Stay At Home Mom And Beyond

Whenever I meet new people, one of the first questions asked is, “What do you do?” Sometimes, I catch the other person off guard and can hear an audible gasp when I tell them that I am a stay at home mom.

The gasp is often followed by patronizing almost sarcastic sounding comments like “That is the hardest job of all!” or “I think it is so nice that there are still stay at home moms.” Afterwards, the subject is quickly changed and never mentioned again.

This is not one of those articles that argues the pros and cons of being a stay at home mom. While there are many, I became a stay at home mom because it is currently what works for my family. I support any mother’s decision to do what is right for themselves and their family.

While I’m proud of my current stint as a stay at home mom (Charlie survived and the house didn’t burn down), I do think about what I’m going to do when Charlie goes to school. The plan prior to Charlie’s birth feels like it was from another life and will no longer work. Is this a NICU mom issue or is it a general stay at home mom issue?

I realize that I have time to consider my array of options which currently range from obtaining my teaching certification to going to pharmacy school. However, I find my struggle with lack of direction further complicated by Charlie’s early arrival. My interests have been refocused and, in some cases, limited by necessity.

Maybe the thoughts about a future more distant than tomorrow is a sign that I am finally settling into our ordinary routine. Perhaps, I am moving past the initial trauma but continue to be a little lost. At times like these, I really wish there was a road map of how to proceed after a micropreemie birth.

What comes after being a stay at home mom or should I always be one? If I have a difficult time settling back into ordinary society, will reentering the workforce be more of a challenge? More importantly, what do I want to be when Charlie grows up?


Photo credit: Monica DeMariano


About Rebecca Wood

In May 2012, my pregnancy ended three and a half months early due to severe early onset preeclampsia. This is my collection of thoughts and media. It is an attempt to document and discuss our experience of navigating the post NICU world. View all posts by Rebecca Wood

8 responses to “Stay At Home Mom And Beyond

  • Nickie Brook

    I hear what you mean, I have a lot of people asking if I am going back to work in a couple of months and I have my old work calling with issues all the time and when I tell them I am busy, I usually hear, “what you are doing, you just stay at home now” Really? You just said that to me!


    • woodra01

      My husband used to have the same mindset. Every now and then, I have events that take me away for the weekend. When I come back he says things like, “Your job is really hard!” or “I can’t wait to go back to work because your life stresses me out.”


  • Newmom

    I lost my job basically because of Robert’s NICU stay, and then taking FMLA when he came home. My job did not understand that not only could Robert not go to daycare (recommended by his Dr.s), the daycares and nannys we looked into would not even take Robert! He was too much of a risk and did not meet the weight requirement. So I am a stay at home Mom too. Recently though I started working from home, since we are expecting a second we needed the income. I think it’s WAY harder to juggle husband needs, baby needs, housework, and a job from home then to just wake up, drop my kid off and go to work. Because since I am “doing nothing” (in other peoples eyes) they expect 200% from you. Honestly, I think I will grow my home business and always stay at home. It’s better for the kids IMHO.


    • woodra01

      Wow! I am impressed! I have a hard time with managing the preemie stuff, running the household, and keeping up with my husband. I could not imagine running a business as well. Well done!

      I think I want to work outside the home. I am just not sure doing what yet.


      • Newmom

        You will figure it out : ) Every family has to figure what works best for them! My Mom always worked part time as a pharmacist, and I’m glad I had a working mom to look up to!


  • Heather L

    I was lucky in that my employer (a school district) allowed me paid FMLA and then 2 years of unpaid leave (while they held my job). At the end of the 2nd year, I knew that Jack still needed a lot of support and services (from age 2-3), so I resigned. Never have I regretted that decision. If anything, I regret working now (just started back when he turned 3). I never planned to be a stay at home mom, but it turns out I was pretty good at it! I didn’t do so great as a housewife (cooking, cleaning, etc), but as I mom…I did a good job! P.S. I had a hard time reintegrating too…it does get a little easier, but for me, I’m realizing that I’ll never be exactly who I was before Jack and I’m okay with that. I like the new me (even if others don’t always recognize me).


    • woodra01

      Wow, well said! I’ve always been a dynamic character of sorts in my story. However, things changed so much after Charlie was born that it does feel like a different life. Fortunately, I’m okay with the new me too.


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