How Being a Stay at Home Mom Makes me Feel like a Single Parent
You know how life likes to screw up plans? We had a plan, I had a well paying job with great hours and benefits when we decided to try for a baby. We did the math and knew we’d still be tight with both of us still tackling debt from our divorces but we wanted a child and knew waiting for the perfect time doesn’t exist.
We conceived the first time we tried which was a surprise and shock since we planned for a year of trying given my history. The month I informed my boss of our exciting news so they would understand my frequent bathroom trips and early morning Doctor trips before we officially announced it, I was informed that I would be moving to part-time. My excitement of sharing our news started to fade as I saw our plan begin to crumble. I was promised that it was short-term until we picked up and held on to that until the last few month of my pregnancy.
At the same time I was looking for a car, mine had been wrecked when a driver cut off the person two cars ahead of me leaving four of us skidding to a stop. Two of the vehicles involved took off leaving behind my car that took the most damage and the other who had a scratch on their paint.
Another leg to our plan was starting to loosen but still I held on. I’ve been through worse and what always got me through was believing, so that’s what I did. Soon my hours were cut further and further back. The realization that if I wanted to return to work after having our baby was not financially an option anymore sunk in. The cost of daycare was more than what I earned and our plan was now covered in duct tape trying to hold itself together.
Like with any plan that starts to fall apart we started building a new one. I would be a stay at home mom and find work either freelance writing or one of the many online jobs we’ve both read about.
The last few months of my pregnancy I applied for online jobs and either was told I was not a good fit, lacked experience or was overqualified which I believe means we just don’t want you. Each rejection made it harder to apply for the next job but I did and still do.
Fast forward to now, Ashton’s been apart of our world for over a month now and we’re over the moon about it. I spend my days looking for work and cuddling him while watch Netflix reruns of our favorite shows. I get to take naps during the day to catch up on the sleep he takes from me at night, I have a photo albums on my phone full of all the cute things he does and I have held him and cried with so much happiness in my heart that’s he’s here. But there’s a price for my happiness.
I’ve lost my life partner. The time I get to see him is short now. Any extra shifts he picks up to provide for us. When he comes home at 8pm to eat reheated or cold dinner my heart aches. He’s asleep before 9 while I feed our son, the days he works early I move us to the sofa so frequent night feedings don’t wake him. I am raising our child alone 5 days a week. As my search for income continues he’s began looking for a second job. Which leaves me with the short time of sleep with him which having a newborn isn’t much.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, I’ve leaned on phone calls to my mom and the amazing moms I’ve met since I started this blog to help with those first time mom moments. I send photos and videos of our son to him to help him feel involved but the sad realization is that I’m raising our son with the glow of my cell phone.
Being a stay at home mom was not suppose to be like this. Since deciding to have a baby I’ve said that phrase a lot. ‘It’s not suppose to be like this.’ And it’s not, parents shouldn’t have to choose between being apart of their kids life or losing the roof over their head. A parent shouldn’t feel like a single mom or dad because their spouse is picking up extra shifts so there’s food on the table.
I know plans change, they fall apart and sometimes can be rebuilt. When the foundation holding them together cracks we rebuild and create a new one. Yes it’s lonely but it isn’t forever. The loneliness motivates me, it puts a little more fire behind each application I turn in, it makes me love my partner in a whole different way, it makes me have a whole new form of respect for moms.
This is not how it’s suppose to be…but this isn’t forever.