If you all remember from last month’s post, I have started a new blog series on motherhood called Mom Talk Tuesday! Last month, I shared with you all about my son’s baker-themed 1st birthday party, and how we were able to stay under budget. This month, myself, along with Maggie from Polished Closets, Marquis from Simply Clarke, Caroline from Caroline Hulse, and our two guest bloggers, Chelsea from Haute Child In The City, and Nina from The HSS Feed, will be discussing how we balance work with motherhood.
For me, a topic that has been on my heart for a couple years now, and one that I have shied away from sharing out of shame, is why I decided to put my kids in daycare (and why that’s okay!).
But before I get to that, I’m going to share a little bit about my work and childcare situation, for context. I work from home 30-35 hours a week as a full-time blogger and managing my team of oily people. Then, I work an additional 10 hours a week as a part-time social media manager and director of marketing for a local licensed collegiate tee company. For that, I go into an office once a week for a couple of hours, and then work the rest of my hours from home.
I did all of this as a stay-at-home mom for 18 months until I realized that things were not working out. I was stressed ALL the time, was unable to get any work done, felt that my time with my daughter was always divided and that I was unable to give her my full attention. Both my work, and my role as a mom, were suffering. In addition to that, when Adam would get off work, it was pretty much the first time I would have all day, other than during Johanna’s naptime, to really grind out some work. So while Adam was enjoying time with Johanna, I was alone, on my laptop, trying to catch up on the work that I was unable to accomplish during the day. I never got to spend quality time with Adam, I never really spent quality time with Johanna, and I never had time to myself. And on top of that, my work wasn’t its best because I was always pressed for time. It was a lose-lose situation.
It all came to a head sometime around my daughters 18-month birthday. I finally realized that I couldn’t do it all. I had never considered putting her into daycare because I thought I wanted to be a full-time, stay-at-home-mom.
ONCE I WAS HONEST WITH MYSELF, I REALIZED THESE TWO THINGS:
1) I didn’t enjoy staying at home with Johanna full-time. In fact, I was miserable. Rather than enjoying my time with her each day, I woke up and dreaded it. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be with her- she was, and still is, my world. But spending an entire week with her, by myself, is very different than spending intentional, quality time with her.
2) That I actually missed working full-time. I had been working full-time for 10 years by this point, and before Johanna was born, I thought I was ready to give up my career in order to stay at home with my child and future children. It wasn’t until I stayed at home for 18 months I realized that not only did I miss working, but that I thoroughly enjoyed it. That I felt like I could be my best self when I set goals for myself and then set out to accomplish them.
It was after I was honest with myself, and was able to articulate the two things above, to both myself and to Adam, that we decided to put Johanna into full-time daycare. [Side note: Ladies, find yourself a spouse who will support you, no matter what, and who wants you to be the best version of yourself. At first, I was kind of scared to tell Adam that I no longer wanted to stay at home. I feared judgement from him. But what I got was in fact the opposite. The first thing he said to me, after I blurted out one day in the car that I was miserable and wanted to go back to work, was that he totally agreed with me- that he thought I would be really happy going back to work. Find yourself the type of man who will respond this way when you share something with him!]
That is all for Part 1 of my two-part post all about why I decided to put my kids in daycare (and why that’s okay)! Stay tuned for part 2 of the post next week, in which I’ll share a little bit about how putting my kids in daycare has benefitted our family (and made me a better mom!).