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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Why I Am Choosing a Different Path in Life

If you are a follower of my blog you know I've been hinting at this blog post for some time. I've been telling my readers that an announcement was coming.  Telling them that a change was going to happen soon.

Today I am finally ready to share this news.

You know being a woman and having a career can be challenging.  I truly feel we face different obstacles than men {just my opinion} and on top of that if we choose to have a family we are lugging double duty. Not that it can't be done.  Not that some women aren't fabulous at it.  Heck, even some women prefer being the bread winner while their spouse stays home and takes care of the kids.  For some families it works great.

But here's the thing.  It hasn't been working that great for us.  If you are an old reader I apologize, but if you are new to this blog, I want to share a bit of our journey, a timeline, if you will, to understand how we got to this point.

The husband and I got married in 2006.  We enjoyed a few years being child-free until in 2009 we welcomed our son.  One month prior to his birth we moved to a new town, where we still live.  Due to that move {who wants to hire an 8 month pregnant lady?} I stayed home.  I continued to stay home for the first year of his life.  During this time I started this food blog.  Which, to this day, I consider one of the best wild hair decisions I've made.

In March of 2011 we welcomed our daughter.  By this time I was back to working in a corporate setting. Three months after her birth, my department was let go and I landed a new part-time job the very next day. How it happened so perfectly I'll never know.  It allowed me to work only 3 days a week and be more hands on with my children.

This part-time job is where I am still working, three years later.  This position has given me endless opportunities.  I have made more professional contacts than in any other job I've ever been in.  It truly has been a joy working there.  I enjoy what I do and the people I work with.

In less than 6 weeks I'll be giving birth to our third child.  Another girl.

During the past year and a half, the husband and I have been working our tail feathers off scraping off our debt.  I'm happy to report that during this time we have chipped away around $14,000.  It's almost like we kicked an annoying family member out of the house!

A few months back we had to sit down and weigh our options.  I had opportunities come my way - a full time new position, a different position, it seemed like when I was at home trying to figure out what to do, everyone else seemed to think they had something for me.

But my heart just wasn't in any of it.

You know what I hated with a passion?  Rushing out the door on those three mornings at 7 a.m. with still tired kids and a crabby mom.  Sitting at my desk at 3:00 realizing I had nothing planned for dinner, yet had hungry mouths waiting for me.  Waking up on Friday morning facing a house that for the past three days was victim to a raging tornado.

I really disliked ALL of this.  So much so, that each week it took me about a day to recover, only to start the week again in a couple days.

So after putting the pencil to the paper and realizing that gas, daycare costs and my crabbiness was certainly going to take a hit come this summer we made a decision.

I am quitting my job and staying home starting next month.

There.  I said it.

I will officially become a stay-at-home mom soon.  Not because we moved and I was 8 months pregnant. Not because I lost my job.  But simply because I wanted to.

Will it be hard?  I have no doubt.  Will there by days I regret my choice?  More than likely. But I am truly hoping the good days outweigh the bad and that we've made the best decision for our family.

But you know what?  Here is what I am looking forward to.  Spending more quality time with my kids and not being so darn rushed.  Walks to the park.  More play dates with other stay-at-home moms.  Having a more organized home.  Prepping dinner during the day so I'm not rushing at 5:00 p.m. to throw something together.  Getting back into a fitness routine. Volunteering more time at my children's school.

And did you think I forgot?

Spending more time developing my food blog.  I've had to turn down some opportunities lately simply due to lack of time and energy.  I want to stop doing that.  I have recently made contact with a web-guru {not her official title} to do a little revamping of this site.  Not a ton of things that you'll see, but on the back end, boring stuff that helps bring in readers and money.  I want to get back to posting every other day and making even more exciting recipes.  I'm really excited about this.

So now is the time I ask you.  If you could be a stay-at-home mom would you?  Be honest.  I know it isn't for everyone.  Heck, it may not even be for me, but I will find out soon enough.

Give me your thoughts about this post.  I know I wasn't sharing anything about food today, but I wanted you to see another part of my life.

And don't worry I'll be back with some yummy bites soon!

Would you like to comment?

  1. I have grown sons who are now almost 29 and 26. I was that stay at home mom from the very beginning---I was the norm then. It was what most of us did during that time. I never left a great career to have babies or tried to juggle a career with being a mom. My boys got my attention all the time. :-) It was wonderful and i would not change a thing. At all. We managed on one income and did not feel that we sacrificed at all. I was the mom who got to go to the daytime school things, volunteer in the classroom, go on field trips. be on call for other working moms. It was my "career" and still to this day I believe it is the best thing I ever did in my life. Not every one has the choice or the desire to take this road but I believe you and your family will be incredibly blessed by this decision. Good for you !

  2. We truly, financially just can't. Too much student loan debt. We're both teachers, but I do feel like I get to reap the benefits of a semi-stay-at-home-mom during the summer and on breaks from school. I don't think I'm cut out to be a stay-at-home-mom full-time, but I appreciate the extra time I get with my boys because of a teacher's schedule.

  3. Steph@Been There Baked ThatApril 5, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    Yay, so so happy for you Ally! You will never regret this decision, it's honestly the best to be able to stay home with your kids. I've worked from home for the past eight years, like you, my heart just wasn't in anything else. Who knows, maybe you'll see that you can bring in a part time income soon and you'll have the best of both worlds!

  4. Big exciting news Ally! I was given the opportunity to stay at home with my kids and I know that's what's best for them. Having said that and being honest... I think of being a stay at home mom as my job. I know I'm a good mom but it's because it's my job. I'm good at whatever "job" I'm doing. Whether it's working in an office or changing a poopy diaper. It's just my personality to give everything I've got. Being a stay at home mom is emotionally taxing for me. I don't feel a lot of self worth and have struggled from the beginning. There are many times where I look down at what I'm doing and say "is this really what I'm meant to be doing in my life?!". Remember everyone is different and it's all in what you make it out to be.

  5. Ally, I am very excited and happy for you! I'm impressed at how often you blog considering you have little ones and a part-time job. I struggle and don't even have children yet. I hope to stay at home too when we have kids. Excited to see whatever comes next.

  6. You go girl. I will miss you at your job. But will love seeing more of you here. Congrats on your new life decision!

  7. Yeah Ally!!!! That's awesome!!!!

  8. mackenzie tetmeyerApril 5, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    I'm very excited to be part of the 'stay at home mom' group and to see you more often! Even though I'm a part time stay at home mom :) CONGRATS, bestest friend on the decision!!
    I also look forward to my blog post related to this topic :) I'm back in the game :)

  9. Congrats on the decision, Ally. I'm glad you're at peace with it and know you will do great! And yes, we need to get together very soon - before your little arrival pops on out. <3

  10. IN A HEARTBEAT! It wasn't an option since I made more than my husband. We were only able to have one child -- my son, whom I adore! -- and he is graduating college in May!
    Would have loved to have had more time with that child of my heart! Do it and pray a lot about it and don't forget that you will teach your child more by being home than you want someone else to teach them.

  11. I'm very proud of you for making the decision that clearly will benefit you and your family. It is very difficult to fly in the face of our country's expectations that moms will work, too. I was fortunate, way back in the late 60's, to stay at home with my kids. I got a lot of flack from friends who were working, was told frequently I was wasting my talents, and, at times, felt I wasn't contributing enough to society. But now that I'm 70, going back to college (what fun I'm having and getting good grades, too), I look back on those years spent at home with my children, and I'm very grateful I was able to do so. Again, congratulations for making the right decision for you and your family.

  12. Kristen, At times I went through some of the feelings you're having now. I did a lot of volunteer work while I was a stay at home mom that helped in the self worth department. And maybe this isn't what you're meant to be doing in your life. There are lots of options out there. I hope you'll be able to take advantage of some of them.

  13. Congratulations! What an awesome choice and I'm so happy for you that you can do it. To be honest, I do not have it in me to be a stay-at-home-mom but I'm lucky in that my husband wants to be a stay-at-home-dad and since my income is more than double what his was, we can make it work. It's a struggle, and it's hard to never have any extra money, but I consider it worth it. As the parent getting out the door every morning, there is nothing like knowing that my child is still sleeping comfortably in bed and then spending the day with daddy. No grumpy grumbly mornings for us! We're expecting again in November and I know this time around will be more challenging (I was laid off just before our daughter arrived and was actually home with her until she was 8 months old) since I have to go right back to work, but I can't imagine what it would be like to try and get a 2 year old and an 8 week old out of the house every morning! Anyway, congrats again and I know that you'll enjoy your decision; even when the kids are driving you nuts :)

  14. I am so happy for you!! I was a single Mom when Hannah was born, so I went to work just after six weeks after having her and I've worked pretty much ever since. I am not sure I could have done the stay at home Mom with just one kid, but maybe if I had more? All I know is that I raised a super independent woman and I couldn't be prouder of my daughter. Hugs!

  15. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)April 9, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    I would 100% be a stay-at-home mom if I had kids. Wouldn't want it any other way ... and I am the breadwinner, but I don't care. Good for you!!! I think you are a very smart, admirable young lady!!!

  16. I have three kids and I am a stay at home mom. It is not always easy with only one income, especially when my husband works on commission only. But I have to tell you that even with all the financial struggles, it is totally worth it. I love having them with me all the time. I am always there for them and they are really happy kids. It is not always easy and sometimes you will think you made the wrong decision, but that is something that will always happen no matter your decision. Congratulations and lots of blessings on your new adventure!!!

  17. Being a Mom at home is the best thing I ever did for my sons....AND for me. I did the most important job in the world....I was a Mom.