My Momflict


As a 30 year old new mom I’ve come to the realization that there are many internal struggles mothers face after having a baby.  “Do I go back to work?” “Do I say home?” “Do I work part time?” “What will life be like if I stay home?” “If I stay home am I doing it for my baby and the good of our family or myself?” “Do we really want to live on a budget so completely different than what we’re used to?” “What will happen to my resume?” “Do I even care about my resume?” “Am I feeling pressured to quit my job because it seems like the “right” thing to do?” “Why don’t men struggle with this stuff?”

And the list goes on…

I honestly went into motherhood believing I would return to work after my 12 weeks of alloted time of maternity leave…I didn’t think I would struggle with the decision to return to work nor did I expect that my sweet baby boy could change my life in such fantastic and unimagineable ways.  I never expected to struggle so deeply or wrestle so strongly with the conflict of whether or not to stay home or go back to work.

Some days it seems like an easy decision…STAY HOME! And others I find myself thinking; “This isn’t so bad…I can do it…maybe working part time is the answer…” I’m currently on a modified schedule and am 2 weeks into my 4 weeks of part time days…the time is flying by and I’m so confused.

In a way I wonder if it’s God’s way of saying…”Relax…stay home…I will provide…I can work this out for you…all you need to do is TRUST me…SURRENDER your anxiety about where the money will come from… RELEASE your grip on that amazing health insurance and the benefits your beaurocratic job provids…these are just things…I will provide…I will work this out…TRUST ME…”

When I drop off my little man for the 5 hours we are apart I feel heavy…I feel responsible for throwing off his schedule and having to get him ready for 5 hours of day care…we are so blessed by his care provider…but at this point…it’s not me, and that’s hard.

*sigh* I invite you to join me on my journey…my momflict…of trying to figure out the how’s and why’s and who’s and what’s of this journey I find myself in…I hope you’ll share your stories and experiences and that together we can support one another and grow together.

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About The Momflict

I am a new mom adjusting to life with my first born...trying to find my place in the world and wrestling with the changes of life in staying home or going back to work...thus, the momflict.
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19 Responses to My Momflict

  1. Marci says:

    Oh I completely understand! With my little guy turning 6 months I am still conflicted. I am working part time, around 15-18 hours 3 days a week, and on any given day I can convince myself either way. When I’m at home I tell myself I need to stay home. Once I’m at work I realize how easy it is to work 5hours and what a difference it makes for us financially.

    Whenever I seriously think about quitting, I think about friends of mine who once their little ones got a little older they started to look for flexible part time jobs. Because I am self employed and rely on my clientele base I can’t just take five years off and come back to where I’m at now. I have worked very hard and for many years to get to the point where I don’t need to work very much to earn a decent living. So, do I give it all up?
    So we leave our babies to go to work. Well I find that my friends that don’t work end up using babysitters to go do things for themselves or meet up with friends for dinner. Which is better? Which is worse? In the end we both leave our babies. I may be in desperate need of a pedicure and would love to go out baby-free to a nice dinner. But I choose instead to spend my time away from my child to bring in an income.

    But you just happened to catch me on a day when I feel content with my decision to continue working, two days ago I would have told you all the reasons why I was quitting.

    Right now I feel like if I have a balanced schedule and I feel like I am still putting my job as a Mom first then why not work outside of the house?

    I could talk about this for hours!

    Btw, I typed this from my phone and can’t go back and proofread! So please forgive typos and grammatical errors 😉

    • themomflict says:

      It’s amazing how views can change in 24 hours…even a half an hour! There are times when I’m content and others when I’m thinking “What am I doing here?” It’s amazing what a touchy subject this is and how much women struggle with their decision no matter which way they make it…It’s hard when you see value for BOTH sides…this is such a complicated and emotional topic.

  2. Christina says:

    To work or not to work…it is a joy and privilege to make our own decisions. We can have it all, just not always at the same time…something will be sacrificed. We choose. But, oh…such a hard decision.

    Many prayers for you as you explore this new world of mommy-hood and all the millions of decisions we make for our little ones. Praying you will feel peace with your decision.
    xoxo

  3. Gisela says:

    First let me just say what an awesome job you did with this post. I always think of the commercial “A Baby Changes Everything” and how when I saw it prekids, I would think well yeah a baby changes everything, but having a baby truely changes things in ways you could never anticipate. Being a mom requires a balance that can be very hard to reach, but you just have to do the best you can do each day for you and little one. I believe that as long as you are happy with what you are doing your family will be. It’s tough to set aside what others say is the “right” thing to do. Only you know what is “right” for you!

  4. JosieGrace says:

    It is a struggle, isn’t it? While my husband is the main breadwinner in our house, before we had kids we had so much more freedom. I did different side jobs (housecleaning, music lessons, etc.) but gave those up when I had our first little girl. I just had my second daughter and there have been days I want to leave and never come back! So many things are impractical with kids, I don’t even like to go the store unless I have too!
    But would I give up the responsibility of raising my children, of pouring into their little lives, of teaching them the gospel and how to love the Lord our God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength? No. My emotions may waver…..and they do. But there is joy in letting go of our “freedom” and loving our family with all our heart! I honestly believe that if we take God at his Word( Titus 2:4,5, Deuteronomy 6: 3-9), there is blessing and joy! I encourage you to seek God and His Word. It really dosen’t matter what I think or do, or what others say you should do. Only what He says is what matters. If He is telling you to trust Him, do it!! He is so faithful!

    We were looking houses for sale several weeks ago, and my husband left to go take pictures and I started talking with the Realtor. She was somewhere in her 40’s and had twins and a single a year later.
    I asked her if she had fun doing this, seeing all the different houses, etc. She smiled, looked at the tiny infant in my arms and said, ” Ya, but the days with those little ones were the best.” I needed to hear that.

    I encourage you to think about all this with an eternal perspective. When you stand before the throne of God, what will mater? Even when you are 95 like my Great Grandma, what memories will you have? She told me that she sits at home and prays for each of us and remembers back over the years of her family. I have a hard time keeping this perspective…..I wish it was easier. We forget so quickly.
    As far as money goes, it is amazing how little you really need. Income wise, I think we sit below National Poverty Line…. If this is poverty, its not too bad! 😛 JK

    I don’t want you to feel guilty, condemned, or like I think I am better than everyone else. I simply wanted to share my experience and the joy that I have found, despite what the world will tell you is fulfilling. God made you to be a mommy, it is okay to feel like you need to stay home with your sweet little baby boy. Just like we listen to our bodies when we are laboring and giving birth, so now too listen to what it is saying. My prayers are with you as you make a big decision.

    By the way, did I mention it is really fun??!!??

    • JosieGrace says:

      Ok, so I took a shower and thought about what I had commented. I realized that if we want to be true to God’s Word there is something I left out. In Proverbs 31, we read about the Virtuous woman, who is to be an example to us. We read about her having good merchandise, buying a field and producing a harvest, working willingly with her hands, she makes fine linen and sells it, the list goes on and on. She also looks well to the ways of her household and her husband and children rise up and call her blessed. We know that the Bible dosen’t contradict itself…so there truly is a way to make money, be a keeper at home, love our husband and children, take care of our homes, to teach our children by the way,and glorify God with it all! That is an encouragement to me and I hope it is to you as well! 🙂
      -Sorry for the long comments! I must not get out much….lol

      • themomflict says:

        Josie,
        Thank you so much for your input…so many amazing things for me to think and pray about…I love your willingness to share so openly and truly about what your heart and your experiences are!

  5. Anna says:

    I have been battling with this as well. Chloe will be 6 1/2 mos. when I return to teaching at the end of August and it makes me so sad to think that I’ll only have a couple of hours with her each evening before bedtime. I’m keeping my options open, and brainstorming ways around working full time, but they are few and a bit outlandish since Matt is currently going to school full time and has one more year starting in Sept. I know that everything will work out and that putting Chloe in childcare will probably be much harder for me than her! After lots of fretting I realized that what is most important is that I enjoy these next four months I have with her rather than sit around worrying about going back to work. So for now, I am going to enjoy each moment I have with her!

  6. Dana says:

    I already commented on your facebook post so no need to repeat here.  While I think that many woman face this dilemma, I believe it’s becoming more and more common for men as well. I know at least four families where the woman is the primary bread winner and the guy is the stay-at-home dad. Lonestar came out with a song, Mr. Mom, a couple years ago…if country musicians are writing songs about non-traditional gender roles, you know societies perspectives are starting to change!

  7. Dana says:

    I should add that I have known that since I graduated college that I don’t want to work a traditional 8-5 job once I become a mommy. I’ve tried and have succeeded at saving a substantial amount since graduating from college; I wanted the freedom of choosing not to work or work part time regardless of who I married. It probably helped that I’ve had a “downshifting” mentality for most of my life, likely deepened from the influences of growing up in a small town and from studying abroad in Europe twice. The European lifestyle of living in relatively small spaces and not needing many material things to live a happy life has always appealed to me. Of course as you know probably better than anyone, I got caught up in trying to make my savings grow faster than what was reasonable or realistic by buying in 2006! Such a relief to have sold my house when I did! My mom stayed at home with Chad and me until we were in kindergarten (I’m not sure she felt like she had much of a choice with twins but it was something she would have chosen even if she only had a single child) and then worked part time jobs.

    Although I know Kris will be a very involved dad (he volunteered with a young autistic girl for a couple years), having me at home at least part of the time is what we both want. Although he is open to many non-traditional ways of thinking, he has many deeply ingrained traditional Indian beliefs and values…I’m pretty sure he would NEVER be comfortable being a full time Mr. Mom!! 🙂

  8. Nickie says:

    I enjoyed reading this post very much. I have a similar but different struggle. My degree is in Early Childhood education so I could be a nanny potentially bring Avaleigh with me, but doing this would limit the amount of one on one time and freedom to do different activities. I actually recently did two ten hour back to back days of nanny as a back up nanny for a family I have nannied for over three years. The boys were absolutely perfect and it was a lot of fun but I was so exhausted by the time I got home, and felt bad because I barely could do Avie’s bedtime routine. Zack and I have found lots of great ways to save money and cut back and for right now it is worth it for our family to live a different way than we are use to. Good luck with your adventures Erin and I look forward to reading many more of your blogs 😀

  9. Dana says:

    Umm…this post really has ignited a spark in my brain, can’t seem to stop the wheels from a turnin’! Seems like you’re open to continuing discussions so, although I’ve already thrown a lot out there, I’ll publish this comment.

    Out of total curiosity, did your mom stay home with you and your brother when you were little? What about your friend’s moms? As I mentioned, my mom did until my twin brother and I were in kindergarten, worked part time until we reached high school, and then worked full time. Some of my friend’s moms worked, some stayed at home. It’s really intriguing to me to think about how what was role modeled to me growing up has helped shaped my views, both in favor of things and things I do differently because they didn’t seem to work, at least not from my perspective. I’m really intrigued by differences in generational influences and their impact on people in the different demographic age groups. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_gap Makes me want to dig up the handout I received while attending a “Generation Similarities and Differences” seminar a couple years ago…

    On a completely different note, I agree with Nickie that there are MANY ways of saving money. Check out Dave Ramsey’s website and, if it appeals to you, listen to his radio show on 1190am in the evenings. http://www.daveramsey.com/home/ Quite a few of my fb friends, most with families, have gone through his program, “Financial Peace University” and it has dramatically changed their lives. Dave went from owning $4 million in real estate with his wife and having a net worth of $1 million at the age of 26 to loosing it all. His website states, “After losing everything, I went on a quest to find out how money really works, how I could get control of it and how I could have confidence in handling it.” He went on to found The Lampo Group; their mission statement “(…) is providing biblically based, common-sense education and empowerment which gives HOPE to everyone from the financially secure to the financially distressed.”

    I also found these blogs when I did a google search:

    http://moneysavingmom.com/

    http://www.moneywisemoms.com/

    http://ultimatemoneyblog.com/

    All just more food for thought, hope I haven’t overdone it! Thanks for sparking so many ideas, I get so inspired by this type of stuff! I think a glass of vino to help me unwind a little is in my future…wish our main bathroom was functional so I could take a dreamy bubble bath but, alas, the main bathroom is currently being remodeled, boo.

    Big, relaxing, hug to you!
    🙂 Dana

  10. Leslee says:

    Such a fantastic blog post straight from your heart. As you know, I have been dealing with this struggle for over 6 years now. In those 6 years I have stayed home, worked from home, worked part-time, full-time, days, nights, weekends…I’ve tried it all! It does get easier as the kids get older, but as a mom, this internal struggle remains. So many of the women who have commented here have said so many fantastic and true things and it all boils down to you doing what is right for you, JD and little Cash. How do you know if what you are doing is right?? I don’t know if any of us ever figure that out but we try and in the end THAT is what is important – trying. Being a working mom does not or will not make you less of a mom than someone who stays home full-time. It all boils down to how we use the time we have with our kids and the quantity of love we give them. Just because one woman stays home doesn’t mean she loves or cares for her child better than the next woman who works to support her kids and then comes home to be a mom after.

    Now – my personal opinion after 6 years and 2 kids, one entering grade school next year and the other only being two….there is a lot to say about building a relationship with an employer who values you as an employee AND a mother. If it isn’t this employer..well, only you can determine that. It all has to work out financially, but to be able to do both in a way that works for you and your family is something that will enable you to sustain not only your income and household, but your resume into the years to come. Cash is so young and you are young still as a mother. Give yourself some time to figure it out and remember that he is loved and that is the most important piece. I know it feels as if the decision’s weight is unbearable and that you NEED to make a decision now, but give yourself some time and communicate with your employer. See what you have the flexibility to do and from there explore your options. Anyhow, there’s my schpiel 🙂 Again, I still struggle with my decision to work and my role as breadwinner…there are days when my kids come home and I wonder if their moods or our struggles over pottytraining are a direct result of my demanding work schedule?? Was Ben so easy because I was home more? Could I go in earlier, get off later, get dinner made sooner, or take them to swim lessons and then dinner and still have time to read stories before bed and then maybe cram in some time to catch up on email?? It’s a daily struggle! All we can do is our best…and that’s all that matters to our kids in the end 🙂

    You’re an amazing mom already and regardless of what you decide, that fact will not change.

  11. Gena Rains says:

    Oh Erin! I can totally sympathize! I worked full time after having Paisley, which turned into part time after having Lexington. I still work part time with all 3, and I wil admit it is tough! I am so lucky, and have the best daycare ever, as the grandparents take turns and love it. I have debated many times quitting all together, but have always decided to keep working. I say that working makes me a better Mom, and I truly believe that! It gives me some structure and a schedule, it also gives my kids some much loved time with their grandparents, sans mom and dad, which is special, and it gives me some adult time. Sometimes, you just need to have a real adult conversation, and not always talking to your baby and singing songs, etc. (although that IS fun!)
    I know that you will find the BEST solution for you, JD and Cash. I truly believe that God will send you the answer. Whenever we have been thrown a curve ball, be it schedule changes, job changes, day care changes, grandparent vacations/illnesses, God has always led us, and thing have always worked out the way they should have! We have had opportunities open up for us that we never could have aniticipated or dreamed up, and it has all been reassuring that I should be working. When the road turns and it doesn’t seem to fit anymore, I will know then to change my path. I look forward to seeing what’s in store for you and your family.
    Take care and enjoy your beautiful baby!
    Gena

  12. Dana says:

    I posted a comment but it’s not showing, not sure why. I had two friends I used to work with over for dinner last night…one is 12 weeks pregnant, the other has two children. One friend is a stay-at-home mom and suggested my preggo friend keep working. She said that as her kids get older, she thinks there’s more value in having a flexible schedule to attend the activities her kids are in but that it doesn’t seem, in her opinion, to make a lot of a difference when the kids are little. Harder on mommy than the kiddos! So many different feelings on this topic!
    On a different note, I agree with Nickie that there are MANY ways of saving money. Check out Dave Ramsey’s website and, if it appeals to you, listen to his radio show on 1190am in the evenings. http://www.daveramsey.com/home/ Quite a few of my fb friends, most with families, have gone through his program, “Financial Peace University” and it has dramatically changed their lives. Dave went from owning $4 million in real estate with his wife and having a net worth of $1 million at the age of 26 to loosing it all. His website states, “After losing everything, I went on a quest to find out how money really works, how I could get control of it and how I could have confidence in handling it.” He went on to found The Lampo Group; their mission statement “(…) is providing biblically based, common-sense education and empowerment which gives HOPE to everyone from the financially secure to the financially distressed.”

    I also found these blogs when I did a google search:

    http://moneysavingmom.com/

    http://www.moneywisemoms.com/

    http://ultimatemoneyblog.com/

  13. Hi there! A mutual friend of ours (my niece, newly married,) gave me your blog address. Looks great! I was in your shoes about twenty years ago. You can read about my story on my blog. This link will lead you to the story. I wrote about my “momflict” (like the word!) in four different posts, which you will be able to find from this link. Hang in there!
    http://www.raisingyourchildren.net/my-children-my-gift-and-my-rewardintroduction/
    You are doing great…live one day at a time! Know that everything you go through is only for a season!
    Be Encouraged! Many Blessings, Tina (Mama T)

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