The Transition to Staying at Home

I would absolutely love to hear from any of my readers who temporarily or permanently left their careers behind to stay home with a child. While I am thrilled beyond belief to stay home with our little one this fall I can’t remember a time in my life when I did not have a job.

I babysat throughout my early teens and got my first paycheck working at a day care center at the age of fifteen. I worked in a multitude of positions between then and the time I graduated college, but I rarely went without employment. I worked every semester and summer throughout college and landed my first and current job a month after I graduated. I even temped during a few winter breaks just so I could earn the extra money.

Over the years I’ve enjoyed watching my 401(k) grow and my salary increase. I’ve also savored the paid vacations and other perks that come with employment.

Through a combination of severance pay and savings I hope to stay home somewhere between six months and a year, but I wonder if it’ll feel strange not to hold a position of employment. I know I’ll be working, (I think motherhood may be the most difficult job out there), but I wonder if it will feel strange not to earn a living. I can’t imagine looking at the checking account and not seeing a bi-weekly deposit.

I’d love to hear from anyone out there who transitioned to staying at home after working. It doesn’t matter if you stayed home for a few months, a few years or longer. I’m just interested in what it felt like to make the transition.

Did it feel strange to wake up the first morning you were home and realize you didn’t need to head to the office? As time wore on did it feel strange to realize you weren’t bringing in any money or were you so focused on the new joys and roles in your life that you realized none of that really matters?

5 thoughts on “The Transition to Staying at Home”

  1. I quit my job two years ago. My daughter is now 3. She does go to preschool part time so I can run errands and she can play with her friends (she started going there while I was still working).
    I think the biggest thing about staying at home is still finding a "purpose" aside from being a mom. You're a mom 24/7 and I think you need something else aside from that to feel complete.. at least I do.. If I have nothing to talk about with friends aside from kid stuff I begin to feel really boring and irritated with myself. So I think it's good to have a hobby or two aside from just being mom.
    I do also miss the daily interactions with adults outside of my family. I've found I'm much friendlier at stores with the cashiers and whoever I encounter throughout my day because of this.

  2. I just returned to work after taking a 5 month maternity leave. It's probably a little different for me because I had my job waiting for me to return, but it was so nice not working at first. (I stopped one week before my due date, and my baby was almost a week late.)

    When the baby was around 2 or 3 months old, she never napped and by days were so long, I really wanted to go back to work. Simply because it would have been so much easier to sit in a office than deal with a cranky baby by myself for 9 hours. Once she got a nap schedule, my days were much better.

    I personally don't think I could be a full-time stay-at-home mom for years at a time. I rather like my job, and, while I love my daughter, it is hard for me to entertain her alone for hours on end without a break. Now that she goes to daycare 3 days a week, I enjoy my time so much more. I think I also like it more now that she is getting a little personality and can do much more than a newborn.

  3. I was 41 yrs. old when I had my first child. I had worked full time since 19 and had a very nice career. I was laid off from my job after 5 months of marriage and became pregnant at the same time. It took me 2 years to make the adjustment of staying home and motherhood. I have had my ups and downs but it is worth. We now have a second child which I had at 44.
    I don't miss working. I like being my own boss and setting my own schedule. I couldn't go back to working for someone now. My husband and I started our own business this past Jan. So far it has been successful and we are busy.
    Stay home, the time really is short when they are little. Enjoy the flexibility. Yes, it will be hard at times and you will wonder what on earth have I done. You will get past that stage and it will all work out. My best to you and the new baby!

  4. @Merveilleux – I completely agree with finding hobbies and 'purposes' outside of being a mom. I certainly don't want to become a boring woman who can't talk about anything other than her kids šŸ™‚ (By the way I already find myself talking a lot to cashiers.)

    @Lauren – I've heard those first few months are the hardest. I worked in daycare for years when I was in high school and it was definitely tough to relate to the little ones in the beginning. I think that's one of my biggest worries. I'm like you though I can't imagine staying home indefinitely. I don't like my current job, but I like the idea of interacting daily with adults outside of my family šŸ™‚

    @Susan – Thanks for the good wishes and for keeping me grounded. I love how you say there are ups and downs. I think everyone wants it to be picture perfect and the truth is that's impossible. I really appreciate your comment. My husband and I also own a company, so when the time is right I might transition back into the working world through that avenue.

  5. You are welcome!!! I have enjoyed your blog for over a year. I am like you. I search for the best deal, read the reviews. I love to research.
    You are doing great and your husband seems to be a very good man. Good for you!


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