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Pour Your Heart Out {1}: Deciding to be Happy

I’m tackling something different today and linking up with Shell at Things I Can’t Say for her Pour Your Heart Out Series.  Just writing to let you know what’s been on my mind and get to know me a little better.

Here’s what Pour Your Heart Out is about:

Pour Your Heart Out
Wednesdays

Write a post from the heart.

Something that has been weighing on you.

Something you feel passionately about.

Something youโ€™ve been wanting to talk about.

A cause, a memory, a belief, a world view.

Anything.

I donโ€™t want to assign you a topic because I really want this to be from your heart.

The day the doctor puts that cute bundle of joy in your arms for the first time, the guilt starts. Mom guilt. Will I be a good enough mom? Should I work outside the home for a living? Or should I stay home?

The age old debate of working mom vs. stay-at-home mom is never black and white and I truly believe each mom makes the best choice for her family. My oldest son is in middle school and until today, I have worked full-time. I thought it was the best decision given my circumstance. And I say decision, but I didn’t really feel that I had a choice.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and the medicine alone that allows me to walk and take care of my family costs upwards of $20,000 a year for someone who is not insured. I need that medicine, I need health insurance to pay for it, and so I need employer’s health insurance to guarantee my medical care. I know my personal health and consequently my family would suffer if I ever become uninsured. So I continued to work. I didn’t want to place the burden of making sure I’m covered on my husband’s shoulders.

After all these years, I’ve come to a cross-roads. The job started becoming too stressful. The stress causes me to flare into joint pain. I can feel the pain start shooting through my body the more I vented my frustrations and feel trapped by the situation. I felt even worse that my stress at work was causing me more stress at home, less patience, more fatigue. I thought I was becoming depressed and that I couldn’t handle the pressure. Something had to give, I couldn’t continue living like that.

My loving and amazing Superhubby has always told me I could stay home after the kids were born. We’d manage financially. Every Sunday, I’d question whether I should quit Monday morning and I kept saying no. Finally last month, I hit my rock bottom and I said yes. Tomorrow is my last day at my employer.

Having the burden of work lifted off of me has already made me start feeling better, emotionally and physically. I feel like I’ve finally been able to choose happiness and go with my heart.  I am ever grateful to my Superhubby for allowing me to make this change, to bear the burden of one income for a couple years and to love me and support me in this decision.

I know being a stay-at-home mom won’t be all sunshine and rainbows (but I can hope, can’t I). I know it will be hard on me physically, these little guys are active and FAST! I also know it will be the most rewarding job on the planet. I know my kids are growing up too fast and that they could use my love and attention now. Don’t they deserve a happier mom and don’t I deserve to be happy? We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, I am going to treasure my babies now before it’s too late and I wonder where the time went. Cause these smiles make me happiest of all.

Deciding to be Happy

Are you a mom? Do you stay home or work outside the home? How do you feel about your decision? If you’ve got tips for a new stay-at-home mom to 3 active little boys, please share!  When have you decided to go with your heart? Until next time, giggle like your being tickled!

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42 Comments

  1. Tanya, your boys are precious! I’m mom to two boys, and I recently lost a full-time job. I’ve wished to be able to stay home (work from home, because I know we can’t go without me bringing in any income at all) pretty much since Thing One (my oldest) was born, but never really put a lot of thought into making it happen, because I didn’t believe it ever could. Feels like now might be the time, though. It’s kind of scary! I hope things are going well for y’all.

  2. Wow, congrats on making the big decision! I have done both, worked and stayed home. Both are rewarding in different ways and I cherish the time I stayed home with my boy until he was 4. I have ulcerative colitis, and while I know it is not like RA, I can understand how stress can really wreak havoc on a disorder like that. I have to take meds every day too but boy they make a difference. I had to tell my hubby I need a day off (we’re self employed) every other week because I have GOT to destress and regroup. I think you will love this new season of life.

    1. Thanks Steph for your support. I am so glad you have a day off to regroup and destress, that is so important to keep energy going. While hubby and I were not self-employed, we give each other a night off from home responsibility a night a week. Sometimes I am still home, blogging or cleaning up, but it’s my time to do whatever I decide to do without kid interruptions. I think it’s important to destress and regroup like that, no matter what job you have! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts as always!

  3. I work full time, but wish I could work half time. I think that would be a good balance for our family. I really love my job so I don’t think I could give it up. Stopping by from Family Fridays ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. hi! I can totally relate! I have recently resigned from my job. I used to work full-time- day shifts, night shifts, you name it.. Then I gave birth to my second girl. Its hard to find a babysitter these days and my husband and I decided its best if I stay at home with the kids. I would like to mention here that I used to be a single parent too with my eldest daughter who is now 7. Back then, I only prayed I can stay with my child but no, I needed to continue working to provide for our needs. I am on my second month now staying at home with the kids. It is more physically-demanding compared to my job in the office. But then, you are right, its all worth it once you see those smiles, feel their tight hugs every second of the day..we are blessed to have this opportunity to be the ones to take care of our children. Our kids deserve the best kind of care– and who else can give them that but us! Happy Saturday Sharefest! Dropping by from SITS.:)

  5. What an incredibly beautiful picture and family you have ๐Ÿ™‚ I think this sounds like a wonderful decision that will allow you to disengage from work and (hopefully) some of those symptoms you have started to experience will dissipate. You’re absolutely right: every family has to make the decision that works best for them and it sounds as though this is something you and your hubby have clearly discussed and come to an agreement on. What a blessing that he is so supportive and I hope you enjoy this new stage in life~it’s an exciting change and wonderful that you are able to experience your children in an entirely new way.

    I’m not yet a mom (though I hope to be soon) but I understand they grow up too quickly. Soak up every moment ๐Ÿ™‚ Stopping in from SITS Sharefest! XOXO

  6. I Have been a stay at home momma since day 1 and it is not easy but I love every minute of it. I learned the hard way you NEED momma time go out the hubby or your girlfriends or even a trip to store by yourself is nice! Best of luck and keep us posted on how its going ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Nicole for stopping by! I certainly agree with needing me time. Hubby and I have weekly me time, I get one day and he gets another. Its been important for both of us to keep our sanity and do whatever it is that we want or need to. We plan to continue to do this even when I stay home because he realizes I will definitely still need that break.

  7. Tanya, you have a beautiful family! This was a very tough decision and you are very brave. It will really be a 24/7 now for you, but I agree with Shell that a schedule (including some me-time) and structure will help everyone keep their sanity. If you haven’t already, I also think building your IRL community will be a lifesaver. It’s going to be hard work, but your family is worth it and you’re going to be making many wonderful memories with your kids during this time.

    As for me, I’m also lucky to be on (very expensive) medication for my RA that gives me the ability to work and function normally (like chase after 2 very active little boys!). I’m also very lucky that my employers offered me 4 days a week once my first son was born. Having one foot in each door has really suited me.

    All the best, I know it’s going to work out great for you!

    1. Thanks C.J. I’m glad your work schedule works for you, it’s so important to find a good work/life balance. If I had to work I had a pretty good situation. I worked in the office 2 days and at home 3 days. That’s why it was so hard to leave, most Finance positions don’t allow you 3 days working from home and I had a great boss who was flexible and appreciated the work I did. It was just the nature of the job that got to me. I was an Internal Auditor and it was just hard everyday being perceived that I am a mean person just because of what I do, it was difficult and stressful and caused me physical pain. I’m not a confrontational person and it got to me and I needed a break.

      Thanks for the tip about the schedule, I have lots of ideas and have started entering things on my calendar for things to do with kids, time for cooking, cleaning and blogging. I know I need to take one day at time, and kid’s mood weather, doc appointment and RA-permitting the schedule will have to be flexible. I don’t know about you but even my menu plans have to be flexible depending on how I feel when it’s time to cook. I’m already feeling better emotionally and physically since giving my notice and I look forward to more great days. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story with me. I love to hear how other people juggle their responsibilities as moms!

  8. Hi I enjoyed your post! I became a stay at home mom when I had a daughter whose special needs(Dravet Syndrome-a catastrophic form of epilepsy) required constant home care. I love being able to be home with my girls(I also have a 2 year old daughter). My tips for the new stay at home mom would be to plan on doing at least 3 focused activities a day with your kids. I usually do something academic/learning focused, an art or craft project, and one active play activity. It brings in some focus and fun to each day. Enjoy your time being home!

    1. This infographic is perfect Rebecca and in terms of how my husband and I go through a workday. He’s more likely to go out to lunch for an hour with co-workers while I eat at my desk for 15-30 minutes. When he has a vacation day, he truly wants to relax, whereas I will use vacation days to catch up on housework and things I need to do. And well I’m not under 30, so at least I lasted a decade being a working mom! ๐Ÿ™‚

      The infographic shows too that often women want what they can’t have, the grass is greener on the other side. I have curly hair and want it straight. I was a working mom and now want to stay home, luckily I can have that for now. Just about every working mom colleague of mine said to me today as I said goodbye that they wished they could stay home with their kids. They applauded me for taking the plunge and were envious at the same time. While I’ve spoken to many a stay at home mom who says they wish they could go back to work. I wish all moms had a choice but know that isn’t always the case.

      For me, I’ll stay home until my youngest starts Kindergarten and I figure I will re-enter the workforce at that point. College for 3 kids doesn’t pay for itself, but while I still can I am going to cherish being home with them.

      Thanks for stopping by as always!

  9. Tanya, I’m so glad you did what’s right for you. And when you do what’s right for you, you’re doing what’s truly the very best for your family. Enjoy being a mom. You made the right decision.

  10. Big changes!

    I was a sahm for about 6 years and then I became a wahm. My advice is to try to come up with a workable schedule or the days will get away from you!

    1. Yep! Working on my schedule is what I have to do tomorrow, my one day to myself and before the little one and oldest home are off. Thanks for stopping by Shell! I hope in a couple years when the youngest is in Kindergarten, maybe I can be a WAHM too.

  11. Every Mom has to make the decision that works for her and her family. I’m glad you were able to do what you need to do! I just stopped by from SITS to say hello; hope you find time to return the visit!

  12. What a wonderful post Tanya, thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m a SAHM and have been for..oh wow, I haven’t counted in a while. But it’s been a lot of years! (I’ve had part time jobs here and there.)

    It’s the hardest and best thing I’ve done and I’m thankful that my family was able to do it. There have been a lot of sacrifices but it’s been worth it.

    I wish you all the luck in the world!

    What a GREAT photo! :*)

  13. Hey Tanya,

    Great post. I am stay at home, but I also consider myself a working Mom. I mean, really. Doesn’t every Mom work? Actually, I have never worked more in my life. I just don’t get compensated monetarily for what I do – and the amount of time I spend.

    Maybe we should say – worldly compensated Mom.

    However, I do get paid in the way that really counts.

    Although it would be nice to have some money, you know?

    Do I regret the decision? Absolutely positively NO. It’s the best thing that I did, for myself and my kids. I worked for the first 4 years of Hadyn’s life. That, I regret. I wish I had the time back to change it. I was dumb. There was absolutely zero advantage, and it actually hurt both him and me. He had so much anxiety, it was scary. Even working, I still had no money. Plus, I love my kids, I didn’t love my work.

    So there, you live and you learn.

    1. oh indeed Lisa, the word Mom conveys a whole lot of work in itself, regardless of employment status. A job with cute but demanding bosses. A job with high expectations because how you do in this job impacts what kind of adult the child becomes. A job that starts way before 9 am and lasts way past 5 pm. A job that is more rewarding than a paycheck.

      I’m sorry you’re working had a negative impact on you and your son. I would imagine it’s so hard watching your child going through anxiety, I cry those days my kids cried when I left them at daycare, they weren’t everyday but they had their “I don’t want to go to school” moments too as much as I didn’t want to always go to work. I’m glad you and your kids are happy with your decision to stay home. I’m already happy with my decision and can’t wait to cherish more moments with my kids. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story, I love to hear from you!

  14. I wish you the very best in this! I am a working mom. My job is as much a part of me as motherhood and I can’t imagine not working. I’m a high school English teacher and I find my job very fulfilling, but my job is also close to home and has the same hours as my kids’ school, which is just ten minutes away from the one at which I work. (I live in Ohio, right on the border of western PA, where I work.) So I have many little variables that make it much easier on me.

    I really think we all have a purpose and that we are designed to fulfill that purpose. I am glad you are getting that chance. Your boys look like great little guys.

  15. Great post! You are happy with your decision, that is the most important part. I’m sure you will love being a SAHM. It may take some time to get used to things but you will soon find a routine. HUGS.

  16. Oh, they are so adorable!! That’s a wonderful picture!
    I hope you have a wonderful adventure staying home with your little guys. Your husband sounds so wonderful and supportive. I stay at home now. There are times that I wonder if I’ve made the right decision (when money is tight, when I wonder if I’m making a difference in the world, when I wonder if I’m setting a good example for my kids) but the truth is, I’m really happy. It works for me and my family.

    I know it sounds the opposite of what most people say, but I really feel like my kids need me home now that they are getting older (9 and 13) than they did when they were little. Maybe that’s just us, but I really do!

    Have a wonderful summer, Tanya!! –Lisa

    1. Aw, thanks Lisa, these boys get cuter and exceedingly naughtier by the day.

      I totally agree with you about them needing you more when they are older. Of course they rely on you for survival and nurturing as babies, but now my kids are at ages when they need help in making more difficult decisions and foundations to have good habits as adults. Better for me to invest that time with them now than to have worse problems to correct when they get to high school. We’ve been blessed with great kids and it’s high time I got to enjoy them more ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like you, I’m sure I will wonder if I made the right choice. I think if I didn’t do it now, I might regret not having the chance to have my youngest home with me for a couple years before he’s off to school.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your story with me.

  17. What a great post! I’m not a mom yet but I do understand what it’s like to have so much pressure on you. Ultimately you have to make the best decision you can for you and your family. It is awesome that your hubby is so supportive of your decision. Whenever I have a hard time walking away from something I remind myself that when I let something negative go, I’m making way for good things to come.

    1. Thanks so much Kim. I love your perpective to let negative things go to make way for good things to go. It must be true, since I’ve given my notice, I won your book in the giveaway and some others from ABEA. Not sure if you saw my Tweet yesterday but I got it and appreciate the quick response. I can’t wait to read it.

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