When I was pregnant with my sweet boy, I made all these plans in my head about going back to work and continuing on with school. Being a stay at home mom did not sound appealing to me. I LOVED my job as a nurse and the opportunities to care for hurting people it provided me with and I was going back to school to get a higher degree in nursing (I was 9 months pregnant when I sat for my finals this past semester haha). I had gotten on waiting lists for day cares in my area so he would be taken care of while I was working or in school. I saw no problem with the plans I was making as so many moms do just that, go right back to work/school after having a baby. And that’s perfectly okay, it just didn’t go like that for me.
When I came home from the hospital with that sweet newborn baby in that car seat, I didn’t even want to think about ever leaving his side. Still don’t. Slowly, day after day with my new baby, I made the decision to not go back to work or school. Just yet, that is. But what I did not understand at the time of making this decision is, all the things that would come with being a NEW stay at home mom (at least for me).
You’re Scared All the Time.
You really are. Am I doing this right? Did I mess that up? Why is he crying so much, did I mess something up? And all of the sudden, your a mess of worrying and Google searches. Combine that with the sleep deprivation of a newborns sleep schedule and you got yourself a NERVOUS WRECK. I mean, the amount of times my Google search bar saw the words “Why is my baby crying so much???” is embarrassing, really.
My husband had to go to work so I was just alone with this tiny human ALL day and it was up to me and only me to keep him alive. No pressure. I was constantly scared that his crying meant I was doing something wrong, but it didn’t.
Something I learned after a little while with this little grump was to make a mental checklist and go through it when hes crying. Is he hungry, tired, hurt, does his diaper need changed? is what my checklist consists of. If all the things on this list are already taken care of, I always offered the boob one more time just to make sure cause ya know, couldn’t hurt. Once I assessed the situation with my checklist and he was still crying, then I knew it was just him crying. It calmed me down to know that all his needs were taken care of and now all I had to do was comfort him. Now when he cries for no obvious reason, I just give him a paci (we’re paci people), swaddle him, and turn on the white noise and that usually does that trick.
Moral of the story: Its gonna be okay. Sometimes they just cry.
You’re Alone ALL DAY.
Once you get a good routine going with your little one, whether its scheduled or baby-lead, you’re going to have some free time. Now a lot of the times, “free time” is actually just time while your baby naps that you have to use to do laundry or the dishes or vacuum, etc. But sometimes, after dealing with a crying baby all morning, you’re gonna want to sit down on the couch, watch some TV, and relax. You’re gonna have to do that alone.
To some people, that’s no problem, a little peace and quiet. And it doesn’t bother me all the time but sometimes I feel the absolute emptiness of my home when my husband is gone. Sometimes, I find myself talking to my baby just a little TOO much haha. I missed adult conversation and interaction.
You’ll Have Too Much To Do and Not Enough To Do at the Same Time.
The laundry will sometimes add up, the dishes will fill the sink, the baby’s clothes will need to be folded and put away and yet, you’ll have nothing to do. The minute that baby goes down to sleep, you’ll feel one of two things. You’ll either feel a sense of urgency to get all the house work and to-do list done or you’ll feel like you have absolutely nothing to do.
Too many times I sat around bored out of my mind when I put Winston down for his nap and then got to the end of the day and realized I needed to do laundry or vacuum or whatever needed to be done. I was always either really bored and did nothing or really busy and did 50 different mom/wife/house tasks in one day. There was no in between.
You’ll Feel Slightly Guilty.
I mean, here you are, sitting at home with your sweet baby, doing all this bonding, while your husband is at work all day.
This was especially difficult for me. I had gone a total of 2 weeks without a job since I was 17 years old. I had always made my own money and taken care of my own needs. So to be at home with no job while my husband went to work and took care of our family, it was difficult. Am I being selfish for not going back to work? This isn’t fair for him. Is usually what went through my head.
But in reality, my husband and I both felt better about me staying home with our baby than sending him off to some overly expensive day care which would balance out whatever I would earn while working. This is what works best for us, even if it is a hard pill to swallow.
You are doing what you believe to be best for your baby. You cannot do anything more than that. whether you stay home, go to work, go to school, or do a little of all three, you have your baby’s best interest in your heart and that is all that matters.
You will feel a rainbow of emotions no matter what you choose to do. It’s all a bit scary and new and that’s OK. You’re going to make it through, I promise!