In May 2014, I worked my last day at my desk job, turned in my badge and walked to my car. With a smile on my face, I fulfilled my plan to leave my full-time job and work from home. My husband and I had reached all the goals we had before I was allowed to leave my job and I did it.
The plan was to spend the summer with my boys and blogging full time but other than that, I was unsure. I knew what I wanted but then again, I made no real plan for myself. Just planning on being a work at home mom and watching my kids grow up was a great idea. However, I wasn’t aware of some of the things that came with it.
Over the past couple of years, I had to change and update my goals
Here are some things I wish I would have told myself before staying at home:
Enjoy the time with your children
Staying at home enabled me to do so many things with our children that I previously had not been able to. I volunteered at school whenever I had the chance. Going on field trips was easier because I didn’t have to get approval for leave months ahead of time. All I had to do was get a babysitter for Olivia if she couldn’t come. They love spending the summer with me and we keep busy as well.
Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean you need to be busy ALL THE TIME
Sometimes, I get it in my head that I’m not adding my share if I’m not working or keeping busy. Just because I stay at home, doesn’t mean my husband is the only one who earns income for the family. I want to contribute but that doesn’t mean I have to.
I took about half of Olivia’s pregnancy doing less than normal. For one, because I could. I was also very tired. The past couple of months, I’ve over committed myself. I’ll have to find a balance. And I will.
It isn’t always easy
I get lonely. At one point, the only person I had to talk to during the day was baby Olivia. I still get lonely at times but I have better ways of managing it. I schedule play dates or Target shopping trips with friends. I need to get better at scheduling time for myself.
It also doesn’t help that because I work at home, I am sometimes thought of as someone who is free to do whatever anyone needs me to do. I’ve always been a helper and as soon as someone learns I work from home, they assume it really means I have unlimited free time. I could be what I think but so far, it’s been about right.
Accept help when you need it
I hate asking for help. There, I said it.
So, I end up stressed out instead of just asking someone for help. I think part of it is because I just don’t trust that people will be as helpful to me as I am to them. I’ve gotten better at it but I still need to make sure I ask for help and again, TAKE TIME FOR MYSELF.
You don’t have to prove your worth to anyone
This one is the most important. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone: what I do, whether or not I’m actually busy. I can’t worry about how it will come across if I take my daughter to her favorite place once a week when I could be working. Don’t feel like you’ve got to be what people think you should be. Do whatever your family has chosen.