In my early 20’s, my idea of a stay-at-home mom was someone who didn’t have anything else to do. I worked as a nanny for families where the mom worked out of the home, and I loved the dynamic of that. I vowed that when I had children, I would work. They would go to daycare or we’d hire a nanny until they were of school age.
In my second year of teaching, I became pregnant with our daughter. I began to look into options once she was born, even visiting several places and conducting a few interviews. What I found was my teaching salary would just barely cover the cost of an infant in childcare. Add in work clothes, gas, car maintenance, and extras that come up — I was left with actually paying more to work than to just stay at home. In addition, I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum from start to finish throughout my pregnancy which made it extremely difficult to work. Eventually the decision was made for me. I’d stay at home for a while.
I had mixed feelings about this. Sure, I wasn’t going to get up exhausted every day and haul a cranky baby in the car while trying to deal with a classroom. On the other hand, the thought of being stuck at home in a small town wasn’t appealing to me either. I was bored, lonely, and I felt trapped.
About two months after she was born, I started a blog. It seemed everyone was at the time. I’d loved to write, and it was my outlet.
Over the past nearly 5 years of writing, my hobby that I had taken up out of boredom has now become my job. It’s taken me all over the world and allowed me to contribute to our family financially. I’ve built a group of friends that have walked and shared in my ups and downs.
Because of this, I’ve stayed at home and even started homeschooling our daughter. I have to admit though, there are times when this has been really hard. As she becomes older and more independent, my life starts to revolve less around her needs at home and more of her needs outside of our family structure. I have to be diligent about carving out time to work and for my own interests — as well as with her and my husband. My passion is also what helps pay the bills, and that means that it’s often difficult to know when to say no or take a break — I want to do it all.
I miss dressing up and having adult conversations over lunch, but at the same time I wouldn’t trade these years for any outside job. Staying at and working from home has presented it’s own challenges through the years, yet the realization we couldn’t afford daycare led to a life I would have never imagined. As a work from home mom I’m happy, challenged, busy, and fulfilled.
Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. You can also find her work on Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, Still Standing Magazine, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post, with smaller glimpses into her day on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.