Big, exciting news in our household as of late.
I recently met with my boss to tell him I'm not returning to work and am instead taking on the new role of full time stay-at-home mom (SAHM).
I'm so excited about this huge decision and have full peace about it. That said, it's hard and bittersweet for me to say goodbye to my former role and career in marketing.
It was such a difficult decision. We prayed about it and I (over) analyzed the pros and cons of my options for quite sometime. I quickly realized that whether I chose to return to work or stay at home, either decision would come with sacrifice and guilt.
I'm thankful God clearly laid on my heart what the right choice is for our family. It is most certainly a complicated decision and NOT a one-size-fits-all answer for every family. Additionally, I recognize that not every family has the option for one of the parents to stay at home. I'm so incredibly thankful that this is possible for us. So thankful.
I've wanted to be a SAHM for quite some time. We delayed trying to get pregnant for about 1.5 years because, though the desire to be parents was strongly on our hearts, we knew at the time that we wouldn't be able to afford for me to stay at home. That time of waiting (and trying to be patient) was so difficult for me. Ironically, once I finally got pregnant, I suddenly started to doubt and question whether or not me staying at home was the right choice for us.
I'm so thankful my husband has been so supportive throughout this decision making process. While his desire has always been for me to stay at home with Ellie, he's also made it very clear that he will support me in whatever choice I make. Thank you Lord for this Godly man, who so strongly wants the best for his family.
This decision does not come without fear on my end, mostly because I let the "what-ifs" take over. We are essentially cutting our income in half; our lifestyle is obviously going to be a lot different than it was during our dual income days. We've been diligent in setting up a new family budget, but quite honestly going on one income is a scary thing for me because I am queen of worrying about said "what-ifs." I worry that I am going to lose myself (and sometimes my sanity) in this new role. I even sometimes worry that I won't be able to provide as good of care for Ellie, mostly in the realm of developmental stimulation, that coudl've been provided at the amazing childcare facility onsite at my former job.
But it all boils down to one thing: LOVE. I know that no childcare center could provide Ellie with the unconditional love that she will receive from me on a daily basis. I want to be there for her every day and to experience all of her firsts. And while there are many, many people who can take on my past role, there is only one mama for Ellie. I very clearly remember laying in the hospital bed on the night Ellie was born, looking at her, and thinking aloud, "I can't leave her." It took me some time to officially make the decision, but I think I knew in my heart at that moment that I was being called to hit the pause button on career and devote this next chapter of life to a new, much different role of SAHM.
I already really miss my coworkers, many things that my past role entailed, and the feeling of being "productive" during the day. I miss routine and structure. I miss feeling accomplished at work. But as this career door closes, I'm reflecting and thankful for all the blessings that my past job provided. Not to brag (ok, maybe I am a little) but I had an amazing job at an amazing company and was surrounded by amazing coworkers. I got to travel. I got to work with world class athletes. I got to experience and see some amazing things and work on some really cool projects. I got to grow personally and professionally. And, most importantly, I truly feel that is where God wanted me in that chapter of my life. This job was a huge blessing financially as it allowed us to pay for the not-so-cheap infertility treatments without going into debt and put away some money to help with the cost of future baby #2.
As much as I loved my old job, all that was wonderful about it pales in comparison to this new title of SAHM. This new role is such a privilege to take on and one that I do not take lightly. God has given me the opportunity to nurture, care for, love on, raise, and help shape this beautiful little girl. Wow. It humbles me just thinking about it.
I don't know what the future holds for career. I drove myself crazy trying to map out the next 5-10 years, analyzing potential unfolding plans and scenarios and then getting stuck in more "what-ifs." So I'm taking this one step at a time, appreciating what is hard and good about each day in this new role and reminding myself that this window of time when Ellie needs me at home is going to go by so very quickly when all is said in done.
Sweet Ellie, if you ever read this in the future, please know that we made this choice for YOU. My decision to stay at home means we won't be able to afford as many things that would've been possible on two incomes. I hate to admit it, but that makes me a little sad. But in the end, those are just things and not truly important. You are so loved. I will do my best to show you that on a daily basis and raise you up to become the lady God intends for you to be. I will probably screw up on multiple occasions and I'm sure there will be moments when we drive each other crazy, but behind all my imperfections is a strong layer of love that wants nothing but the best for you.