On June 26th 2017, I made the courageous decision to quit my job and take on MOM LIFE full time.
I worked in a very nice (and very expensive) daycare. For the majority of my time there, I co-taught a class of eight under the age of 18 months. So, obviously taking care of my one baby would be the easiest job ever. RIGHT?! (You can start laughing now…)
We would start our mornings with a delicious and nutritious breakfast. I’d drink my coffee while she drank her bottle. We would move on to an educational activity that was developmentally appropriate. Eventually she would go down for nap, and I would read a book or bake a healthy snack for my family to enjoy. Then, after a lunch straight off Michelle Obama’s food pyramid, I’d start prepping dinner — all while she played quietly and listened to classical music in the next room. This is just one variation how our days would go. It was going to be pure magic.
Then reality peed all over my dreams. I tried to block out the memories of the first three or four months staying home. Because it was actually pure insanity. No one told me that my baby would need my constant and undivided attention. I never imagined sleep training one child to be harder than sleep training eight children. And I quickly learned that eating healthy foods and drinking hot coffee only happened in fantasies.
Being a stay at home mom? It’s a full time job. For the first few months, every day was different. We tried lots of different routines before finding the one that finally stuck. We both laughed—and cried—A LOT. Everything turned out to be so different than I had imagined.
I think one of the hardest parts proved to be the lack of social interaction. When working outside the home, I had some of my closest friends in the same room or right down the hall. Now I had my beautiful baby, my dog — and my phone. Eventually, I turned to social media to fill the friendship void. But this wasn’t working. I began to feel like I spent more time on my phone and less time interacting with the reason I stayed home. My husband came home from work tired, but he did his best to keep up with the word vomit I spewed all over.
This is how it went for a few months. Then I started branching out and trying to make real life friends. Our local library provides very fun music classes and other activities almost every day of the week for toddlers and parents. We both started getting some of the social interaction we had been lacking! Then we started taking day trips to the zoo, the Adventure Science Center, to different parks, and into Nashville. We started going on walks and play dates. I’ve made so many new friends—and it’s been so fun to explore Nashville. I had already seen the inside of almost every bar. Now I’m getting seeing what Nashville really has to offer, and I get to do it all with my daughter.
She may only be one and a half, but she’s is definitely my favorite person. Even with all its ups and downs, staying home has been one of the best decisions I ever made. I’ve learned that my daughter is very strong-willed and already very determined to be her own person. She loves to learn and really enjoys making messes. She also loves to test her limits (and my patience). My child has no fear and will jump off the couch or climb anything that isn’t meant to be climbed without hesitation. Keeping her safe has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my 27 years on this earth. But that’s what makes this job so great. I get to see how determined, fierce, and curious she is on a daily basis.