a new job

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I have a new boss, a new little lady that I'll be answering to every day. 
She's a bit demanding at times. I mean, she eats a lot. She needs my help getting anywhere. She even needs me to wipe her fanny... but she sure looks cute in a headband. And her snuggles are like a warm slice of heaven that I can't seem to get enough of.

I'm officially a stay-at-home mom now, which (unless you have a really weird relationship with your boss) you probably guessed.

Since Grahm and I made this decision last week, it's amazing how much my eyes have been opened to the negativity surrounding it. It's obviously not something that our culture necessary applauds. What? You want to stay home all day and change diapers? You want to give up adult interactions? You want to abandon your career for something so seemingly trivial? What a waste.

This attitude is even dominant with stay-at-home moms themselves, who constantly talk about how difficult, exhausting, and lonely it is to raise children "for a living." And I get that. I've only been with Sawyer for 6 weeks, and I already understand the hardships of the job. No one is denying the challenges. In fact, I think there is something to be said of being honest about them: "Hey I don't have it all together. My house is a wreck. I don't get to shower until my husband gets home, and that's if I get one. When Sawyer cries, I don't always know what to do. And sometimes my greatest accomplishment of the day is brushing my teeth and taking a nap with my daughter." 

There's power in dropping the pretenses.
But sometimes I wonder if, in the desire to be transparent, we aren't focusing on the wrong things. 

I think of my own mother who stayed at home with three little ones, three and under. I have no idea how that worked. Can you imagine what a trip to the grocery store would have been like? Remaining sane, let alone happy, sounds like a challenge. But she didn't complain about how hard it was... she just did it, and she was truly overjoyed to do so. Even today she tells me those were the best years of her life.

Being a stay-at-home mom is not something I have to do, it's something I get to do. I already know it's going to be hard, so why let that be my only focus each day? It'll be difficult, but it'll be worth it and I want to focus on the "worth it" part of motherhood. I want to enjoy the days I'm blessed to spend snuggling with my sweet baby girl, not concentrate on the challenges.

There are enough stay-at-home moms complaining; the world doesn't need another one.

50 comments:

Ashley @ ThisUnscriptedLife said...

Exactly! I think being able to stay at home is a blessing. Not everyone is able to do it. When we decided to have baby number two I was working full time and I KNEW that I wanted to stay home. We did everything possible to MAKE that happen. That included moving from Louisiana to Illinois so my husband could have a better paying job. I was able to stay home for 3 years with our son and I knew I needed to give that time to our daughter as well. There are hard days. Days I'm exhausted and in desperate need of a shower BUT the good far outweighs the bad. I wouldn't give up this opportunity for anything. I get to see this little munchkin ALL freaking day long! I can hold her whenever I want to! I get to receive all of her sweet smiles and stinky smells lol. That is amazing =)
Enjoy this wonderful time with your cute baby!

Ann Willoughby Kaplan said...

Jena! I've loved following your posts! So happy that Sawyer is now doing so good! She is SO adorable. Congrats on your decision. We'll expect to seem more posts now! :-)

Erin LFF said...

Beautifully written!!!!! :)

Heather said...

You're so lucky! I have been back at work for 4 weeks since having my daughter...and every single day kills me that she is in the care of someone else. But I''m a single mom so I don't have a choice. It was definitely hard being home alone with her during my maternity leave, but being away from her is even harder. So, good for you that you get to enjoy this!

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carlee said...

LOVE this! I've been a stay at home mom for a year now and I adore it! Sometimes when I'm playing with my girl in the middle of the day, I can't believe this is actually my life. It is such a blessing to be able to stay home with little ones! I have a group of other stay at homes mom that I meet with weekly and sometimes I feel pressure to complain about my situation.

Always remember what a joy it is! Even on the worst days. We are loving our babies and raising the next generation of adults! It is amazing!!!

Whitney Alison said...

I think every mom has to do what's right for her, and accept that challenges that come with it. I've stayed at home and I've worked. Both come with their own rewards and challenges, but like you said I like to focus on the good. I'm happy that you and your little family are happy with your decision. :) That's what matters.

Gig-ee said...

When a young mother asked me for advice about working outside the home or being a SAH mom, I told her no one ever regrets they stayed home, but many wish they had who didn't. When it's possible, it's the best, but you already know this! Enjoy the time. The different seasons all pass too quickly.

Sarah said...

Totally inappropriate comment: can I just say that Sawyer looks like she's rippin' a big one in that picture?! And yet she remains adorably lady like. :)

In other news, SO PROUD of you for making a decision that may not be the popular choice in mainstream society, but is right for YOUR family. Definitely think it's going to be a great time for you guys.

<3 Sending love!
-Sar

Noelle said...

Yay! So happy you get to stay home with Miss Sawyer! We decided for me to stay home too and although it's been the hardest job I've ever had, it's definitely the most rewarding! I 100% agree that my house is a mess, I don't shower until my husband gets home, and most days it's hard to get out of PJs but it's so worth it!

Stormy said...

Though I'm fully aware that staying home with our Garrett could be FAR more work than my actual outside the home job I'm DYING to be a SAHM! If only we could afford to do so!

Tori G said...

She is too cute for words!!

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

I'm SO happy for you! I think that you and every other stay at home mom in this world, are blessed. My DREAM job is to be a stay at home Mom! I think that it's a great thing for the family and most importantly the kids! Congrats on your new JOB! :)

Kim Matheson said...

All of this.

I would love to be able to be a stay-at-home mom. It's not in our cards yet, so I have to go back after my mat leave is up. But I don't get the judgement. You want to stay at home to raise your child(ren)? Awesome! You want to go back to work part-time really soon after having a baby? Awesome! You want to go back to work full time? Awesome! Your husband wants to be a stay-at-home dad? Awesome! The world is just too full of judgement and shaming. It's maddening. I am psyched for you and your family - what an awesome thing! Congratulations lady. :)

Sara Norton-Sanner said...

I think that's awesome Jena! If I ever have children, that's exactly what I want to do. You are very, very blessed to have that choice. Not all mom's get to stay at home with their babies...not all of them can afford it. Enjoy every minute of it :)

thenancefamilia said...

Your boss is adorable! :) So glad this is your new job, I hope to do the same someday!

Jennifer Dunn said...

I'm glad you have the opportunity to do this. I am hoping when i have little grayson I will be fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom too. it's the best job to have!

Kaity said...

Squee! She's so adorable.

Also, congratulations to you! Even though, I mean, we all know who this post is really about...

Kayla MKOY said...

I love this!!! Being a stay at home mom sounds like a hard job, but the most rewarding job at the same time!! Very well put :)

Emily said...

Beautifully written about a beautiful job! "I GET to do it.." Best line right there. I couldn't agree more...and I don't even have children yet. (oops...maybe I should say I *think I couldn't agree more). I've thought a lot about what jobs I want, but I've always known I've wanted to be a mom. Now that's a career!

Brianne Bracco said...

Seriously a great outlook...I think you are going to do well at your new job ;)

Courtney Carlton said...

What a gift that you're able to stay home with sweet baby Sawyer. I truly wish I could do the same with Jack - every day is a struggle to be away from him. Enjoy every second of it, friend! :)

P!nky said...

What a great post! My goal is to be a stay at home mom, once the time comes and if we can afford it of course. I am inspired by my own mother and how she raised me and my two sisters.

Your daughter is beautiful! :)

Melissa said...

You have the best job in the world and Sawyer is lucky to have you as her mommy! I would love to stay home with my sweet baby, but it is just not in the cards for us right now. You have the hardest job around, but the best! You said everything i would say if i were doing what you are doing, my brother stays home with his 2 daughters and you are right our society judges that, it is sad but he is the best daddy to his girls and i could not be more proud of his job :) Enjoy that sweet baby she is just too cute :)

Mariah Rickard said...

I believe you are utterly blessed to get to stay home! Being a stay at home mom is a desire that I have always had. My mom stayed home with my sister and I and I loved it! My mom is my best friend, and she has always taken care of our family. Our culture doesn't always see the benefits of being a stay at home mom, but I think it is one awesome job. I am so happy that Sawyer gets to have a mom that is around always. I pray that you two are as close as my mom and me!

Laura Piersall said...

Thank you for your positivity! Really. Truly. Thank you.

Lauren Peters said...

I'm so happy for you and this decision you've made. Yes, it's going to be hard - but the good will outweigh the hard and I know you won't regret it. I wish being a stay home mommy was in the cards for me/us, but it just isn't. Hugs to you and your boss. xoxo

P.S. My best friend wrote a post about "where she works" that I think you'd get a kick out of: http://www.tlovesr.com/2013/10/where-i-work.html

Second Hand Rose said...

I think it's great that you've been able to make the chance to stay at home with the baby boss. As women we should be able to make this choice and not be judged or demonised about which decision we make. It will be lovely for you and little Sawyer and I'm sure it will be a decision that you will not regret. Expect when she is having a major poop fest. XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

She is precious!! That picture is too much!

Kaysie said...

I would love to talk about this more more more. I'm actually feeling all those things except, wait for it, I don't have a baby. Discovering that our marriage and lives are so much more rich when I don't work was a smack in the face that was met with a lot of denial, but now I'm letting myself feel that it's so good. You're right, we're lucky "to be able" to do it. I've actually emailed a lot with Amanda Marshall of Marshall's Abroad about the subject, and I may totally pass those on to you as well as a book she recommended to me. Know you're not alone in wanting to celebrate this, even if its with a more taboo person who is a SAHM-M

Chelsea Oliver said...

But your new boss is so cute! I don't think I could do the stay-at-home mom thing but seriously applaud you ladies who do! (And the few dads who do too!) That's too far in the future for me to consider now though. Enjoy your new gig! xoxo

-Chelsea
chelsandthecity.blogspot.com

Becky said...

I love that you're focusing on the positive!! Everyone loves to judge and you can only do what is best for you and your family and ignore the negativity. My mom didn't get the chance to stay at home with us and she said it was really hard to miss certain things but she had to do what she had to do. Enjoy all the time with her because I'm sure it goes by too quickly! :)

Mimsie said...

Even before looking at all the other comments, I will say, GOOD FOR YOU! It's the most important job in the world. You love that little girl so much more than any daycare worker, and will be able to cherish every little thing she does.

Cara Howard said...

Okay that is THE SWEETEST little gal ever!! So beautiful and SO precious! xoxoxo

Angie said...

I've been a stay at home mom for many years. I have a teenager, a 3 year old and a 1 year old. While I used to be a complainer about how difficult it was and how lonely it was, I've recently started to try to think about it differently. It is my job and I enjoy it. My reward is not money but unconditional love. It is important just like any other job and I need to do it to the best of my ability. I love this post. It's a great reminder of why I do what I do!

Angie said...

I've been a stay at home mom for many years. I have a teenager, a 3 year old and a 1 year old. While I used to be a complainer about how difficult it was and how lonely it was, I've recently started to try to think about it differently. It is my job and I enjoy it. My reward is not money but unconditional love. It is important just like any other job and I need to do it to the best of my ability. I love this post. It's a great reminder of why I do what I do!

Angie said...

I've been a stay at home mom for many years. I have a teenager, a 3 year old and a 1 year old. While I used to be a complainer about how difficult it was and how lonely it was, I've recently started to try to think about it differently. It is my job and I enjoy it. My reward is not money but unconditional love. It is important just like any other job and I need to do it to the best of my ability. I love this post. It's a great reminder of why I do what I do!

Leslie K said...

I think, at the end of the day, the most important thing is to do what is right for your family. And what is right for each individual family is not always the same. I also think it's time for the Mommy Wars to stop. Culture teaches us that we should all have it all together. Culture says we should either want to stay home or want to work. Culture says, culture says, culture says... Personally, I know I could never be a Stay-at-Home Mom. It's not in my blood. I love working and I adore my job. We're lucky that my husband's schedule allows him to get off work early and as such he acts as the Stay-at-Home Dad. It wouldn't work for everyone but it does for us. Of course, I deal with guilt DAILY that I don't stay home and also have no desire to stay home. Bravo to you for deciding what is best for your family and pursuing it.

Audrey @ An Aud Blog said...

I just can't get over how adorable your little red head Sawyer is! My husband's a red head, and I'm hoping for a red head baby some day.

Maria Litizia Kelly said...

She is absolutely amazing! And this post has not got me feeling broody at all. Nope ..

Maria Letizia
www.vitadimoda.co.uk

Shannon W. said...

Amen, sister. Happy for you :)

Nicole said...

Oh my gosh, she is a DOLL!! I was home for 7 weeks of maternity leave...and I can say that I don't want to be a stay at home mom. I need to work...maybe less than I do now, and I think I could even do part time. But there's part of me that just needs to get out. I love my job, I love what I do and helping other people. I love my baby more, but this momma needs this to be the best parent I can be! Plus, my job is helping other parents, so I'm just helping others be the best parents they can be too :)

Alyx said...

I think that everyone is entitled to their opinions, honestly, but I think being a stay-at-home mom was the best decision that I have ever made. There are moments that we just can't get back.

Lindsey said...

Amen, sister. I love staying home with Liam. And I am so lucky that my family can afford for us to do this. It is seriously so rewarding everyday. I never have to miss out on him doing anything. Do I get a shower everyday? No, but Liam doesn't care. Is my house a mess? Yes, because Liam follows me around undoing everything I just did. But who cares? Are there days I want to pull the covers up over my head or spend the day alone? Of course, but then Liam will do something adorable and I'll forget that it would be nice to have a day alone and instead tell him how cute he is for 15 minutes. No complaints from this stay at home mom =].

Emily said...

You are so very lucky to get the opportunity to take on such a challenging yet rewarding job. I am fortunate that I live somewhere that allows me to stay home for a year - but I would love to stay home for much longer and raise my family.

Allison said...

Aw this is exciting. Congrats on your new and very important job!!!!

Nicole | Pharr Away said...

Good for you and your family, Jena, being able to stay at home is such a blessing! It's so sad that it's looked upon so negatively, as if choosing to raise a child somehow diminishes who you are as a women (i.e., strong, capable, intelligent, you name it, etc.)! I was able to stay at home with my little one for the first 18 months of her life and hands down, it's one of the best decisions I've ever made!

Meg {henninglove} said...

what a cutie!!! i am hoping to be a stay at home mom, so glad to hear you will be for sawyer

Rachel said...

I love this. The world doesn't need a SAHM to complain. My Mom was a SAHM, and I never heard her complain--so today, when I hear so many of my Mom friends complaining about it, or writing on blogs that their kids might read someday, I feel a bit sad. How would I have felt if I'd heard my Mom complaining about her job of raising 7 kids? She always made it clear to us that she was living her perfect life--and that made for an awesome childhood, to not have any guilt that your Mom didn't really want to be your Mom.

Kaysie said...

new picture!!
anxiously awaiting your return. My first post is written and scheduled for tomorrow AM