Home With my Boy 💙
Before I had Greyson I worked at least forty hours a week in the fashion & marketing world. I worked crazy holiday hours, wore high heels every day, and I spoiled myself with gifts every week. I actually just began a new role as Marketing Assistant for an upscale shopping and dining plaza when I found out I was pregnant. I was there for exactly a year and I worked right up until I was about to give birth to our beautiful boy, but when I was ready to return to work after my maternity leave I met with my boss in-person, with Greyson beside me in his stroller, and she basically told me they could no longer afford to pay for my position. I was heartbroken because I loved my job, the connections I made, and I was talented. I came from a fashion retail background and started as a seasonal sales associate at PacSun at age fifteen, started my own pet sitting and animal training business in 2014, and then wound up at Francesca’s as a manager shortly after starting my own business. I live and breathe fashion, style, and design. I will be embarking on a schooling journey shortly that revolves around fashion and marketing, but I’m not prepared to talk about it just yet. Creativity is who I am and despite being a stay at home mommy now, I still own and operate my pet sitting business, Petsitting by Lizzie LLC and I spend my days falling in love with clothes, adventures, and writing. I never let go of any of my passions, skills, or hobbies, but at the end of the day my favorite job, and the job I’m the absolute best at is being a mommy to Greyson. Being a mom is a tiring, stressful, and beautiful job. No two days are alike and there are no direct deposits, vacation days, or promotions. On good days and bad, I’m home with my boy.
I’m already planning ahead with what I want to do once Greyson is in school and I can jump back into the workforce. It’s a hard decision, deciding whether or not to wait to go back to work or to put your young child in daycare (or hire a nanny if you’re able to afford one). Now, during Covid-19 it’s an even harder decision for many moms and dads, because school and childcare is changing. I don’t even feel comfortable leaving my child with a babysitter or a nanny for health reasons. I tried to go back to work part-time in the fashion retail world when Greyson was six months old and I was miserable. I was anxious, depressed, and the job didn’t seem worth the emotions I was feeling. I hated leaving Greyson and because of my existing anxiety issues I truly couldn’t handle it. I left the retail job and I’ve been home, only operating my pet sitting/animal training business ever since. I’ve been asked many times about the true life of a stay at home mom, if I miss working full-time, if there are cons to being at home 24/7, and if I think it’s a lifestyle any mom can adapt to.
The truth about being a stay at home mama is that what you see in pretty photos on social media, on reality tv, or on the covers of glossy magazines at the grocery store is not reality. For example, it’s important to soak in that what you watch on The Real Housewives franchise and other reality television series that portray a mommy/housewife lifestyle is far from realistic. One, if you’re watching a TV show with busy, wealthy housewives there are nannies in the background to help them (I don’t care what they say), which is not the norm for most stay at home moms. Two, there are no television crews following the average mama around while she makes breakfast, runs errands, and grocery shops, so she doesn’t need to be done up and over the top every day. Most of us aren’t posing for magazine covers and flooding social media with photos during the day. Three, most stay at home mamas don’t brunch with their friends every week at expensive restaurants or plan elaborate parties. Way too many don’t understand what it’s really like being home with kids because media isn’t honest. Media is damaging on so many levels but especially for moms. We see these women glamorized in perfect homes and we think we NEED to be that. That doesn’t exist, mamas. No one has a perfect life and no one looks perfect 24/7.
My lifestyle as a stay at home mom is busy, simple, and a constant adventure. I take care of our home, plans for the week, myself and creative passions (such as ballroom dancing). I make sure I do yoga every day and I try to go for a walk with Greyson every day (if the weather permits), and of course, I take care of Greyson’s needs 24/7. I manage to keep it all together, but some days make me want to cry because I’m exhausted or at the end of my rope, which is completely normal. My thirty minutes of yoga at the beginning or end of the day surrounded by candles is everything to me, because some days that is the only true peace that I get. I only have one child so that makes things much easier, but for many mamas who have more than one their days are quite different than mine. I don’t know how some moms with three-four kids (all under the age of five) do it, but I do know that moms are superheroes. We create a life, house that life inside of us for nine months, we deliver that life despite fear, and then we jump right into our motherly instincts and raise that life to be a beautiful, healthy person. I don’t always have time for myself and I’m always putting someone else’s needs over my own, but that’s okay. That’s what I signed up for and I’m happy that I did. I’m happy and thriving and balanced. It took awhile to feel balanced and at peace as a busy mama, but I am proof that you can feel amazing and fulfilled as a stay at home mom. Being a mom who truly enjoys their day to day life is all about harmony. You need to give yourself just as much as you give your children.
I’m excited for the future and for a job one day that fulfills me the way being a mom does, but I don’t miss working full-time, because I know being home with my boy is where I’m supposed to be right now. I will find another job one day that I love so much and that makes me excited to go to work every day, but for now I’m enjoying the opportunity to spend my days with my boy. For me, I don’t feel as though there are any cons to being a stay at home mom, but there are adjustments. I was lucky enough to stay home because my husband takes very good care of us. He works so hard and I’m so grateful for him and the person that I married. It’s nice being taken care of, but it’s an adjustment not receiving a direct deposit to your account every week, or two weeks, that you worked for once you’re a stay at home mom. Once you’re home there’s no payment process at all. You’re just a mom. Andrew is the first guy that I ever let take care of me besides my dad, which was the biggest adjustment for me. When you operate on one income you’re more thoughtful about your spending because it affects everyone, which is actually a positive thing. As a stay at home mom you don’t need to do your makeup everyday or get dressed up. I choose to do my makeup and wear a cute outfit most days because it’s important to take care of yourself and to feel beautiful, even if you’re just cleaning and cooking that day. When you’re home every day you might find yourself cleaning too much, doing too many home projects, and feeling as though you’re trapped in a bubble. I love my home and I love taking care of it but there are definitely days I drive myself crazy obsessing over things. It’s okay to take a day elsewhere, like a day trip with your children to breathe outside of your home. It’s healthy to have a moment somewhere else, where you can refocus your attention. This is one reason I love going for walks.
Being a stay at home mommy isn’t for every woman. Honestly, I know many women who would hate being home and could never live the lifestyle I’m currently living. But, I also know many women who have been stay at home moms and who loved it and many who would love it if, or when they become moms. It’s a choice that only the woman can decide for herself and no one should ever make that decision for someone else. I love my life and my lifestyle but I’m also respectful of those who needed (financially or emotionally) to jump right back into working full-time. If you can financially be home and it feels right, do it. You can always go back to work if you choose. Your resume and experience isn’t going anywhere. Your passions will always be there. Remember mamas, we have the hardest and most rewarding job in the world and despite the fact that we might not always get the credit we deserve, each day as a mom is gorgeous. Follow your heart and whatever you do, do it with love and you will never be wrong.