I never really thought I’d be a stay at home mom. A long time ago, I mean. I never pictured myself as the type of person who just… stayed home all day with a baby.
And then I had a baby.
As a teacher, my maternity leave began in May when my son was born, went through the summer, and up into October. In my district, you’re allowed to request one or two years of child care leave after your maternity leave is up. I ended up requesting a year off, and figured that by then, I’d be okay with leaving my son and we’d have day care all figured out and I’d be ready to go back to work.
Except I wasn’t. I’m not. I can’t.
I was dreading the thought of going back to work. Especially the thought of going back to work knowing that my salary would be basically just be going toward the exorbitant cost of daycare. The thought of me going to work, just so someone else could spend all day with my son, really bugged me.
I remember running into one of my husband’s friends at the grocery store awhile back. I was pregnant, and her son, a little over a year old, was sitting in the shopping cart. She told us that he took his first steps at daycare. That thought stuck with me.
I know there are some people that want to go back to work. And there are some people who simply HAVE to go back to work. I was stuck in this weird place of not wanting to go back, but not knowing what I could possibly do. I didn’t want to leave my son, but I still wanted to contribute to our finances. A teacher’s salary isn’t all that great, but it’s better than nothing.
I’ve always wanted to write. With three novels under my belt, and a fourth one coming out in May, it’s been a hobby, a project, a dream.
Once I found my groove as a mom, I started writing some more. I started blogging and writing for Mommy Effect. I started selling pieces and looking for places where I could submit parenting stories. I wrote a couple pieces for Scary Mommy. I applied for a writing job with Baby Gaga. The editor told me she’d previously read one of my Scary Mommy posts and was excited to add me to the team.
And somewhere in the middle of all of that, I realized – I was a writer.
I’m really doing this. I’m finally doing something I’ve always dreamed about doing. I’m a writer.
I resigned from my teaching job. A few hours after my resignation letter went in the mailbox, I got an e-mail with another job offer writing parenting posts.
This is really happening.
It’s not easy. I’m juggling multiple deadlines for multiple publications, trying to promote a book, and eventually, I’d like to write another one. Plus I’ve got a ten-month old who’s constantly on the move and is going to start walking any day now. So I cram in what I can during nap time, at night, and on weekends. Much like teaching, my pay as a freelancer isn’t all that great, but it’s better than nothing.
But I’m doing what I love, and I love what I do.
And I’m at home with my son.
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