Hi, I’m a stay at home mom and I have a confession to make:
I miss my job.
You see, I’ve been a working mom the last five years. While I worked full-time as a high school English teacher, my twin daughters attended a wonderful daycare.
Being a working mom was something in which I took great pride. Working allowed my husband and I to set several financial goals, and I saw it as an opportunity to be a positive role model for my girls as an example of a strong woman in the workforce. Not only that, but my job itself was incredibly rewarding.
I loved what I did, and I loved how I felt when I was doing it.
Well … everything changed nine months and eight weeks ago.
Having a third child was one of those things that kinda sprang up on us. We planned it, but I don’t think we’d really thought much about all the finer details.
When we started making plans for the new baby, my job was something we discussed. On top of having another child, we were also getting ready to have a permanent change of station (PCS), and we knew there would be a lot of changes and transitions to deal with. For that reason and a myriad of others, my husband and I decided that it was in our family’s best interest for me to take some time off of work and stay home.
Staying home with my children is such a blessing, it truly is. Kids grow up so incredibly fast, and I’m enjoying every precious second that I get to watch my children grow.
But if I’m being honest with you, I’m kind of having a hard time figuring out who I am these days.
My identity for so long has centered around two roles: Mom AND Teacher. Now that I’m not teaching, I almost feel as though I’ve lost a huge part of what makes me “me.” It’s been a tougher adjustment than I imagined it would be.
I don’t regret the decision. My sweet son is my last baby, after all, and I’m soaking it all in. Yet, there are days when I find myself waking up and missing my old working lifestyle.
The new school year has just started. All my old colleagues are making lesson plans and gearing up for another great year while I’m sitting at home in yoga pants trying to figure out how in the world all those Pinterest moms make it look so easy.
It’s not that I’m not enjoying it. I am! But I think I’d just gotten so used to who I was as a working mom. Now, not being a working mom has thrown me for a loop. It could be the hormones from the new baby, or maybe it’s just all of the changes we’ve had thrown our way, and I’m still in a season of transition.
Whatever it is, I can’t help but feel a little sad about it all. Heck, a walk down the school supply aisle at Walmart nearly reduced me to tears last week.
On top of those emotions, I find myself struggling with an unrelenting feeling of guilt.
I know how lucky I am to be able to stay home — a lot of mothers never have that opportunity — and that knowledge makes missing my job feel like I’m being selfish and ungrateful. I spend half my time beating myself up about it and the other half of my time trying to ignore it.
But here’s the conclusion I’ve finally arrived at:
Missing my job doesn’t mean that I’m ungrateful. Missing my identity as a working mom doesn’t make me a bad stay at home mom. Missing the lifestyle I used to have does not for one second diminish the joy that comes with my new one.
It simply means that I’m a stay at home mom, and I miss my job.
I don’t really know who I am as a stay at home mom. I haven’t quite figured it out yet. But I’ve got time. So until then, I’m gonna enjoy my precious children, miss the heck out of my students, and maybe just maybe, I’ll even try a Pinterest DIY craft or two.