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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

Stay At Home Mom

Sara: I’ve been pretty blessed – since having Gus, everything has been easier than what I thought it might be. Perhaps it’s because my family and friends have painted me a very realistic picture of what to expect, or perhaps it’s because I tend to plan for less than the ideal situation.

Justin: Perhaps it is because she has such a splendid husband! Or perhaps more likely because I have such a splendid wife!

Sara: In fact, my toughest adjustment to date has been the adjustment from “working mom” to “stay at home mom.”

Because Gus hasn’t really had a daytime schedule since before Christmas, my first goal of staying at home was to try to develop some semblance of a routine for Gus, as we both function better when we know what to expect.

We had a lot of fun – we baked homemade bread, surprised Justin with homemade calzones one night, and played quite a bit. However, I was surprised to see how difficult it was for me to go hours without any adult interaction! When Justin came home from work, I was very glad to see him and have some adult conversation.

Justin: This has taken an adjustment on my part as well. I need time to unwind and let go of the problems at work before I am ready to talk. I used to get home an hour before Sara and was ready to talk when she came in the room. Now, I am learning to make a faster transition from work to home.

Sara: Some days, I just need to run a quick errand so I can have a bit of time without Gus! And sometimes, even though Justin does a lot to help with both Gus and the household items, I feel like Justin should be doing more to give me a “vacation” from the responsibilities of caring for Gus.

While I was working outside of the home, I was working hard. In some ways, I feel taking care of Gus and the household is just as tough as working full-time. I don’t think I ever really gave my stay-at-home mom friends enough credit for their hard work!

I think part of what made the adjustment more difficult was that both of us were unaware that I would need something different from Justin. While at work, I was needed and told a hundred different ways about my value as a person. I used my brain to determine complex situations, and I was constantly evaluating how processes were working. At home, sometimes the most complex thing I do all day is to determine how I can cook dinner and watch Gus at the same time. I really needed some positive affirmation from others that I had worth beyond simply being a mother.

In many ways, it would have been a simpler adjustment if I had not gone back to work. But for a variety of reasons, Justin and I felt it was best that I go back to work for at least a little bit. Week two was a bit easier as Gus and I began to settle into a routine. I also did a better job of making sure I had adult interaction by scheduling an excursion outside of the house each and every day. Justin and I taught RCIA at our local parish, and I worked to organize and sell some items that we no longer need or use so we can clean out our storage. Some of my former colleagues also asked my advice on some projects. I also began to brainstorm on how I can more effectively manage our household from scheduled grocery shopping to cleaning. Basically, I started to think about how I could bless our family and beyond by me having more free time.

Justin: Sara has set about the business of making money by saving money. She is already showing the ingenuity, creativity, and tenacity that she brought to her previous job.

Sara: Despite the hard work and the adjustment of staying at home, I know we made the right decision. Our household is simply more peaceful with me at home! I look forward to seeing many more of Gus’ milestones, including seeing Gus crawl soon!