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My first day as a stay-at-home mom

Today is my first day as a stay-at-home mom.

Early this morning, my first subconscious waking thoughts were about what I might wear to work today. Typical Monday morning thoughts. Would the baby sleep in long enough for me to sneak in the shower? What would I pack for lunch? What stories am I working on this week?

Then I realized, kind of momentously, that I’m not going to work today. I resigned weeks ago, had been thinking about resigning for months before, yet this morning it finally hit me: I’m now a stay-at-home mom.

So I fed my 9-month-old baby, Georgiana, avocados and egg yolks and crawled around with her on the floor all morning. Then I made a meatloaf for dinner, and played some more. It rocked; I know I’m privileged.

Baby G eating

Even still, it’s likely a wave of inferiority will hit me later. For two years, I’ve been able to answer the famous default small talk question – “So, what do you do?” – with my go-to reply. I’m a reporter, I’d say, and I’d throw an example or two of things I cover.

Lisa Endlich Heffernan, New York Times bestselling author and blogger at Grown and Flown, wrote earlier this summer that “What do you do?” are the four most scary words a stay-at-home mom can hear. She confesses that she left her career with a feeling of failure, even though she relished being home with her babies.

“Not long after leaving my job I was still answering the question of what I did with what I used to do. Stay at home moms are quick to say that they were once a journalist, a lawyer, or worked in advertising … But it is not long before the answer began to feel musty and worn, a little outdated and almost desperate. Still in my 30s I was living in my own past, trying to convince myself and others to take me seriously for things I had once done,” Hefferman writes in the Atlantic.

So true. Already, I’ve told people I plan to “write from home,” and I do. Really, one of the only perks of writing is it can be done anywhere. May as well take advantage of that. But I think it’s telling that “freelancer” is a more comfortable title for me to assume than “stay-at-home mom.”

But for now, I’m riding the wave of appreciation for not having to scramble out of the house this morning, not having to leave Georgiana in the (very competent) hands of her grandma, and not having to nurse my baby in the parking lot of my office building over my lunch break.

Some of my friends never considered working after having a baby. Others of my mom friends would never consider not working. I, always conflicted, teetered for months. I’m still unsure.

 goutside

In the absence of a “REAL JOB”, I’m already scheming up new tricks, all of which will be recorded in this little nook of the Web. I’m just getting started on Etsy, we are in the process of buying this sweet little tudor from the 1920s, and I’ve made the decision to start flossing, turn off my laptop at nights, stop using Q-Tips in my ears (at least not more than once a week), wipe down grocery store shopping carts before Baby G puts her mouth all over them,  and stop letting her chew on magazines, among other really cool stuff.

The blog’s title, Creating Mom, has a two-fold meaning. I like to create stuff (repurposing thrift store finds, DIY home projects, lazy sewing, etc), so I’ll be photographing those adventures and sharing them here. But I’m also here to write about my (messy) transition to motherhood. In a literal sense, I’m creating myself into a mom. Will you join me for the ride?

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1 Comment

  1. Paula W on October 18, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Carly, I can totally relate. People seem to minimize the stay at home role, and almost look down on us as if we are taking the easy way out. I fondly think of the popular NBS hit show, The Office, in which Jim lies about how long his jury duty lasted in order to finagle some extra time off to help his wife Pam at home with their little one. After his lie was discovered, the initial reaction from his coworkers was outrage. But when Pam and the baby visit the office, everyone saw that staying home with the baby was “No Vacation!”

    People who work out of the home are able to focus, achieve goals, and be productive without constant distractions. They deal with and communicate with (most of the time) adults all day, who are self-sufficient, mature, & rational. Kids are a lot of work, and being on deck all the time can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally. It can be frustrating dealing with toddlers who throw fits, and you feel like your parenting is always going one step forwards, two steps back.

    I blame American culture. It idolizes career driven women, while painting stay at home moms as lazy and unmotivated. But studies show that the first year of a baby’s life is crucial for developing healthy attachment, and the presence or lack of this can set the tone for the way the child sees the world for years to come. Just try and tell us that doesn’t matter. Plus, its the 21st Century after all. Who says we can’t be productive and still be active with our kids? There are online classes, home and internet based businesses.

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