Excited, But Slightly Terrified.

Fridays are normally reserved for outfit posts and fun, but I have something a little bigger to share with you. I’m not quite sure why I haven’t shared up until this point. Well I suppose that’s not entirely true. I think I’ve had reservations because I’m still trying to process this major life change.

Today is my last day at my job. I have chosen to leave to become a stay-at-home mom.

layla

Why is it slightly scary to admit that?

I gave my notice back in mid-December but stayed on with the company in order to help them transition. I’ve told family and close friends, but I never really made it “public knowledge” (aka announced to all of the world via the internet). I keep getting, “good for yous,” “congratulations,” and “are you exciteds?” But if I’m being completely honest, this decision brought on way more internal conflict than I could have ever anticipated.

Yes, I am thrilled to be able to stay home with Layla. In the two short months that I was working, I felt like I was already missing out on many of her little milestones. Yes, I think that being a full-time mama is going to be so worthwhile and a positive decision for both me and my baby. YES, I know how incredibly fortunate I am to even have this as an option. Yes, yes, yes, I am truly happy to have this time with my little one. It is going to be such a blessing.

But yes, I am concerned that I’m losing some autonomy and a part of what makes me “me.” Yes, I think about a lack of adult time, how I’ll make new friends, and possible loneliness. And worst of all, yes, I worry that I’m throwing away all that I’ve worked for and an education from two of the top universities in the nation. (Did I really put in years of hard work to just quit my career? Will people think differently of me?) They’re ugly thoughts, but I’ve thought ’em.

Feeling alone in all of it has probably been the most difficult aspect. Anytime I mentioned that I was a bit apprehensive for this major change, people just looked at me like I had two heads. When I voiced my concerns to my husband, he matter-of-factly stated, “then why don’t you just keep working?” I sensed a little bit of judgement from friends, and I felt like I couldn’t completely share or even verbalize everything that was going through my mind.

I know when it comes down to it, I would have felt conflicted with either decision, but the thing is this: I didn’t put in years of hard work because I had aspirations of becoming a CFO one day. I worked hard for myself and for the option to be able chose my own path. And after all my Type-A deliberations, full of list-making, pros and cons, and entirely too much thought, the choice to stay home with my child always won out. The doubts and uncertainties didn’t seem to matter as much, and in my heart I knew that I made the right decision.

So today, I’m starting a new chapter, and I’m excited, but slightly terrified. I think my new boss is really going to give me a run for my money.

*I hope that you will share this post, especially if you know of a mama who might be going through the same thing. This isn’t a pro-SAHM post. It’s just my journey. But I do hope in writing it that other moms out there might not feel so alone if they’re contemplating the same decision!*

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26 thoughts on “Excited, But Slightly Terrified.

  1. Inge

    Oh how awesome! You obviously didn’t go into this on a whim, so I would say trust your gut. I think you are making the best choice for you and your daughter and what you need right now. And probably those other people who don’t understand your conflicting feelings just haven’t gone through it themselves. I bet if you talked to other moms who made the same choice, you’d find they understand completely. And as for work, you can always go back to having a career when you decide the time is right for that too.

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  2. JC

    Education is never a waste. Besides if you didn’t have that job and those experiences who knows if you would be in the amazing position that you are in today. There is also always the chance of going back to work once she is in school. Don’t doubt your decision, it will be a great opportunity.

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  3. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables

    I’m so excited for you, Lauren!!! Alex and I have talked a lot about what we’ll do when we have kids and I totally understand the conflicts and the worries (and I bet it IS hard to talk to people about these things, because I’m sure there are people that think EITHER way is crazy) but it sounds like you’re doing what you need to do and I’m sure you’ll be SO thankful that you have this precious time with your daughter!

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  4. Niki

    I think no matter which way you go (working mom or sahm), you’ll face judgment, unfortunately. But just know that you made the decision that was best for you and your family. I chose to stay at home too (I just work in real estate a bit on the side), and Im so happy with the decision. I honestly couldn’t imagine going back to work 40+ hours a week. Don’t worry about losing autonomy, etc. There are always tons of mom groups and mom-and-baby classes you can join to socialize and make new friends! It’ll be great, and it’ll be so nice to be home with your sweet girl!

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  5. Linda

    It is a tough decision regardless of which way you go, I think in Canada it is easier because our maternity leave actually allows moms to stay home for the first year, so maybe if you had been able to stay home for one year you would not feel like you were missing so much. Its Ok to feel concerned and have reservations but no decision to spend time with your child can ever be wrong.
    Good luck and enjoy this time

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  6. Tarah

    Congrats! I believe no matter what choice moms make, to SAHM, WFH, work outside of the house full time/part time – it’s the right choice for their family. I think you will be amazed at the new circle of friends you’ll find as a SAHM, your babies are the perfect thing you have in common.

    I would look into mommy & me classes – music, reading, yoga, tumbling, (obviously as she gets older). Also, your local library will probably have reading time for babies and I know ours always offers a few fun things during the month – all free (well, paid with your local taxes).

    Enjoy it, cherish it, and do what works for you, don’t worry what others think. They’re not in your shoes.

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  7. Mallory

    I felt ALL of those things when I resigned from teaching last year. Did I work my tush off in college and to get my jobs(s) just to say ‘see ya later’ after three years? It’s hard when you know you’re good at your job; however, I don’t feel like I’m wasting my talents or education being at home with Collins. I know I was a damn good teacher but I know I’m an even better mom.

    I wish we still lived in Richmond so we could have mommy-baby time! We hope to move back in a year and a half so let’s just plan on playdates then 😉

    Congratulations!

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  8. Jayne

    You are absolutely normal and in no way alone! I never felt like I could tell people that leaving my job had nothing to do with me wanting to stay home with my daughter but was because I just couldn’t stand the job I had for one more minute. It’s absolutely ok to feel torn about walking away from your professional identity, and your thoughts are shared by many others. It’s so weird to me that women judge each other’s choices, but, of course, doing what works for your family is always, always the only thing that matters. 🙂

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  9. Louise

    Good luck & enjoy! I can’t imagine having to go back so soon after having a baby. We can take a year off in the UK altho the SMP only lasts 9 months so I’m going back in April as I can’t be at home on no money! Felix will be 9 months old – the thought that women in the US have to leave their babies when they’re so young, possibly still EBF is so sad.

    I wish you all the best 🙂

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  10. Kelly @ Southern Komfort Blog

    This is so exciting and such an awesome transition! I’m excited for you and can’t wait to hear all about your many daily adventures 🙂

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  11. Samantha

    How Exciting and fun!! I am so excited for you! I know exactly how you feel. I just had a baby middle August and went back to work. I was very conflicted about it from the beginning, but knew I would be mad if I didnt at least try. Luckily my office was flexible and I was only going in two days a week, but I have since decided that being home with my baby is the best for me.

    Best of luck! I hope you love every minute!

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  12. lauren

    Good for you Lauren! That had to be a hard decision. I work from home now and can understand why you might miss going to work. It gives you a reason to get dressed in the morning (although lucky for us, we have blogs to help with that), gives you a social outlet and a sense of belonging when you’ve been there awhile. But being able to stay at home and raise your daughter will only happen once. There’s always time for work later if you choose to go back. Would your company hire you again once she’s in school should you want to go back? That might put your mind at ease too. For now though, enjoy every second of your daughter. Squeeze in a nap when you can and enjoy not having to get up and go anywhere! It’s a pretty amazing feeling!

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  13. AJ

    Wow, big change! But here’s the deal, you can always get another job. You can’t replace watching your daughter grow up. Good luck with your new adventure, there is a reason for everything and you were meant to be a mommy right now!

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  14. Rachael

    Well you must remember that you’ll always have your education and work experience if you ever want to go back! Congratulations and enjoy it 🙂 we shall drink wine to celebrate!

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  15. Anna

    What a honest and from-the-heart post! Thank you for sharing, I have this dilemma before me in the near future and I have no idea how we will work this out…. But congrats to you on taking such a courageous big step! Also, I would be willing to bet that some of the insecurities your harboring about this choice are influencing how you perceive others reactions to your news. Not to say, that there probably isn’t some judgement, I’m sure there is, but just keep in mind that many people are probably truly happy for you 🙂

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  16. Rachel

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and heart Lauren. I am a SAHM to 4 (one in school) but somedays I just want to be working. My hubby and I agree that once my toddlers are in school I will go back to work but I don’t know what that looks like. I have a masters degree in early childhood special education and I worked hard for it and taught full time for three years, but being a stay at home mom made more sense and still does currently. The thoughts come back to my head of “did I waste my parents money or finiancal grants on college?” “did I do the right thing?” It is a tough road sometimes but in the end this is where God has me for a reason and I am comforted by that fact when I think of it. Wishing you the best as you leave your job and begin a new one at home. All the best. Rachel xo -ps I tweeted this out and am excited to guest co-host Mix It Monday with you on the 9th.

    Reply
  17. Anna

    How exciting! You are going to love it and then hate it at the same time. Life as a full time mother is not easy because there are no raises, there are days off or vacation time. It’s really rewarding in the long run but difficult at times so hang in there. It’s going to get tough before you find your place and find who you are in your new role as a mother!

    happymedley.blogspot.com

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  18. Rachel

    Congrats!!!!!!! I’m sure that any decision moving forward that concerns your family will always be difficult – and I’m so happy for you for making the decision you FEEL best about! I also make lists of pros and cons and at the end of the day, you have to go with your gut and what feels right for you and your family. And if anyone judges you for your decision, they don’t have anything better to be doing, my goodness because they would probably be the same person judging you for working full-time and not spending more time at home. You will be a wonderful full-time mother! Good luck, I’m sure it will take some adjustment, but I’m excited to hear more about your journey!

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  19. Stephanie at Drama Happens

    How exciting and scary at the same time! It sounds like it’s a well thought out decision. I absolutely love being a SAHM, but it definitely gets isolating at times. The first thing I’d do is sign up for a music or play group mommy and me class to meet some other new mamas! That was one of the best things I did and it’s helped me find new friends that are going through the same parent things that I am going through!

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  20. Always Maylee

    I’m so happy and proud of you for taking this big leap of faith! I totally get it. I want to spend every single moment with my girl (I work from home). But there will be days when you think to yourself, what did I do… and there will be other days when you think, this was the best decision ever. Just know that you made the right decision for you and your family. I wish you the best of luck! 🙂

    Reply
  21. Closet Fashionista

    Catching up on blogs now that I’m home and figured this would be the best post to comment on 😉
    I LOVE that you’re going to be a stay at home mother. My mom was and it was great. It was nice to always have her there. I may have taken it for granted back then, but looking back on it I would not have liked if she worked. Almost all of my friends had working moms and they were always jealous, ha ha
    (she did work a couple days a week before my younger brother was born, but after he was born she stayed home all the time)

    Reply

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