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Home is Where the Heart is? Deciding if You Should Become a Stay-At-Home Mom

Home is Where the Heart is? Deciding if You Should Become a Stay-At-Home Mom

One of the most heart wrenching moments for most working moms is that day when you have to return to your job after maternity, leaving your baby at a daycare. Ugh! (insert scream here).  It does not matter if it is your first baby or your fifth baby, going back to work at that moment can be downright agonizing. Besides, being home healing from the delivery process and caring for your newborn baby can provide a much needed escape from your work environment. Who could not get use to 6-8 weeks at home (hopefully WITH pay)? Nice, right? That is a BIG DEAL in itself, but the bigger deal is that you get to be THERE for your child. THERE to take them to their doctors’ appointments, THERE to feed them, THERE to rock them to sleep, THERE to watch them laugh, etc. You get my point, right?

Deciding whether or not to work outside the home is a huge decision. In fact, it’s one of the most challenging decisions you may ever have to make. I have once before gone through the difficult process of making the decision to stay at home, and have also counseled with several women as they have toiled over making the same decision. I’m not naive. I know that this is a touchy issue among women. I am not here to debate either side. As a mom, I have both stayed at home and worked outside the home full-time. I can tell you that neither is easy. I choose not to judge either woman by their decision as to whether or not they work outside their home. I know great moms that stay at home and great moms that don’t. Ok, now that we have that cleared up, here are some factors to look at when determining if you will stay home.

Choice– I heard a great quote that says, “Life is choice driven. You live and die by the choices you make.” So true! Life is full of choices. Every choice has a price that you should evaluate upfront, and determine if you are willing to pay it. What price will you pay if you work inside the home full-time? Will it cost you a lessened household income that you feel would be financially detrimental right now? If so, are you willing to pay the price to restructure your budget, cut out some two income luxuries, and set new financial priorities? Are you willing to pay the price of discipline to pay down debt? NOTE: Deciding to stay home does NOT mean you have to take an oath of poverty. Remember, YOUR thinking determines YOUR living. Who says you will have to struggle to stay afloat just because you are not working outside the home full-time?  Even if someone else experienced at financial struggle when they left their job doesn’t mean that you will. Sure, challenges will come, but challenges come when you work outside the home, too! You have to trust God and walk by faith either way. Put a comprehensive financial plan in place and work the plan.

Agreement– Does your spouse agree that you being home is the right thing to do right now? If he doesn’t agree, don’t do it! Coming home without his agreement will only irritate him and put you in a position to have to constantly prove yourself to him. Agreement gives you creative power! You can accomplish more if you are on the same team than if you are fighting against each other. If your spouse does not agree right now, WAIT prayerfully and abstain from constant nagging and complaining about it. Search for creative ways to demonstrate to him how much more enhanced your lives would be if you were home.

Prepare– Make a plan for a smooth transition.  Maybe the time isn’t right for you to be home right now, but it is more advantageous to do it in the near future. Create a plan that you can work towards. Will you transition into part time work before coming home full-time? Will you run a home based business? If so, what steps can you take now to get that set up so that the transition home will be easy? In most cases, coming home isn’t something you want to do suddenly. You must prepare. Preparation days are never wasted days!

Purpose– What will be your purpose for being home? Defining your purpose or compelling reason why you are home will help you stick it out for the long haul. How long will you be home? Is it until the kids get a certain age or grade? What are your spouse’s expectations of you? Have a REAL talk about this one. There are lots of myths about being at home. Read my blog on the Top 4 Myths About Stay at Home Moms. It will help you set some realistic goals and expectations.

Supermom Tip– Are you thinking about making the transition to become a stay at home mom? Don’t make an emotional decision. When the emotion wears off, you will still have to live with your decision. Pray about it. Talk about it. Research it. Decisions like this take time. Don’t rush into it.

Let me hear from YOU. What are your thoughts on this blog? I love hearing from you!

Thank you for reading my blog. If you think it is helpful, please share it with others via your social networking sites and e-mail list. Go to comments, and look for the sharing options on this blog. I appreciate you!

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Making of a SUPERmom– How I Discovered My Cape

The Making of  a SUPERmom– How I Discovered My Cape

What makes a SUPER mom? I can’t say I know completely, but the perception is a woman who is able to do super human feats, above and beyond the norm. Ah, if that’s the case, I remember exactly when I discovered my “SUPER mom powers”.

Imagine this—I was a pregnant, twenty-one year old, recently married woman, enrolled as a full-time college student with my heaviest course load of 17 hours. Not a huge deal since my baby was due mid-May, just as the semester would be ending.  Everything seemed to be in sync until one day I experienced unusual pain. Through a series of fast and traumatic events, my husband and I found ourselves at a hospital that night making serious life and death decisions over the future of our unborn daughter and me. Trying to stop my labor posed as a major health risk to me and her due to other complications. At the same time, our daughter was a few weeks shy of being in the “safety zone” if we allowed her to be born then.  It seemed nothing was certain. Through a brief time alone together in prayer, we sensed the undeniable peace of God nudging us to allow her to be born right then. Fearlessly I went into surgery under a complete anesthesia.  I awakened later and learned that our 3 pound baby girl was here, but not without some complications that would keep her hospitalized for several weeks.

Before I ever laid eyes on her in that hospital, I was forewarned by the doctors and my husband that she probably didn’t look like what I expected. I didn’t care. I had already set my heart to love her anyway. I just needed to see her. I made the slow walk down to the neo-natal ICU and there she was. I was so unprepared for what I saw. I broke down in tears at the sight of my tiny little baby with tubes disguising her face and body as she lay on her back…fighting for every breath. I wanted to stay by her side and help her get better any way I could.

After a day or so, I was released from the hospital, but my daughter was not. How was I supposed to leave my new baby in the care of nurses and doctors while I went back home? Was I supposed to resume life as usual? How could I continue my hefty class load, along with its assignments and tests while constantly pumping breast milk for storing up and making frequent trips to the hospital? How could I balance this with my “regular” home life of paying bills and cooking dinner? To be honest with you, I didn’t know how; and I never gave it much thought. I knew I didn’t want to quit college mid semester, and there was nothing else left to take off my plate. So I just did what I had to do. I believed if my baby girl could fight every breath in that hospital, surely I could fight to finish that semester by the grace of God.

God harmoniously worked everything out for our good. Our daughter got out the hospital a little earlier than we anticipated. Most importantly, she was discharged much healthier than expected! No major medications or surgeries were needed. My grade point average was the highest ever during my time in college, nearing close to a 4.0. Although we lived a few hours from our biological family, our local family which consisted of friends from church, work, and school all helped by giving their sincere prayers and precious time to us. Looking back, I can see how God put his SUPER on my natural MOM abilities.  I stretched further, reached higher, dug deeper, and came out on top with His help. There is no way I could have done that on my own. Jesus Christ’s strength was made PERFECT in my weakness.

And that’s my SUPERmom story….well, part of it anyway. That experience changed my perception about what I could really handle. It would have been much easier just to quit school or at least drop some classes. By pressing in during that challenging time, I was able to graduate from college the next year. Oh, and today my oldest daughter is a smart and beautiful young lady.

I know that you have your own unique story. Many of you have so graciously shared them in the comment section of my previous blogs, and I love reading them!  Some of you are single moms, others are married moms, some of you have children with health challenges, and others of you are overcoming your own challenges. Regardless of the circumstances, I think the lessons in this blog applies to us all. What are that lessons? They are simple— Don’t quit. Trust (lean, rely, depend on) God. You can’t be super and sane on your own. He is the SUPER in SUPERmom.

Do you know another mom that could use this encouragement? Maybe she has her hands in a lot of things right now. Maybe life has dealt her some unexpected circumstances. Maybe challenges have caused her to give up on pursuing some personal goals. If you think someone else could be encouraged by this blog, please share, post, or tweet it. Thank you. Also, please leave your comments about when you “discovered your cape.” Your comments are so helpful to me and everyone that reads them. God bless you!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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