The last eighteen months of my life can be summed up in two words: CRAZY, BEAUTIFUL. In that time, my daughter was born, I quit my job of ten years, and I became a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom and homemaker.
I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but thought it would be a while before I got there because I didn’t think we were financially ready to take the leap to being an one-income household. However, while on maternity leave I started looking at our budget, and when I factored in the cost of daycare for two children, plus other expenses that come from having two people work outside the home, it actually made more financial sense to stay home. After living with the decision for eighteen months now, I can see that not only was it the best decision financially, but, and more importantly, it was the best choice for the well-being of our family, too.
While I was working full-time, I never realized just how stressful it was juggling everything. Even going on vacation for a week at time couldn’t give me enough time away to see that what I was doing wasn’t the best for me/us. I guess I just rolled with the punches like most people do, biding my time until I could leave and come home to my family. We had even had a plan that once we were debt free (about the time baby girl would turn two), I would quit. Being on maternity leave helped me see that we didn’t have to wait that long, and in fact, we should take the leap sooner than later. Having that perspective shift also helped me realize that if I missed work, the company could get someone else to take my place. In fact, the job I left didn’t even replace my position when I left, so that says a lot. *insert eye roll here* On the flip side, if I’m not at home or just not feeling well for a few days, all hell can break loose and my family will be discombobulated. That’s real talk. With perspective like that, it makes it clear where my priorities should be and where I make the most difference.
Now look, even though I know that I’m where I’m supposed to be in my life right now, it doesn’t mean everything is all unicorns and rainbows. This homemaking, homeschooling, “on 24 hours a day, 7 seven days a week” life I chose can be hard! The freedom of being in complete control of my own time is something I wasn’t used to and has taken time to move past the feeling of overwhelm to finding a realistic, sustainable rhythm. I’m busier than I ever was (even when I was working full-time!) and struggle to balance everything. I especially find it hard to consistently carve time out for myself. I know that’s a thing most moms deal with, whether they stay at home or not. Work in the progress, all day, er’day.
So, yeah. These last eighteen crazy, beautiful months have had ups-and-downs, but all-in-all, I find myself feeling the most content I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I know I’m living my purpose, at this stage of life at least. I’m more in the moment, and I thank my children for that. I’m more grateful for the everyday things, and I thank my husband for working so hard to provide that for us. I’m growing more, and I have to thank being able to live a more intentional, purpose-filled life for that. Getting to be here in this house, with these people, in this city… yeah, I’m looking forward to the next eighteen months… and beyond.