Life of a SAHM Series {Day 11}: All in A Day

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Hi there and welcome to Day 11 of the Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Guest Blogging Series!!! If you are just joining our Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Series, welcome! Miss a post? You can find all the entries for our series listed for you here.

I am so excited to introduce Amy today from All In A Day.   Amy is such a sweetheart AND shares my obsession for Pinterest!!!  Amy is a former teacher and has an adorable baby girl named, Emily.  She is so precious, I just love reading about all of her daily antics.  Please give a warm welcome to Amy!!!

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Hey there Karen At Home readers!!  Let me start by saying I am soooooo stinkin’ excited to be here today!  A huge thank you to Karen for hosting such an awesome series and allowing me to be a part of it!  My name is Amy Waller and I attempt to blog over at All In A Day!  I am a stay at home mama to my beautiful baby girl, Emily.  Emily is just a few days away from being 8 months!  I am also a wife to my fantastic husband, Scott.  

Isn’t that hat to die for!?!


 
             

There is absolutely no doubt that having a child is one of the greatest of life’s rewards.  The way that baby looks at you, the way she coos, the smile she gets on her face when she sees you – it’s indescribable.  However, being a mom also comes with its challenges and difficulties (can I get an “amen” from all the mamas??). 

I am so blessed to be able to stay at home with my baby girl, Emily.  Each day is a new adventure.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!

One of the greatest rewards of being a SAHM is the opportunity to be with my child literally every single minute of our day.  Ok, that, and I get to watch The Ellen Show everyday!!  But seriously, I love spending time with her.  She is at the age now where we can play together and it is so much fun!  I get to see most of her firsts.  She recently started saying “mama” and I didn’t have to miss that.  She is also starting to crawl and I get to be there for that!  It truly is such a blessing to watch my baby grow each and every day.

She crawled clear across the room to get to that basket of magazines!

Although I really don’t think I would trade being a SAHM for anything in the world, I do miss the work place sometimes.  I was a first grade teacher before taking extended leave to be home with Emily {so I guess I still am sort of a first grade teacher since I didn’t “quit” my job}.  And you know what?  I was really good at my job.  I don’t often brag on myself {in fact, I am quite insecure}, but I really kind of was thebomb.com at teaching.  I enjoyed my job and the kids.  I really do miss being admired, appreciated, and needed.  I know Emily needs me, but it’s obviously just different.  In my classroom, I felt safe and “in charge”.  It was my class and I was the boss.  I really do kind of miss that. 

For my husband and I, me staying at home was kind of a given.  Let’s face it, I’m a teacher and I do NOT make that much money!  By the time we paid for daycare, my paycheck was practically gone!  There might have been enough leftover for a couple trips to the grocery store.  So, for us, it was a no-brainer.  If I was a baller and making a ton of moo-lah, it might have been different.  But, I was just a poor teacher so it worked out for us.


So, being a SAHM is pretty amazing.  As amazing as it is, it definitely has it’s challenges as well.  Financial challenges.  I really have to watch my wallet.  Scott is a very hard worker and has a great job that allows me to be at home.  We aren’t eating Ramen Noodles every night for dinner or anything.  But, I do feel guilty if I buy a shirt, or new shoes, or anything else that isn’t necessary.  It’s a definite intrinsic, self induced guilt.  It’s just there and I can’t get rid of it.  There are also personal challenges like finding gumption and time to work out and eat right.  I also have had a hard time “finding myself” as a mom.  I haven’t participated in any play groups or anything like that yet.  I just need to put myself out there, but that is hard for me.

My numero uno job is being the best mama I can be to Emily.  She is my main focus every day.  I have danced around with the idea of starting some types of online business or doing something to work from home, but I have just been unsuccessful so far.  However, my girlfriend and I have started a blog that is just for mamas!  She is also a stay at home mama (her daughter and Emily are only 2 weeks apart and they live on the same street as us!  Score!!) and we have just found so many wonderful products and resources for our babes that we just want to share them with everyone else!  We also want to talk about our struggles and joys as stay at home mamas!  We are working on the design and details of our new blog as we speak.  We hope to have it up and running within a couple weeks so stay tuned to my blog for updates!


As of right now, I am taking another year off from teaching.  I actually went and cleaned out my classroom a couple of weeks ago (sad face), and now you can’t even walk through my garage because of all the boxes of my teaching stuff!  If I did go back, I’m not 100% sure it would be to the classroom.  I love the kids and I love teaching.  But, it really is A LOT of work.  I know a lot of people think teachers are so lucky because we get off at 3:00 and have the Summer off.  The only time I ever left at 3:00 was for a doctor’s appointment, which I came back to work afterwards.  During the Summer you are taking multiple workshops to try to keep your certification up, as well as preparing for the next school year.  I used to come home around 6:00 after working all day and continue to work (grading papers, building lessons on the computer, writing lesson plans, etc) until about 10:00 when I would go to bed.  And I would be back up at 6am to do it all over again!  I’m not complaining.  Again, I LOVED my job!  I guess things have just been put in perspective now.  Now that I have Emily, I just want to be able to come home from work (if/when I go back) and spend time with her.  I don’t want to have to bring work home.  With that being said, the thought of a career change has crossed my mind.  I am thinking about going back to school.  It will either be for a masters in something education related, or for something completely different.  I’m not sure yet.  I have a lot of thinking and praying to do before I can make that decision.

At the end of the day, I have the best job on the planet!  I get to hang out with my baby girl everyday and teach her and watch her learn and grow!  I am so, so, so, so blessed and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!

Thank you so much again, Karen, for allowing me to be here today!  And thank you all for reading!!  Hopefully I didn’t bore you too much!  Want to hear more and/or keep up with my crazy life and my sweet baby girl?  Hop on over to my blog, say hi, and follow along!!

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xoxo,
Amy



Life of a SAHM Series {Day 10} Here Comes the Fun

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Hi there and welcome to Day 10 of the Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Guest Blogging Series!!! If you are just joining our Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Series, welcome! Miss a post? You can find all the entries for our series listed for you here.

I am so excited to introduce Chasity  today from Here Comes the Fun.   Chasity has an adorable newborn baby girl named Georgia AND was the most recent winner in my Target Gift Card Giveaway!  Please give a warm welcome to Chasity!!!

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Hello bloggers! I am really new to staying at home, my daughter is not even six weeks old! I got a good taste of staying at home, although not mommying, when I was home for medical reasons the last six weeks of my pregnancy. Those six weeks were all fun and no work, and I used the time to prepare for the arrival of our baby by finishing the nursery, stocking our freezer and trying to figure out a homekeeping schedule. Little did I know that homekeeping would be the least of my duties with a newborn in the house!

The biggest reward for me as a SAHM is getting to experience every single day with my daughter. She is growing and changing so much and so quickly! I am incredibly fortunate to be able to enjoy each second with her, whether it be seeing her sweet smile when she wakes up, taking a walk or changing a dirty diaper. I just love being with her, and I know it will only get more fun as she grows and is able to interact with me.

The biggest challenge for me as a SAHM is trying to juggle all of my responsibilities. My first priority is taking care of my daughter, but I do put pressure on myself to keep our home presentable if not immaculate. I'd also love to have dinner on the table for my husband every evening and to have breakfast with him before he leaves for work. However, I know I will have time for that once the crazy newborn phase is over. Along with these pressures, I find that I have to remind myself to slow down and savor each moment with my baby and not try to do too much...there will always be chores to be done and dinners to be made, but I won't always have a tiny baby!

It's still early, but I don't miss anything about not working. I thought I would miss being around people all day, but my social circle has never revolved around work or co-workers and I have plenty of friends to socialize with as a SAHM. I am a CPA and I have some interests outside of my current industry, so maybe in the future I will put the two together and utilize my skills for something fun - I have some ideas in my head, but no time to implement them. Right now, though, I am just focusing on pleasing my little nine pound boss!

Thanks for allowing me to share, and you can follow me and my family at Here Comes the Sun.

Life of a Stay At Home Mom Series {Day 9}: The Hawvers

Tuesday, June 28, 2011



Hi there and welcome to Day 9 of the Life of a Stay At Home Mom Guest Blogging Series!!! If you are just joining our Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Series, welcome! Miss a post? You can find all the entries for our series listed for you here.

I hope you are all enjoying a glimpse into all of our Stay At Home Mom's lives!  It is so inspiring and heart warming to read how wonderful it is being a Stay At Home Mom.  You are all wonderful and all of your children are so lucky to have you as Mommy's!  I have had several Mom's ask me if I am also going to do a Guest Blogging Series on Working Moms and the answer is YES!!!  I think it would be fun to see both worlds.  I am thinking of doing this towards the end of the Summer so stay tuned!!! 

Today we are meeting up with Catie from The Hawvers - Tales of a Real Housewife.  Catie is a SAHM of an adorable little boy named Gus.  I am so excited to have Catie with us today to give her perspective on life as a stay at home mom!!

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Hello Blog World! My name is Catie, and I am a stay-at-home mom. I live in a very small town in West Texas. It is 70 miles to a Target and 30 miles to a Wal-Mart, but we have a SONIC!  Two blocks away from our house is the open prairie with cows. I would like to share my story with you. As I know some of the other moms have said, I feel like I am living my dream. If you look at my growing-up book in first grade, I wanted to be a mom when I grew up. There was never a time in my life when I wanted to work full-time outside the home. After high school, I went to college and felt God lead me to go to pharmacy school. This was not my initial choice because it is a lot of education and work, and all I really wanted was to be a wife and mom. However, at that point in my life I was single and seeking to follow where the Lord would lead me. In pharmacy school I met the love of my life, Josh. We started out as friends (for 2 and ½ years) and then began dating. Less than a year after we started dating we got married. Not a day passes where I do not thank God for putting this wonderful man in my life.


We discussed my staying at home after we had kids and planned for this all along. Our first son was born in March of this year. I have worked a few half-days since our son was born, but all those days Josh stayed home with him.


As for the questions about being a stay-at-home mom:

1. Biggest reward: I love watching my son learn and grow. I never want to miss anything in his childhood, and I want to be the one raising him on a daily basis. I also love keeping house, cooking, and caring for my husband.


2. Challenges: So far we have not encountered too many challenges yet. We planned for me to stay home even before we were married. We did have a cut financially, but we know there will be other rewards that are even more important.

3. Working: One of the great things about being a pharmacist is I can work occasionally when I need to. I also can start working again when my children are grown.

4. Missing work: I will probably work a little on days when my husband Josh or other family can stay with Gus. I want to work some just so I do not forget all the information I learned in school. However, I do not miss working. I would much rather spend my days at home cooking and taking care of my son.

5. Leaving work: As I said before, I always planned to stay at home. Some people may think I am wasting my doctoral degree, but I do not agree. I do plan to work some after my kids are grown. I also plan to homeschool my children, and my education will further help me be a good teacher for them.

6. Going back to work: I do plan to work some (on Saturdays maybe) while my kids are young and also after they are grown. I do not have aspirations for another career. I did play the piano for 13 years and have considered teaching lessons which would be easy to do with children.

I fill my days with cooking, laundry, changing diapers, playing with my son, playing with our dogs, cleaning house, and blogging about what happens. I just started blogging a little less than a year ago. I enjoy reading about what other moms are doing. I thank Karen for this opportunity to share and welcome anyone to visit my blog to read about our life. I believe one of the greatest gifts any mom can give her child is time and attention!

Life of a Stay At Home Mom Series {Day 8}: Ducks in a Row

Monday, June 27, 2011



Hi there and welcome to Day 8 of the Life of a Stay At Home Mom Guest Blogging Series!!! If you are just joining our Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Series, welcome! Miss a post? You can find all the entries for our series listed for you here.
Today we are meeting up with Laurel from Ducks In A Row.  Laurel is a SAHM of three adorable kids, such a sweet and adorable family!!!  I am so excited to have Laurel with us today to give her perspective on life as a stay at home mom!!

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Hello friends - what a great series this is!  My name is Laurel and I write a blog called Ducks in a Row.  This is a great place to be and a great subject to talk about! 

I have been a stay at home mom since my oldest was born, about 9 years ago.  I graduated college with a degree in elementary education and taught kindergarten and first grade for several years before I started having babies.  I loved teaching - I still do.  AND, I think I was pretty good at it!  BUT, the whole time I was teaching, I just wanted to be on the mommy side!  That is where my heart is! 

Biggest reward of being a SAHM?
You know when your child is trying something new and they get it?  There is a split second when they glance at you to see if you are watching.  Catching those glances is a huge reward!  Sometimes, when I am downstairs making breakfast in the kitchen, I can hear footsteps coming down the stairs.  Knowing exactly which child that is without seeing them is a reward.  I'm not sure I can label the biggest reward!  Simply put, it's knowing who my child is and being able to be with them!


Biggest reward for you or your family having you as a SAHM?
I think the biggest reward is the security and confidence it gives my children. They know I am around and have chosen to be with them over anything else!  They know I used to teach school and gave it up to be with them!  They also know that there is no other place I'd rather be.  How reassuring would that be to know there is someone out there who loves you so much that she didn't want to miss part of your life?!


Do you work from home now or have a side business or craft?
I do - I teach about 12 piano students a week out of my home.  My students know, however, that I am a mommy first and will most likely be holding a child, or answering their questions during the lesson.  I have been teaching piano for about 12 years and my children don't really know any different.  They usually just play during the lessons.

 What do you miss about not working, if at all? 
I miss the students!  I still have several that I receive Christmas cards from!


Was it a hard decision to leave the working world or was it the obvious choice all along?
For our family, it was kind of a given that I would stay home.  My husband and I had several talks before we were even married about our future.  It has always been part of my plan.  There have been many sacrifices made in order for us to do this.  I'm blessed with a hard working husband who has a fantastic job, but there are still monetary cuts that we have to make and that we choose to make.
 
One of my favorite quotes from Harold B. Lee says "Today I feel that women are becoming victims of the speed of modern living. It is in building their motherly intuition and that marvelous closeness with their children that they are enabled to tune in upon the wavelengths of their children and to pick up the first signs of difficulty, of danger and distress, which if caught in time would save them from disaster. To the sisters, this means they must make a career of motherhood. They must let nothing supersede that career!"  I do feel that there is a difference between just being at home with your children and making  a career of motherhood!  I know our family has been blessed in countless ways from our choice to stay at home!



Life of a Stay At Home Mom Series {Day 7}: Aspenberg Family

Sunday, June 26, 2011



Hi there and welcome to Day 7 of the Life of a Stay At Home Mom Guest Blogging Series!!! If you are just joining our Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Series, welcome! Miss a post? You can find all the entries for our series listed for you here.

I apologize for the late post today!!  We just arrived back home from a 12 hour drive from Myrtle Beach.  I didn't have any computer access along the way so hence the delay!!  We had a great week in Myrtle Beach, however, poor Jillian had Hand Foot Mouth for most of trip.  I will write more about this later but I can honestly say this was the worst illness Jillian has ever had.  It was horrible and I never felt so helpless as a Mom. 

I hope you are enjoying all of our amazing SAHM Bloggers so far!!!  We have another great week of guest bloggers this week and promise that they will not disappoint!!  I feel like I have learned so much already from all of our Mom's.  Today we are meeting up with Stacey from Just Another Day - Aspenberg Family.  I am so excited to have her with us today to give her perspective on life as a stay at home mom!!

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Hi Everyone from Karen ~at~ Home! I am so excited to be guest blogging with you all today! My name is Stacey from Just Another Day - Aspenberg Family and I am a wife to the Love of my life Jayson and together we have 3 amazing crazy kids! Our oldest Madyson is 6 1/2 our son Bryson will be 4 in a week and our littlest Meya Hope is 18 months! Here is a picture of the 3 of them from last Sept. when we went to Disney!



I do love being at home with them but my days are busy and some days seem longer than others but, I am so thankful that God lead me to this role! Some days I am so weary, but through Him I find my strength and make it through! I have to tell you all honestly that this year 2011 Has been our toughest and most challenging year thus far since I have been home. So much has happened in such a short amount of time that sometimes I am still wondering what God's plan is for Our family and where he will take us but trying to rest in him. On February 6th, in the early morning hours my dad passed away after a long 4 years fight with stage 4 prostate cancer! I am so thankful for the man God gave me as a daddy and miss him more words than ever express you can read more on this here. Just 2 short weeks later my husband was let go of his job of 5 years and I didn't think things could get any crazier than we got that news and it was almost to much to bear. But through those crazy times I have to tell you I feel as though my role as a Stay at home wife and Mom was completely redefined and never felt so needed , yet didn't feel like I had much to give and the Grace God gave me to get through and the Way he poured out his Love was just so powerful and Moving! I must say the biggest reward with being home is I'm there for my husband and kids and I get to be the very first one who watches them talk for the first time, take their first steps , smile for the first time and those moments are far more precious than anything else and I wouldn't trade those things for anything in the world!



I know you all don't know this but my husband does suffer from depression and it has also been such a blessing to be home and be there for him when he needs me also. Between him and the children the best reason to have me home is I am able to be there for them and all that they may need. I am a Hairdresser turned stay at home Momma, and I am fortunate that I still do a ton of hair out of my home and it makes for a nice side income and always seems to be there when we need it most. When we were dating and engaged my husband and I had a ton of long talks and we decided way back then that when we had children that I was going to be home with them. My husband was more for it than most since his mother was a stay at home mom of 4 and grew up wanting that for his family as well. So when we found out that we were expecting our 1st I went out on Maternity leave and never came back. Also for me and my profession it did not pay me to go back to work especially with the cost of Day care that we new that what I made wouldn't cover the cost. I don't really think I miss anything about working because for me I have the best of both worlds. I do hair when and if I want and I am able to plan it for during Nap and rest time or when my husband is home in the evening and I can make it to school for parties and whatnot. One thing I love is for the 2nd year I was our church's MOPS (Mothers of Preschooler's) co-coordinator. It was so awesome to see so many lives changed by God! If you are contemplating staying home the one thing I would offer as far as advice is get connected with other Mom's ! That is a must you need your girlfriends to help you get through the crazy times the happy times and the most trying times and days! There is nothing like your friends and you need to surround yourself with them! Look at your church or local church some may offer MOPS groups there or bible studies or Play groups any of the above! Its a great way to meet friends and get out there it will make the days go by shorter!



Here is a picture from a few months back (above) There are my husbands 3 sisters and their husbands! They are truly some of my closest friends and we try to sneak out every few months just us to have fun without the kids! between the 4 siblings there are 9 soon to be in a few weeks 10 cousins and it makes for some crazy fun times! Its so nice to be able to have a close family and have cousins to grow up with for our kids!



Here is just 1 picture of only a small group of us form our annual MOPS spring tea! These ladies helped me get through this some of the toughest times! Especially my friend Lauren to the right of me! I am so thankful for her friendship and the long talks and tears shared on the phone she is gem and I don't know what I would do without her! As far as career goals or going back to work goes, as of now I am not planning on returning anytime soon, I thing the choice we made for our family was the right one for sure!
If I am getting long winded I am so sorry but before I close I really want to share a few things with you if you are considering staying at home or even returning to work: I would tell you to Pray about it. For us its not about the money at all. we struggle at times but you get creative on ways to save money and one way or another we somehow make things work (Usually by God's grace) you get creative with meals, coupons, and whatnot! Also I would say Get Connected! Its the one thing that is so important! Get connect with the Ladies around you, you need friends! And Lastly don't just look at the financial aspect of staying home look all all areas because it goes so much further than money! I just want to Thank Karen so much for giving me this opportunity to share with you all and thanks for taking the time to read my long winded post! Please come visit me over at Aspenberg Family or you can email me at aspenbergfam@gmail.com and would love to get to know more fellow bloggers out there!!
Blessings,
Stacey!

Life of a Stay At Home Mom Series {Day 6}: Designs By A Rose

Saturday, June 25, 2011




Hi there and welcome to Day 6 of the Life of a Stay At Home Mom Guest Blogging Series!!! If you are just joining our Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Series, welcome! Miss a post? You can find all the entries for our series listed for you here.


I hope you are enjoying all of our amazing SAHM Bloggers so far!!!  Today we are meeting up with Annette from Designs by a Rose.   This girl is crafty and can sew like nobody's business.  I am so excited to have her with us today to give her perspective on life as a stay at home mom!!

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Hello Karen at Home readers. I am very excited to be guest posting on Karen's blog! 
My name is Annette and I blog over at Designs By A Rose.




I also create many beautiful items for sale. Check them out in my Etsy shop



You can find me on Facebook and Twitter

Karen asked me to answer a few questions, so here goes:


1. What is the biggest reward of being a stay at home mom?
It's being able to see my sweet daughter every morning when she wakes up. Not when I get her up to rush her out of the house, but when she wakes up all bubbly, bedhead and all. It's the sweet moments when we get to do a craft together or just watch tv side by side. It's the moments when we have girls days and she looks at me lovingly telling me how happy she is that I'm her mom. It's a lot of things, but hard to choose just one.


2. What is the biggest reward for your or your family having you as a stay at home mom?
Being here when my daughter gets home from school. Cooking breakfast and dinner for the family everyday. Just being there for them.When I was working outside of the home, I had to rush out every morning at 7:00 and didn't get home until 6:30 or 7:00 every night. I was constantly grumpy and constantly stressed, because it never seemed like I had time to do anything. Being at home, I'm much calmer and can do pretty much everything and anything I want to do.


3. Do you work from home or have a side business or craft?
Yes. You can check out my beautiful items by visiting my blog or Etsy page. It's always been my dream to have my own crafty business. I've literally dreamed about it for years. Now I finally have a chance to make that dream a reality!


4. What do you miss about not working, if at all?
I miss seeing my coworker friends every day. Of course, Facebook and Twitter keep me talking to all my friends regularly. I guess I miss the income too. I made a pretty decent living doing Real Estate Closings. I actually brought home more than my hubby, so cutting that out was a huge adjustment. However, the pay from being home with your kids is definitely worth more than money.


5. Was it a hard decision to leave the working world or was it the obvious choice all along?
I have wanted to be a stay at home mom/work at home mom for years. When I became pregnant with our 2nd child, after trying for over 10 years, it seemed like it was the obvious choice.  I have had horrible morning sickness this entire pregnancy. Being home has definitely been a blessing in that department! I'm very excited at the chance to be home with our daughter, due to arrive at the end of August, as well!


6. Do you plan on going back to work in the same profession or have different career goals?
 I haven't decided the answer to this question yet. I think this will depend on how things go over the next few months. I plan on staying home for at least 3 months after little Scarlett is born. If my crafty biz takes off, I will definitely stay home. If not, I'll go back to doing closings. I loved my job in the "real world", but being a stay at home/work at home mom definitely has it's perks!


You can check out some of my recent projects here:














Hope you'll click over and visit. Thanks for reading my post and thanks to Karen for having me!
Have a great day!!!!
Annette


Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Series {Day 5}: Live.Laugh.Love...and Libbi!

Friday, June 24, 2011



Hi there and welcome to Day 5 of the Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Guest Blogging Series!!! If you are just joining our Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Series, welcome! Miss a post? You can find all the entries for our series listed for you here.

I am so excited to introduce Amy today from Live, Laugh Love...and Libbi.  I started reading Amy's Blog when I was on maternity leave last Spring.  Amy is such a sweetheart and I immediately was drawn into her endearing stories about Libbi.  Libbi and Jillian are only six months apart.  It was amazing to me to read about what Libbi was up to knowing that in just a few months Jillian would be doing the same thing.  Amy also just gave birth to her second daughter, Laney, who looks like a mini-Libbi in my opinion!!!  I am so thrilled to have Amy with us today.  I know you will love her as much as I do! 

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Hi Karen {At} Home readers!  I am so excited to be guest posting with Karen today.  When she mentioned her blog series featuring stay at home moms, I jumped at the chance to participate.  I write the blog, Live.Laugh.Love...and Libbi which will soon be getting a (mini) makeover because we have recently added to our family! I am the blessed Momma of Libbi (2 years old as of Wednesday!!) and Laney (6 weeks old as of Wednesday!!) and the proud wife of Jeffrey.  
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To say I am living my dream would be an understatement.  When I was little, if someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would proudly say, "a momma!"  I was always playing "babies" or mothering my little sister (whether she wanted me to or not).  My mom stayed home with us when we were little, so I just always thought I would do the same with my own children.  At the time, I was too young to know the sacrifices my parents made for my mom to be home with us.  I didn't know all it entailed, I just assumed that being a stay at home mom was as easy as she made it look.  

In my mind, I would get married, work for a year, have a baby and then stay home - easy as that. ha!  Little did I know, it didn't quite work that way.  When I got pregnant with Libbi, I was in my fourth year of teaching. More than anything, I wanted to stay home with her, but realistically it just wasn't feasible for our family at the time. She was born in June and I was blessed to be able to stay at home with her until the middle of October before I returned to teaching.  It was extremely difficult.  Not only because I was leaving my baby, but also because I was starting my school year in October when every kindergartner in my class had started theirs in August. I wrote about our first day back at school (work) on my blog - you can read about it HERE if you want.  

I do have to admit that when I did return to work, I had the best of both worlds.  We had childcare in our school for teacher's kids, so Libbi was able to come to school with me.  She was right down the hall so I could still nurse her every day or go check on her during my planning period.  If she couldn't be with me, at least she could be in the same location as me.  When the school year came to a close, after much prayer and consideration, we decided that I would not be returning the following year.  Funny enough, it was a difficult decision to make.  Even though all I have ever wanted to do is stay home with my babies, to actually make that leap from two incomes to one was a BIG deal.  We prayed about it and I truly believed that if we would take that step of faith, the Lord would provide what we needed.  

And provide, He has!  Not only financially, but emotionally and relationally as well.  I'm not gonna lie, it was a difficult transition at first.  Difficult in the sense that I had to "learn" how to be a stay at home mom.  I had a new role in life and I had to adjust accordingly.  When I was teaching, there were obvious rewards.  I could literally see my hard work pay off.  I could see the children that learned how to read because of what I had taught them.  I could witness learning taking place before my eyes and feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that I played a part in it. That's one of the only things I miss about working.  That, and all the friends I had at school.  
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There is a different sense of accomplishment that comes along with being a stay at home mom.  Some days, I feel accomplished when I can just get through the day without losing my mind! :)  In all honesty, even on our toughest days, there is no where else I would rather be.  Being a mother is such an enormous gift, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. I read in a bible study once (Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed) the following quote and it has really resonated with me: "Mothering is not the ultimate goal of being a mom, revealing Christ to the children is."  Whether I am staying at home or working outside the home - I'm still a mom and my most important role does not change.
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One day, I would like to go back to teaching.  It was a very rewarding profession and one that caters nicely to momma's (hello, summertime!) For now, I try to daily remind myself that "....my intention is not the task, but that He might be more clearly seen..." because it is so easy to get caught up in all the busy-ness of life or in the superficial things.  It does not matter if my babies are dressed to the nines or if my house is spotless.  Ultimately, It does not even matter if I work at home, work outside the home, or stay at home.  What matters most to me is that my girls know that I love them, their Daddy loves them, and Jesus loves them.  






"Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."
Ephesians 3:20

Thanks again to Karen for the opportunity to post and join in on the stay at home mom series.  I can't wait to read more from the other mommas!  










Life of a Stay At Home Mom Series {Day 4}: Building A New Hive

Thursday, June 23, 2011



Hi there and welcome to Day 4 of the Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Guest Blogging Series!!! If you are just joining our Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Series, welcome! Miss a post? You can find all the entries for our series listed for you here.

I am so excited to introduce Cristal today from Building A New Hive.  I started reading Cristal's Blog when it was called The 8'oclock hour.  Our daughters are only a few months apart and I loved reading about her daily life with Jaelyn.  I was very sad to see Cristal eventually taking a break from the blogging world and assumed it was due to the daily grind of being a working Mom and raising a Toddler.  Needless to say, I am so thrilled that she is back to blogging again and sharing her inspiring story with us. 

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Hi my name is Cristal and I am from Building a New Hive. My blog used to be called The8oclockhour, BUT when I became a SAHM I changed the name because, well… my life changed. MY road to becoming a SAHM was not the best but the end result ROCKS! Here we go.... My daughter Jaelyn was born May 2009 and my husband and I were so in love with her. Our marriage was a little rough but we were:: waiting :: for it to pass. After Jaelyn turned one my marriage took a turn for the worst, I moved out, went from working part time to working full time (HORRIBLE was in understatement) all in the name of …. (Gulp) DIVORCE! During my “blog break”, you know the time where you stop blogging because the world is ending, well yea during that I remember thinking; I used to be so happy. What happened?! A lot of people would come up to me and tell me they read my blog and thought my life looked so perfect. One night lying in bed in my small apartment I went back and read my old blog posts. I remember crying nonstop because my life did seem perfect, when in all reality it was falling apart. I had always wanted to be a stay at home mom, from DAY ONE! I had a stay at home mom so for me there was no other choice, for my husband, my working part time was “the life”. I hated every min I was away from Jaelyn. I hated to work, I hated everything I missed and in return resented him for “making” me work, this is that part where my marriage crumbled. After I planned to move out and told Tommy that was my plan and he begged me to stay he got on his hands and knees and said the words I had been waiting for … “I’ll do whatever you want, I want to make your dream come true, I want you to be a stay at home mom” Well by this point I was so mad at “life” that I didn’t believe him and I moved out. After 3 months I filled for divorce and he was served with papers on our 4 year wedding anniversary. The thing is , Tommy was in a place where I couldn’t even touch, He was so close to God and KNEW our marriage couldn’t end and wouldn’t with God’s help. As for me and my sorry little self, I was not there, I was mean and hateful and I disgusted myself! After a visit from a friend and a LONG talk my mind started to change. Tommy filled for the divorce process to be stopped and to try counseling. This coming from a man that sat in counseling with me for the LAST 4 YEARS! I knew it wouldn’t work (AGAIN!) but I gave it a shot. I moved back in on Halloween and we took our daughter trick or treating together … I will never forget the smile on Jaelyns face. She had both her parents under one roof once again. BUT it wasn’t over; I still was working too many hours to even begin to focus on my family and marriage. December 1st was my last day of work; we went out for pizza that night to celebrate! My blog name changed to Building a New Hive. It is the story of Our I DO re-do and life as a SAHM. This blog is not FLUFF this blog is honest and brutal. It’s happy and it’s sad. We have called my daughter baby bee since she was born so that is where the whole hive thing comes in. Being a mom is work no matter if you are a SAHM or a Working mom. I have done it all, mothering as a part time working mom, a fulltime over time working mom and now as a stay at home mom. I must say that it is my favorite. I am extremely happy. My biggest reward is when my daughter hugs me with her left arm and my hubby with her right. SHE is the reason I am the mom that I am. She is my world. As far as my marriage is concerned well, Tommy and I have been to HELL … SERIOUSLY … and back. We are SO VERY happy now. We still fight about stupid stuff (marriage is not roses) but the biggest issues in our marriage are resolved. He would do anything for me and Jaelyn (even work a 2nd job, which he does) and I would do anything for him. I have a sassy attitude that tends to come out and that is the biggest deal right now, I have been praying out it nonstop for months now and we are seeing changes, it will take time, but with God anything is possible. God is now the center of our home where he should have been all along. It was an obvious choice for me to be a SAHM, I am now able to devote all of my time to God, Tommy and Jaelyn. I don’t plan on working again until Jaelyn is in school. Tommy is a teacher so I hope to get a job in the school system with him so that we will be on the same schedule (better for family vacations and fun times in the summer) I don’t care what I have to do, I don’t care if I am an office worker or a lunch lady as long as God is first and Family is second, we are in good shape.

Thank you so much Karen for allowing me to participate in your SAHM blog series. If you all would like to follow my personal blog you may and I welcome you to http://buildinganewhive.blogspot.com/

Happy Reading!


Life of a Stay At Home Mom Series {Day 3}: MyGotFam

Wednesday, June 22, 2011



Hi there and welcome to Day 3 of the Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Guest Blogging Series!!! If you are just joining our Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Series, welcome! Miss a post? You can find all the entries for our series listed for you here.

I honestly have to say I am blown away so far by all of our amazing Mommy Bloggers.  I am starting to get emotional reading all of your posts!!!  The love and sincerity for what you do is so telling in the words that you write and I can't thank you enough for taking the time out of your busy lives to write about it.  I am truly honored to be a part of this and I hope all of you are enjoying this series as much as I am! 

I am so excited to introduce Chrissy today from MyGotFam.  Chrissy is a fellow Cleveland Mommy Blogger and one that I have gotten to know very well recently.  Our daughters are only a few months apart so I can certainly relate to a lot of what she blogs about!!!  I had a chance to meet Chrissy in real life recently at the Legacy Village Blogger event.  She and I had a blast checking out all of the beautiful accessories at Charming Charlies.   I am so happy to have Chrissy with us today and really appreciate her taking the time to give us a glimpse into her life as a stay at home Mom.

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Hi all!


First, a huge Thank You to Karen for hosting this guest blogging series.

Second, a quick introduction to myself:

I am a stay at home mom (SAHM) of two adorable children. My son is 2.5 years old and his name is Carter.


My daughter just turned 1 and her name is Avery.


I live in a suburb outside of Cleveland Ohio with my husband, two children, and two pets. Itʼs chaos (but mostly the good kind), and I blog about it at http://www.mygotfam.com./

When Karen mentioned that she was looking for some guest posts on “Being a Stay At Home Mom,” I was interested right away. Not because being a SAHM is always perfect and shiny, but because itʼs a topic that I have thought about quite a bit in the last few years.

At first, this was a touchy subject for me. I spent half of my time during the first year as a SAHM loudly defending my choice and feeling judged for deciding to stay home. Iʼm not sure why I felt this way. Looking back, I donʼt think that anyone was necessarily judging me. A few minor comments were made (mostly likely as jokes) by friends of my husband about SAHMʼs sitting on the cough eating bon bons ... and suddenly I felt like my new job had no validity.

Luckily, Iʼm done with that feeling now. I just had to wake up and decide to own my decision. And now I feel very lucky to be able to have made this choice.

And, trust me when I say, it wasnʼt an easy decision to make. In fact, it may have been one of the most difficult decisions my husband and I have made. 

When my husband and I first discussed children, we were always on the fence about whether or not I would stay home with the kids or continue to work. I had a great career as an art director, a ton of career upward movement potential (for lack of a better term), and made a fabulous living. But after a lot of long talks, we made the decision that I would stay home with kids. This decision works for us. But all families are different.
 
The dynamics of no two families are the same, so trust me when I say ...every family has to decide what is best for them ...and own their decision.

And what kind of SAHM you decide to be is up to you too. Some moms (and dads) probably intuitively know how they are/will be with kids. Not me. It took me some time to “come into myself” as a SAHM, since I had always been a career girl. When my son was born, I had no idea what to do every day. I wasnʼt sure what activities would be fun for him, if I could bring him grocery shopping or on errands with me. It was a huge learning curve for me. And so I signed him up for every baby and me class I could find.  We went to music class, reading time at the library, baby gyms, you name it. And slowly... I got the hang of the whole SAHM thing. And then when my daughter wasborn, there was another learning curve on how to be a SAHM to two children. How to get out of the house with two kids (this is MUCH more difficult than it sounds). How to stay busy and not let myself just do the easy things.


Now, I love it. I love coming up with fun/learning activities for my kids (one of the many rewards of being a stay at home is that you get to spend so much time with your kids, but also can guide their education, love of life and love of learning from the start...every single day). I love adventures with them and try to come up with something new for them almost everyday. We cook together, we sing together, we hike, we play, we have a blast. But being a SAHM isnʼt always puppies and clouds. There are insane days when I want to rip my hair out and scream. I certainly have my “grass is greener” moments. You know, the days when Iʼd love to go to work... just to dress up, or stayclean for longer than 20 minutes, or make it through an entire day without someoneelseʼs poop or vomit on me...you know...stuff like that. But those are few and far between...and easily laughed off in the long run.

My husband often calls during the day to say hi and I answer mid-laugh because of something that one of the kids just did. We have a good laugh about it...and he goes on about his day knowing that his kids are having fun, learning and loving life. This is (in his opinion) one of the biggest rewards of me being at home with the kids.

I do still work on the side on occasion. Freelance design work here or there, and I do think I would like to involve myself in social media more and more as the kids get older - so that I can keep my resume somewhat active (thus maybe be employable again (one of my biggest concerns)).

But for now, itʼs one fun day at a time. Some stinky-poo-covered days...but fun none the less!

Life of a Stay At Home Mom Series {Day 2}: Flip Flops & Pearls

Tuesday, June 21, 2011



Hi there and welcome to Day 2 of the Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Guest Blogging Series!!! If you are just joining our Life of a Stay {At} Home Mom Series, welcome! Miss a post? You can find all the entries for our series listed conveniently for you here.
I am so excited to introduce Daphne today from Flip Flops and Pearls.  Daphne is probably one of the happiest and funnest Bloggers I know.  She hosts two Linky Parties, Home Tour Tuesdays and Let's Eat!  If you are ever looking for a fun and upbeat blog to read, I highly suggest you follow Flip Flops and Pearls!!!   I am so happy to have Daphne with us today and really appreciate her taking the time to give us a glimpse into her life as a stay at home Mom.

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Hey Y'all! I am Daphne author of Flip Flops and Pearls. I am so excited to be able share a little glimpse into my personal life. My public blog revolves around shopping, cooking & decorating. I have a private family blog. One talks about decorating bathrooms while the other talks about cleaning bathrooms :)

I am so blessed as I have been a stay at home mom for the past 19 years! I have a son that will be a senior this year and my daughter is a freshman. I have been married to my best friend for 18 years!


1. Biggest reward of being a SHAM-

WOW, this is a hard one to wrap into a short answer. (nothing about me is short but me height!)

Time: I'd start with being able to spend ALL of my time with my children. Before long they will be grown and I will not be able to get back that time. You only have one chance to be Mom & train them in the way you want them to be. I feel that being at work or a 24/7 socialite, doesn't give you the opportunity to do so. (I know some ppl have to work but I know many who "choose" career b/c they enjoy their lifestyle).

No money can replace time. After homeschooling for 4 years, I thought I'd die when they went back into the school system. I love my kids and I love spending time with them. We traveled the world over with my husband. These are memories that I hold so dear to my heart.

2. Biggest reward for your family having you as a SHAM-

A few major rewards that pop into my head:

knowing that when my kids drive up from school, I am home. They know this. I have the entire day for "me". They are home, it's "our" time.

Dinner is usually going, (they won't eat school food) unless it's Mexican Thursday.

My kids always know that if they need anything while at school, friends, etc., all they have to do is call me and I can meet their needs. I don't have to "ask off", I just "take off!"

My kids know that there is always their favorite foods in the fridge that their favorite jeans are clean.

I feel that a great reward of being a SHAM was in that I was able to homeschool them. The lessons they learned at a young age are something that if they were in school & I was working, may not have been instilled into them. (also, they is not many greater rewards than teaching your child to read!)

We are also a very very close family. I feel this has to do with my husbands & my involvement with our children. Homeschooling & living in Marriots w/a cat will do that! Now on the weekends, I have a senior who would rather hang out with his family than at parties. (this makes my heart happy)

3. Do you work from home now or have a side business or craft?

No. No. and No:)

I tried to work out of the house about 2 years ago. I have a friend who opened a high end clothing store. I went to help run the store til it got up and going. I was gone 4 days a week as it was about 4 hours away. I made it 6 months. It about killed my family. I cried every time I left. My kids would call me crying. If my sweet husband called me once a day, he called me 101 times a day. It was a great experience going from ground up but thank Jesus that is o-vah!

I also still dab in photography. I had a business when I lived a the beach. I did beach photography and some commercial. It started out as a hobby & something I loved. Later, it was more work. So, I had to say good-bye. Now I have my passion back and it's just for me!

4. What do you miss about working, if anything?

Seriously, nothing. I am so happy being at home with my family. Maybe getting dressed up! But then, that's what date night is for so..... I am good on that end. Honestly, there is nothing outside of my home that makes me happier than what is inside my home. My husband supplies all my needs (and way over) than any reward from a job.

5. Was it a hard decision to leave the working world?

Absolutely not. It was only 6 months. It was really to help a friend & see what the working world was all about. I'm a very social person but when I have extra time, I'd rather spend it with my husband. It's easy when your best friends. I get sad when I hear my friends talk about their kids/husbands. They want school to last all summer and the men to take business trips. I don't get it. (if I'm wrong, I don't want to be be right!)

6. Do you plan on going back to work or have different career goals?

Happy to say no, this is it. This is my career, being a full time mom & wife. I just had this conversation over the weekend with my Mr. I was thanking him for all his hard work and he said, "You don't have to because you have me". Our plans as of now is that when they kids leave for college, we are going to live on a boat. (preferably an 82' Viking, but who's thinking that far ahead?)

I am so thank that God has blessed me with a husband that doesn't want me to work & wants me with him all the time. It has blessed our family in ways that I can't count and in ways that you can't put a price on. I am so thankful that I am here to share each & every day with my family. When I was growing up, I didn't have this. My mother wasn't fortunate enough to be able to be there for my brother and I, they way I am for mine. It breaks my heart to look/think back. I never had a mom for the field trip or at the school party. Now, I am the mom that drives my kids nuts cause I always want to volunteer!

Thank you Karen, for giving me the opportunity to share my experiences as a SHAM. It's nice to sit back and reflect. This my friends, is the most rewarding job God has ever given a title to, Mom. If you have time, please stop in and say hello!

Be Blessed!

Daph

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