The last several years of my life were spent in corporate America. I had this drive in me to get things done, make things happen, produce and be successful.
Then I had our fourth child, Zeke. I quickly discovered something. A baby can change your life, if you let it.
I had 3 babies before Zeke and each time I “weighed my options” and opted to work. After having Zeke, I remember laying in the hospital bed holding him — promising him a good life. I then turned my work email off on my phone and kept it off for the next 6 weeks. I had never done that before. Talk about a tipping point!
Without the constant buzzing of work email on my phone, I took time to BE with my kids; not just in the room, but engaging with them. It quickly became apparent that we had to change how we were living. The good life Zeke would know from birth was going to be a different good life than we gave his siblings.
After many long cries, lots of prayer and deep conversations with my husband, we made a massive change in our lives. We vowed to create a life of happiness and make these children our priority. In order to do that, I would quit my job of 11 years to blog and freelance, but most importantly to raise our kids. We would accept the financial hit that would slap us hard and make adjustments wherever we needed to.
6 months ago, my goals included launching an ecommerce store, building a new online community and creating online marketing campaigns.
Today, it’s making sure that all 4 kids are loved and nourished however they need to be. Enjoying every moment and milestone with my sweet baby and toddler. Helping my daughter with her homework. Listening as my 6-year-old learns to read BIG words. Work is still a priority, just NOT ahead of my kids. Work-life-family balance is now family-work-life balance. Family is first.
We are 2 months into this decision. There is a happiness that I can’t describe without you wanting to say SHUT UP. Before you say that, let me say: like all things in life there is a good side and a bad side.
There are bad days where I want to pack all the kids up and take them to a daycare.
When the volume in our house is nothing but loud non-stop noise, I miss the solitude of my office. I could close my door, plug in my headphone, and blare Adele. No one would bother me – in person (via email, that’s something else). If I tried to do that now, the baby would most likely be put in the toilet by the toddler in an attempt to flush him away like Nemo.
Every other week, the nice paycheck that I used to earn is not deposited into our bank account. Therefore my trips to the retail therapist are now limited.
I thrive for the intellectual conversation of an adult, and my late-night habits are limited to whoever of my friends is actually awake. As much as I try to explain to Zeke what Jon Stewart is making fun on the Daily Show, he just doesn’t get it … yet.
My house is constantly a mess. Apparently feeding your children at home means you need to cook, serve, feed, clean and then sweep 3 times a day. Things I never knew when my kids were in daycare!
There is still stress with my new career, but its different. I so don’t miss corporate politics and office gossip. I do miss dressing up, doing my hair and putting on make-up. If I did that now, my baby most likely wouldn’t recognize me.
All of this change is massive … but none of it would be if it wasn’t for birth control failing. A year ago, I sat in a room crying my eyes out after finding out I was pregnant. Looking back now, I laugh. What was crazy then ended up being the best thing ever.
God gave us a sweet baby boy, and that baby changed everything. My husband and I jumped, not knowing exactly where we would fall. I may have toes that need polish and floors that are sticky – but my soul is happy. What more can you ask for than that?
Fab images (and cool chip board idea) from Mama Marcie
How Did Your Baby Change Your Life?