After Baby: The Moment I Knew I Had To Quit Work

Joanna was at her desk at work when her water broke with her first child. A self-described "career person," she talks about why she decided to stay home and the biggest challenge she faces.

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I'm Joanna. And I am a stay-at-home mom for seven years. I have a seven-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter. [MUSIC] I was 37 when I had my son, so I consider that sort of starting late. It was definitely a planned pregnancy. We'd been trying for about six months. My water broke at my desk so I was working up until my son was born, literally. I was in denial that I was having a baby. I think a lot of working moms feel that way, that they'll have plenty of time to get everything done. And I kept putting it off and was working these crazy long hours until literally I was on the phone with a client and I said. Oh, something's happening. Called my husband, I said I think we have to go to the hospital. And I just sort of snuck out of the office to go have my baby. When you come home with a newborn who is colicky and figuring it all out, you feel very isolated, and trapped. And you're not gonna know anybody or meet anybody. So the Internet proved to be an amazing resource, just even emailing with people, just before we were able to get out and find each other for coffee. You just have to be resourceful. If you're gonna sit home alone, it's not gonna work. [MUSIC]. I had some fantasy that I'd also be able to work from home part-time. In my head, I thought. Oh, I'm a career person. And I can work from home and be. Stay at home mom. My son became colicky at four weeks old, he would cry from ten in the morning until ten at night. So when my maternity leave was over, which was technically 12 weeks, I remember going to the office and he was just starting to quiet down from the colic, and I thought, how could I now even consider going back to work when I haven't got any time with him being. A calm happy baby. [MUSIC] To incomes natural make things so much easier, and with one income relying on one person is so difficult. Checking in with your spouse about every purchase that you're making. So, it becomes very much a month to month. What is coming in, balancing budgets. What we can spend on signing up for classes, what's worth it for now, and at the same time, trying to make sure that we're saving for a future for them. You have to just have an open dialogue about what your weekly expenses look like. The working parent whether it's the mom or the dad really doesn't have a good sort of hold on reality about what things cost. Day to day. [MUSIC] I think the hardest thing about deciding to be a stay at home mom is giving up independence. When you are a stay at home mom and you are relying on a husband or a partner, you give that up completely and that is definitely the hardest, to feel dependent on someone else. I was raised by a single mom. I was always told to take care of myself. But I would never trade a minute of being home with either of my kids. And seeing the first time they walked or, you know, their first words or even some of the goofiest stuff. Even the stuff that annoys me with them. I would have not wanted to see somebody else do that.

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