YOUR STORY: AMY WILLOUGHBY BRYANT
There was a time I dreamed of being a stay at home mom. I even tried it. After baby number two was born, I was so excited and dreamed of how wonderful it would be to stay home with my then twenty month old and newborn. My babies would not have to go to daycare, I thought. I would be able to provide all of their nurturing needs, I envisioned. It would be wonderful, right? Wrong!
After four weeks of being home with no adult interaction, no intellectual stimulation, no lunch break and no rest, I was looking for a J-O-B. Things were not okay.
In addition to looking for a new job that would fit our family’s needs, we also had to decide on childcare. With no grandparents in the city and the closest retired family member being two hundred miles away, we had decisions to make. And oh my, was it difficult. It took four months before I was back at work and it took just as long to find the perfect nanny. She was great and the kids loved her.
Did I miss my children when I was at work? Yes. Did my kids miss me while I was at work? Probably. Did I feel a tad bit of guilt? Little bit. But more important, were my kids thriving and well taken care of? Yes. Was my sanity intact so that I could be a good mom and half way decent wife? Most definitely!! Those were the two most important questions.
The hardest thing about working outside of the home was sending baby number three to daycare at 6 weeks old. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But you know what? I found a daycare that worked for me. His daycare was one mile from my job. I was able to go there and nurse him at least once, if not twice every day until I decided it was okay to discontinue that practice. They were great communicators and didn’t mind my multiple check-in calls each day. Plus, I knew I could pop in anytime, which I did. I trusted them with my baby. That was most important and allowed me to be a productive employee.
Did I feel like a failure? Absolutely not! I was not my best self when staying home with two children under the age of 2. Remember, you must be physically and emotionally healthy and present to be a good mom. Working feeds me mentally, emotionally and physically. I have time to miss my children and rejuvenate daily.
There are 24 hours in every day and I try to make the most of every minute. As a mom my hours are divided between my children and my other obligations. One of my obligations is me. If you are like me and want to work outside the home because staying home with your children would literally drive you insane, I’m here to tell you that I understand and it’s okay.