As some of you may already know if you follow me on instagram, I recently decided to leave my job as a writer/editor and embrace full-time mom life for a while. I’m really happy about this step; this time goes by so ridiculously fast and I’m excited about being with my kids all the time while they’re so little, but I agonized over the decision. Ultimately I decided that it’s the best thing for my family right now, but if you’re on the fence (or think that might be something that you’re interested in doing in the future) here are a few things to consider:
Finances obviously have a huge impact on the decision to stay at home or not. Many women who can survive on their partner’s income still enjoy the financial freedom (and the long list of other intangible benefits) that come with working. But for some women (especially moms of two or more similar aged children) the costs of childcare can outweigh the benefits of working.
When I became pregnant with my oldest son Mason I was pretty astounded by the price of daycares in Northern VA. I ended up negotiating a reasonable rate with a part-time nanny (and splitting childcare duties with my husband on the two days we worked from home- not an easy task). But when I became pregnant with my second son Myles I knew that we would be putting a significant portion of our budget to childcare and that a daycare center for two babies would be incredibly expensive. We moved further out to a less expensive area and I planned to continue using a nanny, but when my plans fell through I had trouble finding a replacement or a daycare that fit our needs. Thankfully we are in a position right now where we can live on my husband’s income, so I felt like it was probably better to just leave work and take care of them myself instead of settling for childcare I wasn’t thrilled about and spending lots of money on it in the process.
If you’re in a position where you want or need to continue working, I recommend that you start looking for childcare as early as possible (seriously, like early in your pregnancy) to secure the best quality care in your budget. Seek out recommendations from family, friends, and co-workers. You may also want to consider flexible arrangements like nanny shares along with more traditional daycare centers and in-home daycares.
Another thing to consider is how much you love your job. If you truly love it or you’re on the track for a career that you’re excited about, you may not be happy staying home. I was happy with my job, but I was also comfortable walking away from it for a while. You may need to do some soul searching but just know that whatever you decide is ok.
In another post I’ll discuss some resources that have been helpful for me. I’d love to hear your thoughts- how do you feel about stay-at-home mom life? If you’re currently (or were previously) a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, what helped me you make that decision? And do you have any tips for others?
Wishing you lots of self-care,
Welcome back! In part 1 of my post on the top 4 misconceptions about millennial motherhood I addressed romance and travel after having kids. In part 2 I’m sharing my thoughts on taking care of yourself and climbing the career ladder. I want to continue to give future and current millennial moms a little encouragement. But if you’ve been through these things and have a different take I’d love to know your thoughts too! If you missed misconception 1 and 2 be sure to check out part 1.
Misconception # 3: You’ll stop taking care of yourself– I’ll admit this one is tough. It’s easy to neglect your own maintenance and self-care when you have another human to look after. There have been plenty of days that I didn’t feel like changing out of my sweats because I knew it was likely that spit up/food/some miscellaneous substance would end up on me. And days that I didn’t relish my normal beauty routine or opted for something quick and unhealthy instead of focusing on eating well. But when you take the time to take care of yourself you tend to feel better. I definitely need a pick me up sometimes and putting on a cute outfit and doing my hair and makeup is a relatively simple way to get a small boost. I feel more capable when I put that effort in. You definitely don’t have to be a celebrity to do this. I have a couple of very glam mom friends who inspire me whenever I see them (my own mother and grandmother are very glam as well and quick to call me out if they think I need to take care of myself better). Taking care of yourself well after kids isn’t always easy but it’s possible and sometimes it’s necessary.
Misconception #4: You’ll lose your ambition/ability to climb the career ladder– Balancing your career with being a mother can be really tough, especially in the early stages. But thankfully there are a lot of companies that support family life. I work at a company that allows me to work from home a couple of days a week, supports breastfeeding mothers, and didn’t treat me any differently when I announced my pregnancy (I still got a raise after my annual review, and the assignments kept coming in). I know that’s not the case for everyone though and if you work at a place that you feel really doesn’t support you as a mother, then it may be best to move on if you can. And yes you can look for a new job while pregnant! I did with my first, and when I got an interview with my current company during my first trimester I was so nervous about when I should tell them and how they would react. It’s pretty sad that pregnant women even have to worry about employers’ reactions. I ended up waiting until I got my offer (and before I accepted) to let them know and when I did everyone was very sweet and supportive about it. The right company will understand that you have a right to start a family if and when you choose.
In the DMV area in particular there are a few large companies that offer benefits like paid maternity leave and backup childcare. And government positions often come with a lot of scheduling flexibility. I also consider myself lucky to work with other women who embraced motherhood and still continued to climb the career ladder. And there are more opportunities than ever to do something entrepreneurial from home. The bottom line is it’s not easy but giving life definitely doesn’t have to stop your career growth if you’re working. There’s also nothing wrong with having children and deciding to stay home with them if you can, you never know how you’ll feel until the option is presented to you, we all have different paths.
Those are my thoughts on some of the top misconceptions about millennial motherhood, If you have questions or comments about anything, including job hunting or work-life balance as a mom I’d love to chat.
As always wishing you lots of self-care,
Hello lovely readers,
I wanted to start off with a little bit about myself before we get to the good stuff. My name is Courtney. I’m a 29 year old woman living in Northern Virginia (The DMV area). I have a 17 month old toddler named Mason, and a 3 week old baby boy named Myles (and before you ask, no we didn’t plan it this way, but I think there are some positives about a close age gap and we can get more into that later). I’ve been married for 2 years, although my husband and I have been together since our senior year of college at UVa back in 2011. I was an English major in college and I’m a writer/editor in government communications by day (but please excuse any grammar mishaps and typos here, I want to write more freely), and sell 90s vintage and vintage-inspired clothes with my hubby by night- check out our etsy page here. I’m starting this blog as a way to address a lot of issues surrounding motherhood that are important to me.
The first is that millennial motherhood comes with its challenges. We live in an age where women are told to delay motherhood in favor of their careers and instagram worthy vacations (and there is nothing wrong with that) but as someone who’s slowly building a career and still wants the instagram worthy vacations, I’m juggling how to have it all without going off the deep end, and want to share stories, tips, and resources (and get all of those things from you guys as well!). When I announced my first pregnancy shortly after my wedding, a lot of people told me I was joining the motherhood club too early, that my husband and I would be missing out on valuable time as just the two of us. But I think we both can say that our lives have felt fuller since Mason, and I feel like I’ve grown so much as a person as a result of having to care about someone more than myself.
I got similar negative reactions when I announced my second pregnancy. So many people, even strangers, said two under two would drive me and my husband crazy. But we’re all surviving so far. And while the newborn stage (and all of the hormone changes and sleep deprivation that come along with it) made me feel isolated the first time, I actually feel more connected to my husband after having Myles. The point is motherhood doesn’t have to have a bad rep as a millennial. It’s hard work but it’s seriously amazing! The second is that because motherhood in general is such hard work (some days it takes all of you and then some) connecting with and supporting other mothers is key to our survival. So is self-care, so I’ll be talking about that a lot.
I also just want to share some tips and products that I think are helpful as I discover them. There will be a lot of content for moms in general, but some just for moms of boys (because I think we get the short end of the stick when it comes to some of the fun stuff like baby clothes). This isn’t my first attempt at blogging- as some of you may know I had a very brief stint in law school, which led to my earlier blog Law Books and Lipstick (and a lot of student loans). I’ve also been a contributing blogger on The Real Chic Life (run by my Mom, who also has an amazing instagram). I’ll repost this in my about me section. I’d love your comments, questions, and suggestions.
Wishing you lots of coffee and self-care,