Tuesday, October 06, 2009


If you are a faithful reader of This Girl's Life, you know that my husband recently quit his job to stay at home with our boys. It has been wonderful having him home every night (he worked 3rd shift) and coming home to dinner on the table. We are very, very blessed to be able to financially make it on just my income.

But with every change in life, especially one like this, there always come unexpected challenges. For me it has been quite a mental adjustment that I'm still working through. I grew with a dad that worked and a mom that stayed at home, so I always pictured that my life as an adult would be the same.

I never expected to be the "bread winner" and have a husband that stayed at home with our children. Despite the fact that I'm so thankful for our situation, I'm struggling with my role in our family. I'm the mom - I'm supposed to be the one at home, right? Cooking, cleaning, kissing bumps and bruises. I'm supposed to be the patient, nurturing one. I know that God blessed me with those qualities, but I am definitely a work in progress.

I'm trying not to be ashamed when I confess that some of these things don't come naturally to me as a parent. Maybe it is because work has been very busy and stressful lately, but my patience is on a short leash. And I know it isn't helping that the boys are sleeping horribly these days. When I get home from work I want to relax but there is none of that to be had.

I feel like I have become the stereotypical working parent that I used to criticize. The one who came home from work and didn't offer support to their spouse who had been at home all day with the kids. Work has taken on such a bigger meaning for me, knowing that my family is relying on ME to keep our roof over our heads and dinner on the table. It scares me to type those words. But at the same time it makes me feel proud of what I can do for my children, and the unconventional role model that I can be for them.

Just like I'm still trying to fit back into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes, it is definitely going to take longer than I had thought to feel like this new role fits me. Right now it feels like it is a size too small and pinching me in all the wrong places.

Have you taken on an unexpected role in your life? I would love to hear some tips on how to help myself ease into this a bit better.


sarah said...

Oh wow, what a huge life change! And how wonderful for your husband to have the opportunity to stay at home. I am sure it is quite an adjustment - especially because we have these preconceived notions about how things are supposed to be... mom at home, dad at work, bla bla bla. I think you guys are really great for doing what works best for your own family. Good for you! Best wishes to you guys.

I recently started back to work after being off for nearly six months of maternity leave. I am having a difficult time adjusting to it all. Yikes! Working and mothering is a handful. I hope I acclimate to this new lifestyle.

HG said...

Hi! I stumbled across your blog and I wanted to say, that you're not alone in your feelings about being a working mother. My husband doesn't stay at home, but I recently had to take a job in a different town than where my husband and daughter's daycare is located. I feel guilty that, as a mother, I'm not the one to take her to and from daycare, or even feed her dinner some nights, but I am the "breadwinner" in our family. I feel like the stereotypical working parent sometimes too, so know that you're not alone.


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