When I became a mom, I knew I wanted to stay home with my baby. I needed to be there for her first steps, her first words, and to watch her learn about the world. Being a stay-at-home mom was something I had always wanted, but I was never sure if that was an option until it was.
I created a business that allowed me the space to stay home with my daughter every day and be the primary parent. I know, amazing, right? I didn’t have to worry about daycare, leaving the house on time, or leaving the house at all during the wintertime if I didn’t want to. We had a great thing going for quite a while. I would work while she slept and I didn’t have to work while she was awake.
Being a stay-at-home mom felt like a dream, until it became a nightmare.
The truth is, I developed postpartum depression, and it took over my life. I found it harder and hard to function every day. The thought of doing the same thing over and over again made me want to hide away. I began to hate being a mom.
Stay-at-home moms don’t get nearly enough respect as they deserve. When you make that choice, you become the one. The one who not only cooks, cleans, and keeps the children alive, but you’re there to nurture, teach, love, and to care for your children. It’s one of the most exhausting jobs one person could take on, and yet we do it over and over again each day out of love.
But it became too much for me, so we sought out daycare. With amazing luck, we found one of the best providers out there. Her family started to feel like our family. I felt like we had really hit the jackpot with her until we got the notice that they were planning to move before the start of summer. Our daughter was there for basically a full school year, so needless to say, we all cried when they moved.
Once our daycare closed before summer, I decided to make the choice and stay home with my daughter once again. I thought, “It’s summer and she isn’t a baby anymore. This will be totally different than last time!” I did the mental prep work, I found all the fun Pinterest activities, and I stocked up on snacks and summertime treats. We bought a water table, a sprinkler, and a blow-up pool, and we grabbed a Target dollar spot toy at least once a week for new entertainment.
But it wasn’t enough.
Even with significantly cutting back my work, I still felt like I was drowning every day. Postpartum depression had sunk in, yet again. It didn’t matter how much time had passed, or that my baby had become a toddler. I wasn’t cut out to be a stay-at-home mom.
We made a choice that it would be best for everyone to find a new part-time daycare. So as summer comes to an end, we are once again, enrolling our daughter into a new daycare, and entrusting another to keep her safe, healthy, and happy.
This wasn’t an easy choice, and it didn’t come guilt-free. I so desperately wanted to be home with my daughter every day. The years are short, and soon enough she will be in school all day, every day. But I don’t thrive in the environment and I’m not totally sure my daughter does either.
All of this to say, it’s okay to not thrive as a stay-at-home mom. It’s okay to seek out help, daycare, a nanny, day camps, whatever it may be. We can’t do it alone and we shouldn’t have to bare the weight of it on our own.
Moms are tough, but we all deserve to thrive.