also grateful to have a supportive husband who is on board with my decision. Never once did he question me. The thing I fear the most is to blink and my little guy is 18 years old. I do not want to miss watching him grow. I want to treasure every moment.
While the days can be long, the years are so short.
I’m so impressed with working mothers. Being able to balance work and mommyhood is no easy task (as said from an outsider looking in). And let’s be honest,, I know quite a few amazing ones. These women not only work, they are also part of various organizations and somehow manage to fit in time for themselves as well. Their busy schedules make my head spin. But they get it done. And well. Since the thought of returning to work at this time in my baby’s life makes my heart hurt, I know I’m making the right decision. In order to be a working mama, you’ve gotta strike a balance that works best for your family. And one day, I will do that. That day just isn’t today.
Do I intend on going back to work at some point? Absolutely!! Like I said, I love what I do. When will that be? I have no idea. There are a lot of factors that will affect that decision. For now, I’m going to focus my efforts on taking care of my little boy, who deserves 100% of my love and attention.
I’m looking forward to a lot of things during my time staying home. Moving into our new house, for one. Organizing and making it our own. And once we’re nestled in, I hope to spread my wings and get involved in the community. Play groups, outings with other Indy mamas. Who knows. It’s exciting to think about the new unknown world that awaits us.
I do worry about losing my NP skills over time. But that’s what CME’s are for (and thankfully I just recertified this spring, giving me 5 more years to accumulate hours). I also worry about becoming a debbie downer about being “stuck” at home all the time. But I plan to avoid that attitude at all costs. Passions shift during life, and this is a clear example of that. The life of a SAHM may not be glamorous, but it’s the life I’ve chosen. And the life I cannot WAIT to explore.
All I can say is,,, I’m so lucky.
&&& Emery, let the memories begin!