Ed. note: Cherie Descorbeth went from being a working mom to a stay at home mom, and later back to being a working mom. Like many things in life and motherhood there have been changes and recalibrations. This post was written during the first transition: from working mom to stay at home mom. At that time, she shared that “becoming a stay-at-home mom is almost as life-changing as becoming a mom in the first place.” Like other working moms who decide to become stay at home moms, Cherie transitioned from being a working mom (for almost three years), to becoming a stay at home mom. This post is from when she transitioned to being home, and reflects her thoughts on why becoming a stay at home mom is life-changing – and can even be difficult.
Obviously, going from being a working mom to stay at home mom has a learning curve. Here, she shares some of what she’s learned, like how becoming a stay at home mom requires you to redefine your identity, juggle many new responsibilities, and learn a difficult job without training. She also shares the dangers of comparing yourself to the so-called Expert Moms, the weight of mom-judgment, and the importance of a Mom Tribe. Read on.
On going from being a working mom to being a stay at home mom
Becoming a stay at home mom is life-changing. It’s a whole new identity, with all new goals and expectations that you’ve likely not a clue how to achieve: How to be a housewife and mother. How to raise a family. How to keep a house. How to make a home.
What makes becoming a stay at home mom difficult is that it requires you to not only redefine yourself entirely (again!), but to learn a whole new way of life.Cherie Descorbeth, on transitioning from being a working mom to being a full-time stay at home mom
It’s not that it was never your job before to ensure the health and safety of your tiny human(s).
But now, you need to strike a new balance, and you need to change your view on what your day consists of. Especially now that you no longer have 8+ hours of professional (or at least somewhat knowledgeable) childcare. People spend years learning how to nourish the minds and bodies of children. And you now need to learn quickly, and without much time to think.
Now that you actually live in your house (as opposed to showing up just in time to sleep), there is a perpetual heap of dishes, toys and laundry. And you should also proceed resourcefully and on a budget, because one income is no joke.
Luckily you are not the first, or the last, to experience this!
Google and Pinterest reveal what feels like an ocean of Expert Mom bloggers for you to compare yourself to:
They are super-moms, whose magical regimen – if implemented correctly – will allow you to keep the entire house clean, save on groceries, cook incredible recipes, have laundry folded and put away, babies fed and in bed independently and on time everyyyy dayyyy!
And oh, by the way, you’ll have fun, manage a small side business, and look cute for daddy too!
Instead of inspiring and teaching, however, this information just leaves you feeling overwhelmed, insecure and incapable.
Lastly and most unfortunately, Moms aren’t always met with the support we deserve.
It is often frowned upon that you would actually make the choice to “give up” on your expensive education, your career, yourself, and all those women who fought for your civil rights. I mean, how dare you actually exercise your right to CHOOSE… but I digress.
It is so important to have a supportive tribe around you.
Finding other moms, including my friends and family, and leaning on my spouse, has had the most incredible impact on our experience. They play and help and babysit; and they also keep me sane, grounded, and remind me that this time is so fleeting. And that’s what I’m here to enjoy.
In a nutshell, becoming a stay at home mom is life-changing and hard, because it takes humility, patience, and hard labor to learn this new lifestyle, and embrace your new identity.
Keeping your house clean, your babies and spouse happy, and healthy food in everyone’s belly (all on a new budget!) is so much harder than I could have ever known.
There is so much crying, so many dishes, so little time. For as incredibly challenging as it’s been though, I’m forever grateful for the chance to do this.
But becoming a stay at home is life-changing — in a good way.
Despite the steep learning curve, self-doubt, and the chaos, becoming a stay at home mom is probably the most liberating thing I’ve ever done.
The cuddles, the hugs, smiles, nature walks, and the beautiful bond we are strengthening together make it all worthwhile. Words cannot describe all the love I am blessed to see and feel in their eyes and in their hugs.
I get to witness their milestones firsthand, rather than through a photo or text.
Dinner is almost always healthy and ready by the end of a great day full of adventures I never had time to do before.
If one of them is sick or just wants to be home for the day, I don’t have to negotiate with dad, clients or bosses.
I am free to snuggle whenever I want for as long as they or I need.
There are no worries over what time it is, whose turn it is to pick up or drop off.
My family is my first and only priority. I get to be there for them. And they get the best of me (as opposed to what’s left after a long day’s work).
And we get to make memories together every single day.
All the joy, excitement, and anticipation of giving all of your energy to your tiny humans (and daddy! I am so grateful to him for being amazing, for supporting us, and making this possible) — It is just as amazing as it sounds. It has been an incredible honor in these few (short) weeks to dedicate myself to my family. I am so blessed and excited to continue on this journey with them and experience every moment together.
Thanks, Cherie, for a beautiful reflection on starting this journey.
P.P.S. -and 6 things to know before becoming a stay at home mom