Why I’m Not a ‘Proud Stay at Home Mom’…At Least Not Yet

168055_10100211890980620_2441001_n IMG_0358

I saw something this week that kind of put me into a tailspin. I was reading a woman’s blog and on her ‘about me’ section she described herself as a “proud stay at home mom”.

It’s a simple statement, really, so I don’t know if it was the tough day I had with Vi or Andy studying all night, but it put me into deep (maybe too deep) of thought. I realized that not only am I not a proud stay at home but an ashamed one.

Earlier this week I threw out my back while trying to calm down Vi and I went to get a massage. On the questionnaire it asked me my occupation. Before, when filling out one of these generic forms I would kind of smile to myself when writing down anchor/reporter. I was proud of it.  This time, I was embarrassed.

Why? I’m not sure. I’ve never looked down on stay at home moms. But I have this feeling (whether right, wrong or somewhere in between) that some find this life decision not only outdated but lazy.  Phrases that I’ve heard people say when talking about stay at home moms, like, “You have a college degree, use it” echo in my brain.

I’ve never described myself as a Type-A personality or perfectionist, but at work I was.  I would always grab that extra interview (even if it was 2 hours before air time, the drive time alone would take nearly an hour and oh…I was 9 months pregnant) I lived for exclusive interviews and met with potential sources on my days off. I wanted to be the best.

Now, that part of me is maybe not gone, but definitely on hold. There is no competition when it comes to being a mom…at least not for me.  It comes with challenges of course (trust me, a lot this month) but my whole life I feel like I’ve been competing to be the best. In high school it was to be the best singer, in college it was the best in my major…and now?

I know life is not about being the best, but about giving your best. I know that my family needs the best I can give them. Right now, for this year, I know that means holding down the home front.

Here’s where I feel part of the problem lies for me: I never felt a calling to be a stay at home mom. My mom told me once when I was in high school that all she ever wanted to do in life was be a wife and mother. I have a lot of friends that feel this way, but I never have. I’ve always wanted to be a wife and mother, but not a homemaker.  I know this sounds cheesy, but I felt a calling to be a journalist. I knew from the time I was 11 years old that’s what I wanted to do.

But, is that still my calling? The thought of going back to the grueling news grind, makes me shudder at the moment. The thought of Vi spending more time with a nanny then she does with her parents also doesn’t sit we’ll with me.

Sweet Andy tells me that I need to give myself a new title, something like: Family Chief Operating Officer. He makes me laugh, but on a serious note he tells me that what is best for our family is having a happy mom.

I’m happy to say that with the exception of this week, I’m very happy. I actually love staying at home, but I can’t shake this feeling that it’s not enough. Maybe I just care too much about what others think or maybe I’m having this feeling because I won’t be complete without work. Or maybe it’s because we are only here for a year so taking a year off just made sense. Maybe when it comes down to a real choice…to stay home or go back to work…maybe then I can call myself a proud working mom or a proud stay at home mom because then I will be choosing a path for specific reasons.

What I do know, is that I love being with Vi and being able to take care of Andy in a way that I’ve never been able to before. Now, I just have to figure out what’s going to make me happiest long term.

For now I pray for clarity and refer myself to trusty Proverbs.

Proverbs 31:25

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”

10 thoughts on “Why I’m Not a ‘Proud Stay at Home Mom’…At Least Not Yet

  1. I love your honesty. Life sometimes comes with twists and turns that change the path we had set for ourselves. I know some girls that NEVER saw themselves as moms, let alone stay-at-home moms, and now they can’t imagine life any other way. I always say that being a working mom is WAY easier than a stay-at-home mom…frankly, I just don’t think I’d be any good at it. But then sometimes I find myself wondering what life would be like if I could volunteer at my boys school, didn’t have to let clothes pile up all week until the weekend, and didn’t have to rush, rush, rush all the time. The fact of the matter is that being a mom and wife, no matter occupational status, is the hardest but most rewarding work. Blessed to be a mom.

    Like

  2. Hi Jillian, love your post… We went to Grady together. Don’t know if you remember me but you remind me a lot of me. I don’t have any kids so maybe I can’t relate as much but I was having a very successful Journalism Career a year ago just like you. I even won 2 Emmys.. Like you I would always work extra for that interview, to produce that news segment, to perfectly edit my news piece… I was working 12 hrs a day, weekends and holidays with a 1 1/2 hour commute..No vacation. No lunch.. no life outside of work and I LOVED it. but every time I came home to find my husband waiting it would break my heart. Every holiday that I couldn’t be there with my family because I had to work, made my stomach quinch and I thought to my self, what would I do if we had kids??… “I can’t leave them with a nanny”. So a year ago I decided to join the corporate world and have a steady job/schedule..I now work for a Power company in their Marketing/communications department.. Not very exciting and some days I would wake up and regret leaving my dreams behind and I wondered “was it worth it.” Specially during those “hard days”… Looking back, I am GLAD to have chose my family. What helped me made my decision was seeing other people in the news industry, all of them were either divorced, never been married, not a lot of income, and not very happy in the “personal department” because they have given all of their life to that industry. Did I want to see my self like that in a 10 years? Not really! I wanted to have both a journalism career and a family but there is only 24hr a day.. Sometimes I would wish I could have 30hrs a day and not require any sleep so that I could accomplish everything that I wanted to accomplish; but that is not reality.
    A career is very important but your daughter having a mom to raise her and not a stranger is a lot more important than a job. Jobs come and go but those early years with your daughter once they pass they pass and you will never get them back. ENJOY THEM.. The News industry has been here for years and it is not going anywhere.. Trust that God will give you now the opportunity to see your daughter grow and I bet in the future you will go back to the news industry and be a great news anchor.

    PS: I am here giving you encouragement, when actually, when I saw your pictures on Facebook of your job and now with you family including you dog, they inspired me to be happy and know that I made right decision.
    Even though people ask me ALL the time. “why are you not in the news anymore?” “you were so successful at it.” “Do you like your new job” AHH how much I used to hate when people ask me that!! but not anymore. I am proud to say that my Family is more important than a “title” and you should too. I like your new FCOO Title and think of all of the new perspectives you are going to have when you go back one day to the news industry. Hey! maybe you can start an encouraging blog, think of all the women that sometimes feel like you but are too afraid to say out loud because they are afraid of what people may think. 😉

    Nataly

    Like

    • Nat,

      Of course I remember you! I love your comment…it is so encouraging! I’m glad that you found a career where your family comes first…who knows maybe I’ll go back to work in a different field, or maybe I’ll just enjoy my daughter and my husband…we’ll see!

      Like

  3. Hi Jill!

    This definitely made me think. I feel when women make the choice to become a homemaker be it temporary or permanent people especially women begin to judge. I feel that any women who can make the choice to put her own career goals on hold to focus on thier families foundation I applaud them. Now don’t get me wrong nannies and daycare are great options, but nothing compares to you being involved with your family doing the day to day duties of wife, mother, counselor, nurse I mean the list is endless! Keep doing an awesome job sweetie ; )

    Whitney

    Like

  4. What a great and honest post 🙂 When Jeremy graduated and we moved our plan was for me to stay home. He called me his “domestic wellness coordinator.” I loved it. I felt like we were eating better, working out more and overall just happier. I was trying new recipes, keeping the house organized and taking care of everything so when he got home from work we could just spend time together. After a few months I started to feel guilty. As if I was somehow cheating and wasn’t contributing as much as I should. I’m back at work now and honestly this is the best job I’ve ever had and I’m so thankful to have this opportunity. But. I see now what we were gaining from me being home was far better than a paycheck. We plan once we decide to start a family (if we can) I’ll stay home. Maybe it’ll be for a few years, or forever, but I see just how great of an opportunity that can be now to take care of my family.

    Like

  5. I’m loving your blog! The wonderful thing is that these days we have choice. Especially with a college degree. Through my pregnancies I completed an MBA and was offered a wonderful job weeks after my gorgeous twin girls were born. The problem was my husband also had a demanding career, our families were interstate, and we had three children under 2 so going back to work full time was never really going to be an option. I chose to stay at home with our children, and am so glad I did. They’re in their teens now and we have a wonderful relationship.The break from my career allowed me to think outside the square and start afresh in a totally new and different direction. Sometimes we all need to take time out to smell the roses. Enjoy your beautiful family and good luck!

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. Although I still struggle with that “am I doing enough” feeling, I feel more fulfilled everyday by staying at home and I’m excited for whatever the future holds. Thanks, for your kind words and I’m really going to have to try out those ribs!

      Like

  6. Pingback: To Work or Not to Work? Let the Cards Fall | News Anchor to Homemaker

  7. Pingback: 4 Things I’ve Given Up Since Becoming a Mom | News Anchor to Homemaker

  8. Pingback: The Benefits of Waiting | News Anchor to Homemaker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s