My Journey To Becoming a Stay-At-Home Mom.

To start the year off, and my 38th year {my birthday is very soon!}, I wanted to dedicate this month to share some more about myself. You all know I love fashion, finding deals, creating outfits, but so much of my life isn’t that and I’ll share some of that this month.

To be honest, I am a very private person and a friendly introvert. It’s taken me almost a-year-and-a-half to dedicate some posts that are specifically about my life. I guess I feel I don’t have that much to share that’s exciting or different, but I do think the photos you see are such a small part of who I am, a little background of me might be a nice addition.

I thought I would start this series with my decision {or journey} to becoming a stay-at-home mom. It wasn’t black and white for me and it wasn’t/isn’t easy. In this post, I am simply sharing my feelings and experiences. In no way am I an advocate of stay-at-home moms compared to working moms. They are both admirable positions and whatever works best for YOU and your family is the right decision.

I became a mom nearly seven-and-a-half years ago when I had my daughter, Elizabeth. She was more than anything I could have ever imagined. I had lost my mother to cancer very suddenly about a-year-and-a-half before I had Lizzy. I also miscarried my first pregnancy {found out at my 12-week ultrasound there was no heartbeat} and was feeling such a sense of loss and emptiness. When I held Lizzy for the first time she gave me a renewed sense of hope and I knew with her I had an entire life of purpose ahead of me. Needless to say, she was my rainbow baby in more ways than one.

I had every intention during my pregnancy to go back to work {I managed a cosmetic surgery office and really enjoyed what I did and the people I worked with}. I actually had daycare lined up and I even brought Lizzy to the daycare while I was on maternity leave to get her acquainted with the new space and people.

After that one visit, I had a complete overhaul in feelings {nothing that the daycare did or anything}. I just knew it wasn’t what I wanted for her or myself. Looking back, I also think the losses I endured prior to having Lizzy made me afraid to let her go {if that makes sense?}.

I called John {as he was so excited to hear about how our visit was at the daycare} and I told him we needed to talk that night. I shared with him how in my heart I felt I needed to stay home and raise Lizzy. I actually think he knew this was coming and wasn’t too blindsided. He also was 110% supportive of my feelings.

Part of my reasoning for wanting to stay home was because my husband travels frequently for work. I was nervous about not having someone to help me if I got stuck at work, or in traffic and couldn’t make it to pick-up on time. We didn’t have any family or close friends to rely on as we were somewhat new to the area. Basically, I felt like I had to be available at all times for my baby. We also evaluated the cost of daycare and my salary and talked that all through. These factors, along with the feeling in my heart led me to the decision to stay at home.

Next, I had to make the phone call to my manager to tell her I wasn’t coming back to work. I don’t know if I have ever felt more nervous to make a call. I felt I was letting so many people down and not sticking to my word. I am a very loyal person so this was really hard. I made the call and my manager {a woman and mom herself} was completely understanding. I can’t explain how relieved I was. It all ended on good terms and still today when I run into co-workers we are all friendly.

My life had now started as a stay-at-home mom. While I know I am very fortunate to have this opportunity, there were some tough days. Not having any family in the area or real friends {I’m not from the Madison area and had only lived here for about 2 years at this time}. I felt very lonely and isolated for the first year. I had to figure a lot out. How to make myself feel a sense of accomplishment in a day, create a schedule not to get stuck in lazy days and ruts, and how to keep my identity as Sarah {not just mom}. It was hard to make this adjustment.

I joined a random new mom’s group through one of our hospitals and met some women I am still friends with today! We were all in a similar boat and slowly I started to get in a routine and grasp this new lifestyle. I can go into so much about being a stay-at-home mom, but that’s a whole other long blog post!

Fast forward 7 years, and staying at home with two children we have survived and thrived. I am not going to lie and say I have loved every minute of it. Some days are so incredibly hard. I yearned for adult interaction and a little bit of freedom. Overall, I wouldn’t change a thing and I don’t have any regrets. It all goes by so fast. Here I am in my last year of part-time school. Next year both Lizzy and Thomas will be full-time and the chapter closes of having a child at home with me during the day.

When I decided to start Not Your Plain Sarah Jane 18 months ago, Thomas was 3 and in pre-school a couple mornings a week. It felt like I could finally invest more in myself. I started this blog because I needed a creative outlet. I wanted a sense of ownership in something unique to me. I wanted to define myself not only as ‘mom’ but as ‘Sarah’ as well. This blog has given me the perfect opportunity to do that. I am doing something I absolutely love, on my time, how I want to do it, and that is a really special mix. It took courage and guts to start this, but I’m so happy I have.

If you’re a mom struggling with the decision to stay-at-home, or maybe you do stay-at-home, or if you work, it’s all hard! You’re going to feel guilty, lonely, and overwhelmed regardless of your decision. It’s something mom’s go through as we try to be the best we can be and juggle it all. I will tell you, with time, it has become easier. Be gentle and kind to yourself. You are doing amazing however you are doing it.

As always, thank you so much for reading. Make it a great day!

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  • I appreciate you for being this vulnerable and sharing this much about you. I see the bravery and I am thankful. My mum was at home for the most part of my childhood, while my father traveled all over for work. Your children will appreciate the sacrifices you made to ensure they always had the best and all your attention. I am proud of you for starting something that’s 100% yours and will one day be a legacy for your children. God will continue to give you strength and wisdom.

  • Dear Sarah, Your blog overwhelmed me with emotion. I could barely finish reading because of the tears clouding my vision. I was so sorry to learn you had lost your mother at such a critical time in your life. You must know how very proud she is( watching from heaven), how lovely you and your beautiful family are. After hearing about your website from my daughter Catherine, over a year ago, I shared it with countless young women. My daughter, Cat, looks great in all of the many fashions she has ordered from your site. Keep up the good work. We love you

    • Hi Holly! Wow I am at a loss for words! Thank you. Life deals us many crazy obstacles but we have to persevere. With a strong sense of faith I always knew I’d be okay. Your support on my little venture here means so much to me!! I am so happy you and your daughters are liking the fashion! I’ll keep chugging along.