I always enjoy getting a new perspective. I also love to collect snipets of people's lives via interviews. Kristin at Our Growing Garden has very graciously allowed me to interview her about her experience as a stay at home mom. As a working mom, I find it difficult to imagine myself at home all day long just as sure as many sahm's have a difficult time imagining leaving their children all day to work. This is just a quick peek into Kristin's life with her young son, James.
1. What helped you make your decision to be a sahm?
I never really had to decide. From the time I was a little girl, I have always wanted to stay at home and raise babies. Sure, there are days where I would love to be putting my degree to use or have a conversation with an adult but for now, my husband and I strongly agree that a mom should be at home with her babies.
2. What does a typical day look like for you?
James wakes anywhere from 7:00-8:30 am. If he wakes before 8:00 am, I nurse him and put him back to sleep. After he wakes up, we nurse and get him changed and head into the living room for playtime. He plays happily for about 90 minutes before he needs his first morning nap. He naps in the swing and I nap in the guest bedroom for about an hour. He wakes at about 11:00 am and we play until Daddy comes home for lunch. James eats puffs and cut up fruits in the high chair while hubs and I eat lunch together and then James gets to play with Daddy for a bit before he heads back to work. James and I play, read, walk outside for about another hour before he needs his nap at about 1:00 pm. He naps for about 60-90 minutes and this is when I get housework, blogging, reading, “me time” done. After James wakes from his nap we play or I put him in the exersaucer and continue housework. At about 4:00 pm, he starts getting cranky and needs another nap. Daddy comes home at 4:30 pm and after James wakes, it’s “Daddy time” while I start supper. We eat and get James ready for bed starting at 6:30 pm. Bath, nurse, and in the crib at 7:30 pm. Then hubs and I have our time. We usually have a beer and watch one of our shows for awhile on Netflix and talk about our days and just bask in each others company. At about 10:00 pm, I head back to the bedroom and read until James wakes to nurse at about 11:30 pm. He also nurses around 5:00 am. Rinse and repeat. It’s really pretty awesome most days. On the weekends, his schedule is looser and he gets more playtime with Daddy and I get to do things I can’t necessarily do during the day like work in the flowerbed.
3. What is the most challenging thing about staying at home?
Lack of adult interaction and never getting a break. Things have gotten a lot easier once James hit 7 months with him actually taking naps and being able to entertain himself, but when he was a colicky newborn, I thought the day would never end. Those first few months he just cried all day long and we don’t live near family so I had no help. But as a sahm, I have to always be “on.”
4. What is the best thing about being home?
I never miss a thing. I get to witness all his new milestones and tricks. It’s hard not to call hubs at work and say “James just rolled over, sat up, etc!” He also gets the comfort of mommy 24/7. I love knowing that we are both secure in that I can always be there for him.
5. How do friends and family view your decision to stay home?
Very supportive. My mom and mother in law were both stay at home moms. My closest girlfriend is a stay at home mom. I have a group of e-buddies that a lot of are sahm’s and we check in with each other during the day whenever we have a baby question or need to vent. I have never encountered any judgement about my decision to stay at home with James.
6. Have you needed to find ways to help make up the difference of a lost salary?
We really never lost a salary. Right after we got married, we moved to a small town where my husband has a great job as an engineer but unfortunately there weren’t any opportunities for college grads with a degree in biological sciences. So I did things like teach summer camps at a zoo and substitute teach but we never counted on that income to pay the bills. It was just extra. Before we got pregnant, we made sure that we would be able to live comfortably on my husband’s salary alone. Sure, sometimes, I feel inadequate that I don’t contribute to our income, but the benefits of being a stay at home mom far outweigh the money. I do some little things online that help cut back on expenses like earn http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/lonesomedove>Swagbucks and put it towards dog food that we buy on Amazon (sidenote: our dog’s food = $51…he his huge and has allergies) and I blog with SocialSpark and earn some money blogging about products.
All in all, being a stay at home mom definitely challenging but totally worth the rewards. Most days are awesome- I get to play with and teach my little boy all day long. Some days are bad and I feel like I am teetering on the brink of insanity. But this is the life I chose and I would not trade it for the world.
Kristin writes about her life as a first time stay at home mom at www.ourgrowinggarden.com
Read some of my other interviews: