Journey to Becoming a Stay at Home Mom

May 29, 2009 Katja Presnal

Guest post by Charlene Haugsve


photo: Green Wellies

I used to have a fast paced career in sales.
Fun? Check!
Interesting? Check!
Stressful? Check!

Then I became a mom.

Sales is an incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding career path. My cell phone was turned on 24/7 and I can’t tell you how many times I jumped out of bed at 3am to check a message or grab a call. I thrived on the roller coaster- sashaying into my office when I was on top and lurking in dark corners when I had a lackluster month.

My husband and I had a comfortable income and enjoyed our lifestyle. When we got pregnant, I thought things would stay the same.  I would return to work and we would arrange for daycare. I have always been motivated and ambitious and I figured I would have the baby and then start looking into opportunities to advance my career. After all, I had just spent a lot of time and money getting my MBA so I could take the next step.

Once I had the baby, I began to realize I simply didn’t care anymore. What?! I used to lay awake nights replaying conversations over and over- obsessed with why something went wrong at work . Now I couldn’t focus long enough to compose a quick email. Was this the same person that would panic if they slept past 7am? What was happening to me? I simply couldn’t muster the motivation to care about what my competitors were doing, the latest gossip at work or who was buying what from whom. I was busy taking naps with the baby.

I went back to work after five weeks of maternity leave and regretted every moment I was away. Yet when I was home I felt guilty for enjoying time with my daughter instead of being productive at work.

A few months after my return, I was driving my daughter to daycare on the way in to work. We were about an hour late and facing serious traffic and my stress level was through the roof. I was attempting to eat a sandwich, drive, sing to the baby and instinctively grabbed at the phone when it started to ring. I had an epiphany at that moment and realized I was not the Super Mommy multi-tasker that had it all together. Instead I realized I was a disaster waiting to happen- after all was that call important enough to risk our safety? We were in traffic, in a rainstorm and I was steering with my knee and grabbing through my purse to get the phone.
Shortly thereafter circumstances at work made it impossible for me to stay and I quit. It has been seventeen months since I resigned from the corporate world and we now have our second child. Our lifestyle has changed radically for the better. I no longer own a cell phone. Yes, I really do not have a cell phone. I haven’t missed it for a second. It has been very difficult to go from two incomes to one- and I have started blogging about our quest to live well on less at My Frugal Adventures.

Being a stay at home mom is more challenging than I ever thought it would be but overall I love every minute of it. I am actually happy to wake up every morning rather than waking up in a constant state of panic to do more.

Guest pots by  Charlene Haugsven.

Charlene is a stay at home mom of two girls in California.  She can be found blogging at My Frugal Adventures.

Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live Nordic inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comments (6)

  1. Shannon C

    I am considering staying at home if my husband and I have more children. Our 3 year old daughter died last year and I wish I would have stayed home with her. We are in the planning stages so it’s good to hear that fear is something that everyone has dealt with when determining this major lifestyle change.
    Shawna H., you are so right, there will be plenty of time to work when they grow up.
    Good luck to everyone.

  2. Good for you! I took a slower approach to leaving the corporate world and am now wondering why I did it that way? I am much happier staying at home with my 3 kids because I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.
    There will be plenty of time to work once they’re all grown up!

  3. How ironic to read this today. Today is my last day working outside the house. I am filled with mixed emotions – joy, fear and sadness. Thank you for this post!

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