I went back to work on December 14 after just over 12 weeks of staying home with the little. We had had some great times and I was nervous to go back to work. But, we were also thankful to have a wonderful nanny that we shared with some friends that live close by, so that made it way easier. Like truly - if we hadn't found an awesome nanny I don't think I would have gone back period.
But I went back. And frankly the transition was a lot smoother than I anticipated. There were no tears (the little did not cried one single time when I dropped him off with the nanny) and I think we both had a fun day. I've got a great boss and terrific co-workers who all made the transition really smooth.
In all of it though, there was a little itch in the back of my head that has really always been there - way before having the little - that one day I would like to stay home. I didn't expect to be home so soon after going back to work, but due to a few different turns of events, the hubs and I decided it was time. And so, I'm becoming a stay at home mom. Like, I walked out of my office for the last time on Friday. (Except for going back on Sunday afternoon to get some of my last things and leave my key.)
Leaving is bittersweet, but also really exciting. I really love mothering and I am beyond excited to be able to do it full time now.
Through it all though, I'd like to share a few things that I've learned along the way. I'm not an expert, just sharing some of my thought processes.
1. Parenting comes with a lot of decisions - many of which can be right, but very few of which are easy.
If I've learned nothing else, it's this. Go back to work? Stay at home? What first foods? Which brand of bottles? Pacifier or nah? Cloth or disposable diapers? Nap in a swing or strictly the crib? The list goes on and on. I love to get advice and hear about experiences from other moms and I really think it all boils down to this: if it is working for you and your family and baby is well loved and healthy, you do you. Amen? Amen. (Happy to share our choices on the above questions if anyone is curious.)
2. Budgeting matters.
This one really shouldn't come as a shock over here at Thrift for Today. I did a whole series on budgeting a couple of years ago and we still work hard to be good stewards of all our resources. I don't live one single day without being fully aware of the fact that we have been blessed to have both had great jobs since we've been married and we work together as a team to maintain a simple lifestyle so that I could one day stay home if that's what I chose. And here we are. That said, we will be cutting back around here and I'll be working to find even more ways to be thrifty while I'm at home since we will be on just one full time income now.
3. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Going to work everyday and taking care of a little is a lot of work. Having a little period is a lot of work. But man, it is non-stop over here (and I imagine it is in most places with littles). When we would get home from work, it was a race around the clock to get ourselves fed, the little fed, have some family time, and get the little to sleep before a melt-down. Then there's the preparation for the next day so we don't have to buy our lunches, but can still get out of the door at an acceptable time in the morning. Not complaining, just saying - it is a go go go business to keep things going. It has been absolutely critical to the mission over here that hubs and I work together on the same team. We work hard to communicate clearly and get things done when we can. Whoever is free when we need to start dinner starts the dinner. Who ever is free when it's done takes it out. And so on. We would have cereal for dinner some nights if we didn't have one another to help out. (I actually did have a baked potato and cheesecake for dinner once when hubs was out with a headache one night...)
4. Good co-workers can really make the difference at work.
Did I mention that I really like my co-workers? This was the saddest part of my decision to leave work. Hands down. I enjoyed my job. It was fun to be around people that I like each day.
5. The little is only little once.
And I just want to soak it all up. I'm really excited to start this new adventure. I think there is a learning curve for staying at home and managing the house as a new job rather than cramming all the housework into the weekends, but I am just thrilled to be able to spend my days with the little. He's awesome and fun and growing every day and I'm pumped to get to watch and learn with him. This was really the biggest factor for me. I am leaving the work force, for now. But I know that the work force will always be there should I decide to go back. But I know that I won't get the opportunity to have these baby days back once they go - and boy do they go. So quickly, they fly by! I can't believe we are 7 months in already!
Other mamas out there - are you working or staying home? How did you decide? Any advice for others that are making the decision? What are your tips for being home with Little(s)?