Why I’m Leaving My Career To Be A Stay At Home Mom

Working Mom. Stay At Home Mom. Work At Home Mom.

An unfortunate truth is that, no matter what your decision or family circumstance in regards to work and motherhood, there will always be people who question, criticize or judge.

Since making the choice to put my career on pause to be at home with Taylor most everyone has been amazingly encouraging (i.e. the overwhelming, positive response on Instagram when I originally shared our news in this post). However, I have also had people ask directly – or behind my back – why I’m making the decision that I am, why I’m leaving what I’ve worked so hard to achieve over the last 10+ years…

Well, my answer is this: it feels right to my heart, I want to be the one to care for Taylor every day of the week, and it’s what is possible & best for our family. I know I will be the best version of myself as an individual, wife and mom because of this choice. Not to mention, I am also confident that my skills and drive will not simply vanish because I choose to stay home for a season of life.

Trust me, I can hold my ambition AND my baby. 

Not every mom feels like I do. Not every mom is wired the same. Not every mom has the same family circumstances and/or opportunities.

There are moms who absolutely love to work outside the home and would go crazy staying at home every day. They enjoy their work. They wouldn’t be the best version of themselves as an individual, wife and mom staying at home.  If that is you (I thought I would be you), be proud in your ability to balance work and home life in a way that feels good and right for you and your family; Although you may hear differently, there is nothing “wrong” or “selfish” with working outside the home because you want to. I know you know this, but you don’t love your career more than your child because you choose to work.

I know working moms who would love nothing more than to stay home with their babies, but are not able to do so. If that is you, please know that you are giving everything you can to contribute to raising and sustaining your family, and you are simply amazing. I feel your heart – being a working (outside the home) mom isn’t easy to begin with, but it’s downright hard when your heart wishes you were elsewhere. 

Work from home moms…I seriously don’t know how you do it. I can’t even get anything with this little side job blog of mine done from home now that Taylor’s down to one nap on my Friday off… If you’re pulling off the work at home mom life, my hat is off to you.

Then there are moms who have always envisioned being a mom and who couldn’t wait to quit their day job when they became one to stay home and raise their babies. In a world where so many moms do work outside the home by necessity or choice, you might feel like the minority (again, maybe that’s just the area where I live?). You may feel isolated, and even find yourself wondering if the 24/7 job you are doing is even noticed. Well, it is by those of us who “get it” and, most importantly, by your kids/family every day. Don’t ever feel less than because you are “just” a mom. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Finally, there are moms who make the difficult (and expensive) choice to leave successful careers to stay at home at some point in motherhood. Co-workers or others around you may not quite understand why you’re leaving the workforce to be “just” a mom. You’re letting down women who paved the way before you. You’re wasting your degrees.  Even some friends and family may question why you’d walk away from a job, salary and potential career opportunities you’ve worked hard to earn – and expensive mistake…Although I can only hope you have loved ones who are nothing but supportive.

Why I chose to put my career on hold to be a stay at home mom

I know that I am a very girl to have the choice to make between working and staying home with Taylor. Staying home is a luxury. I recognize that having a parent at home not every family’s reality, especially given the insane housing market (or is that just where I live?).  For me the decision to move toward Stay At Home Mom-dom was made after making the initial choice to return back to work after Taylor was born. I thought that’s what I wanted to do. I envisioned that as being my perfect reality of having “it all”. I did have my version of “it all,” but I couldn’t balance it. At least, not in a way that took away the ache or made me feel at peace in my heart.  Even working part time, and having my mom and husband watching Taylor in our home while I worked, the anticipation of needing to go back to full time eventually provoked an anxiety in me. I wasn’t expecting to feel that way, but there it was.

Long story – full of prayer, worry, life changes, thought and decision making – short, my husband and I are now changing up our entire life to make this happen because it is what we want and what works best for our family.  Over time, my parenting and work life will both ebb and flow, but neither will end; For this season, I am afforded the precious, irretrievable gift of time with Taylor, and any other babes we may be blessed with. Work can wait.

Criticism about your choice to work, stay home or somewhere in between?

What I want to say to you – and myself – is this:  

If you decide to continue or start working outside of the home when you have kids, even if you don’t financially need to…

If you decide to leave a successful career to be a stay at home mom…

If all you’ve ever wanted to be in life is a mom, and now you are one, happily at home…

There will always be people (even friends and family) – for reasons of insecurity, jealousy, selfishness, ignorance, or boredom- who will criticize the decisions you make in your life. Trust me when I say that it will only serve to bring YOU down and/or drive you crazy if you let the opinions of others influence the way you feel or cause you to question what you know to be right. So, whatever your #momlife looks like, remember that only you and your family truly know what works, and believe that your mama heart is just a committed as the next. And, if you’ve made it to the end of this very long post – thank you : )

Have you ever felt judged for the decision you’ve made to either work or stay home? I’d love to hear about your experiences and answer any questions you have about my journey. 

If you related to this post, I would appreciate if you would share it on Facebook with THIS LINK!

P.S. If you are considering making the decision to leave a job you like/love to stay at home for a season like I was, I encourage you to be confident, brave and just take the plunge. Do I have worries and some anxiety about making the transition? Do I worry about how, when and if I’ll get back onto my career path some day? Sure. Although I know the transition won’t necessarily be completely smooth sailing, I can honestly say have not felt any regret and my heart is at ease. I hope the same for you!

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20 thoughts on “Why I’m Leaving My Career To Be A Stay At Home Mom

  1. I struggle with my decision to be a STHM, first because I didn’t think it was going to be this tough, and secondly because I also put my career on hold. But then, thinking long term is what really helped me. My mom stayed home with my sister and I for 5 years, and then went back to work, and has now worked for 20 years. My point is that life is LONG and our babies grow FAST. Let’s enjoy it 🙂

    1. I’m with you on that! There is a lot of life left to work after our babies are grown. Heck, we might even choose to start an entirely different career path, right?!

    1. Absolutely! She will know that she can be anything she wants to be. You’re giving her an invaluable confidence through your example of being a hard working, awesome person/mom! There are benefits to our kids that are unique to each situation, that’s why I hate when people judge what is “best” or “right” for us as moms, and especially our kids! Thanks for reading, Corey : )

  2. This post was so well written and I’m so happy for you and your family. You’re going to rock being a SAHM!

  3. There are so many pluses and minuses to both. You have to do what is best for you and your family! No one is in your position and therefore no one really knows what is best!

  4. Yes! I am judged by the father of my children.

    We separated while I was pregnant with our 4th child and once number 4 was born I decided to become a stay at home Mum, simply because life was too chaotic to be a working Mum and a single Mum.

    Now I’m apparently “living off his money” – which everyone who has ever been in this position would know as being absolute rubbish.

    My friends, my family and my work have all been 100% supportive of my decision and now that number 4 is now 8 months old I’m looking at returning to study.

    1. It’s even more difficult to handle criticism when it is coming from family. Raising 4 children is like 4 full time jobs – my hat is off to you for making it work in the way that is best for you and your kids!

  5. I have attempted to be a stay at home mom with baby number two and three and have always found myself going back to work. We just welcomed baby number 4 and everyone always asks, are you going to stay home now? Although my time off has gone so fast I am ready to go back to work! Work is my place to be just me. I applaud all moms for all they do for their kiddos whether they work or not!

    1. Emily, I absolutely love your last sentence. I am 200% with you there. We are all different in what makes us the best version of ourselves, which obviously benefits our kids! I can imagine I may be thinking about heading back to work before too long myself 😊

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and encourage, Justine! It’s so great to know there are other like-minded, hard workin’ mamas like you out there! Xo

  6. This is great, Ashley! I am happy for you and your family, and I fully support you. I did the same last year, it was a difficult decision but so worth it. I am such a better person and mom now. I did end up starting a business that was not planned at all and ended up working out and it makes me even happier. I spent precious moments with my girls that I wouldn’t have been able to savor had I stayed at my job and nothing can replace that ever.
    As for being criticized, I think talking about this is extra energy already. No mom should need to explain her choices when it comes to parenting or career. That’s all I have to say 😘 All the love and support to you. I have a couple of notes for you but maybe I will send you an email instead 😊 xx

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Louma! I’m really looking forward to this new chapter : ) I’ll look out for your email!

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