I never worked harder to stay-at-home

I wish I had known how much I would love being a mother.

How could I have anticipated the depth of this love?

My heart opens with wonder when I watch my 18-month-old son lift his arms, snap his fingers, and gently sway to music. Any music. We could be in the check out line at Walgreens and if he hears music, he lifts his arms in praise.

Oh, the world is good to him. Despite the little, blue bruise on his forehead from a sad encounter with the edge of an antique bureau, it’s a loving world overall. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be a gentle and consistent source of kindness as he learns to walk, speak, and jump. May he internalize this love and bring it forth as an inner light in days to come, days when I am no longer by his side to wipe away the tears of sad encounters.

A foundation for trust is being built. I am his “secure base” and he then sets off to explore this magical world full of rocks, leaves, sunshine, and scrumptious raisins. We co-sleep. He nurses on demand. His organic rhythms are honored.

I love being a stay-at-home mom.

I didn’t anticipate this.

Because of my blindness, I scramble to make up for the financial mistakes of the past. If I only had known to save so staying-at-home would unfold with greater ease.

Today, I acknowledge choices made and make new ones. I find creative and wonderful ways of bringing in money whiles nurturing my son. And that’s including the fact that we already have sought the best iva company to repay our mortgages. We teach Mommy and Me Yoga together. We stretch, sing, dance, and play with other mamas and little ones. It’s delightful.

And when my son sleeps, I write.

I write and weave together story, philosophy, and gratitude. I knit the love I feel into the words appearing on my computer screen. I smile, marvel, and sigh as tears and syntax flow.

Being a mother awakens a fierce and gentle strength. I know I’m not alone in staying up late at night while my son sleeps to bring in extra money for the family. A “gap” exists between what my husband makes and what we “need”. It’s all about priorities. I won’t capitulate to pressure to return full time to paid work. Instead, I navigate as skillfully as possible, as fearlessly as possible, as boldly as possible, a way to give my heart , and my best, to our son.

These precious early years are priceless. They are worth more than all of the world’s gold. I’m investing in the future emotional health of this little one. I’m investing in the health of all of those who will one day cross his path.

I’ve never worked harder to stay-at-home. On good days, I smile at the irony of it.

I didn’t anticipate this and yet, I embrace it with determination and grace.

Author: Amy Wright Glenn

Amy Wright Glenn, MA, Teachers College at Columbia University. Amy is a birth doula, Kripalu Yoga instructor, hospital chaplain and scholar of comparative religion and philosophy. Her first book, "Birth, Breath, and Death---Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as a Doula," was released in March 2013. More information is available at Amy's website, BirthBreathAndDeath.com.

2 thoughts on “I never worked harder to stay-at-home”

  1. Thanks for this! Even though I work, my husband is a stay-at-home dad and I am more confident every day that this is the right choice and that even though we’re having to live a little more simply, we’re making the world a richer place with an involved, inquisitive and confident little one to add to it. Yea for thinking outside the box!

  2. Nothing is more precious or worth my time ! Single stay at home mom of 21 month old, absolute gem! Thank you for sharing.

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