How I Feel About Being a Stay at Home Mom After One Year

by Meghan Yost

I left my full time job as a TV reporter to stay home with my daughter. Here’s how I feel about being a stay at home mom after one year.


I always knew when the time came to have kids that I wouldn’t want to work full time (of course, only if financially feasible). Maybe it’s because my mom was home with my sisters and me (she worked part time for my dad’s business, but could bring us to work with her). Or maybe it’s because I just couldn’t imagine juggling daycare drop off, a long commute, driving across the state for my job as a multimedia journalist for a local TV station, and then returning back home to spend minimal time with my daughter.

Whatever the case may be, I made the decision to put in my notice at the end of maternity leave and here we are more than a year later. If you count my 12-week maternity leave, that means I’ve been home for 17.5 months – the exact age of my daughter. πŸ˜‰

So how do I feel now?

PARENTING: EASIER SAID THAN DONE

Well let me start by saying parenting is hard work. I didn’t have much experience with kids prior to having Grace. Sure, I have three nephews, but I don’t think I ever once changed their diaper. In fact, I know I never changed their diaper. I also never watched them on my own, especially when they were infants. So there’s that.

I didn’t quite know what to expect as a mom.

And as I soon learned, being a stay at home mom is also much easier said than done. A lot of people think moms who stay at home have it easy. They don’t. I cannot stress that enough.

If you think otherwise, go spend your entire day chasing around a tiny little cavewoman; wrestling her to change her diaper or get her dressed; endlessly cleaning dirty dishes, toys, and bits of Play Doh — and at times pee — off the rug; trying to remember every last thing you’ll need before rushing out the door because you’re running late because you had to remember every little thing you need; and consoling said cavewoman when she throws a tantrum for the most ridiculous reasons (the terrible twos seem to have arrived early for Grace).

Then and only then tell me that being a stay at home mom (or dad!) is easy. K?

There’s also no real downtime during my day. If you read my last blog post, you already know Grace isn’t a monumental napper. So when she does nap, I can only get a few things done – tidy up, eat a quick bite. But in no way am I chillaxing on the couch, watching Netflix.

SOOOO, DO YOU LOVE IT OR NOT MEGHAN?

Getting to the point because I know you’re wondering how I feel about being a stay at home mom after one year.

With all that said, I still love being a stay at home mom. I love that I can cook Grace healthy meals and snacks. I love that we can walk on the beach together in the morning or go for a stroll around our neighborhood in the afternoon. I love that I can take her to music class or the aquarium or out to a mommy and me lunch. I love that for long weekends away or family vacations, I don’t have to request time off and wait for it to get approved. I love that I’m there to kiss Grace’s boo boos and hear her say new words or witness her do cute, funny things. I love that I get to watch Grace learn and grow every day, every hour and every minute. I love that I can record special moments by taking photos or videos.

I also love that down the road I’ll be able to go on school field trips with Grace, be there when she gets on and off the bus, easily pick her up from school if she’s not feeling well and more.

Being a stay at home mom has been an amazing adventure, if also an amazing adjustment after working full time for more than a decade.

HOW CORONAVIRUS HAS CHANGED MY STAY AT HOME LIFE

A year ago when I left my job, my life as a stay at home was much different. Yes, Grace was still an infant and now she is a walking, talking toddler. But also, my husband wasn’t home 24/7 like he is now.

Like so many others now, my husband Tom began working from home when the pandemic hit in March. This of course has changed our lives in so many ways.

But let’s back up for a second … When I first left my job, Tom was commuting almost an hour each way since we had just moved to be closer to my family (which as I was told and now truly understand is super key when you have little kids).

At the time, we knew Tom realistically wasn’t going to be able to partake in daycare drop offs or pickups, making dinner, etc. He left for work well before the sun rose and got home well after it set. So that was part of the reason I stayed home – a decision we made together.

But that was 2019.

MORE FAMILY TIME, MORE TIME TO PEE

Now we are blessed with much more time together than we ever anticipated. For example, early this summer we were able to go to my family’s vacation home in Maine for a week while Tom worked. Then we got to go back for a second week later in the summer while he was on vacation. It was amazing.

That would never have happened while I was working. Those two weeks would have been the majority of my vacation time. I felt incredibly lucky to be able to spend so much time together in a place so special to us.

Also, now that my husband is working from home, I can now sometimes go to the bathroom without a toddler in tow to rip all of the toilet paper off the roll.

Other big bonuses: We can go for walks together as a family, have breakfast together, lunch together, etc. etc. Tom is always home for bedtime now whereas he used to arrive after Grace was in bed. Tom has even been able to go to one of Grace’s music classes.

Yes, we do need to figure out the whole office situation since Tom’s desk is now currently in our bedroom and sometimes Grace yells through the door “daddddeeee” when he is zooming it up in there. (When we remodeled our home, we put his desk in our playroom/den because we didn’t think he’d be using it so much).

FINDING MYSELF AGAIN

I will say that when you’re a stay at home mom, it’s important to make time for yourself or else you risk losing yourself. I haven’t done a good enough job of that. I’ve been so wrapped up in Grace that I’ve forgotten I’m also a person.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still happy and overall heathy. But sometimes I just need to feel like me again.

When you’re a stay at home mom, it’s important to make time for yourself or else you risk losing yourself.

Me

Part of what makes me feel like myself is writing this blog, going for runs, listening to music that’s not Baby Einstein, and yes, even working.

So we will be doing something that was never part of the plan: Starting Grace in part-time daycare. She’ll go just one day a week. That way I can have a little more time to do all of the above.

I’m planning to do creative stuff professionally – shooting and editing videos, building a website, etc. I’m also potentially taking on another exciting project that I will share details about once I know more (it’s pretty cool – I promise). πŸ˜‰

While the thought of Grace spending 8.5 hours away from me scares the hell out of me, I’m leaving her in the hands of someone I personally know and trust. That was super important in making this decision. And I think Grace will thrive just as much as I will during our time apart.

IN SUMMARY

So there you have it. One year later and that’s where I’m at. A lot has changed and I’m sure this new journey will continue to evolve over the next 365 days.

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