4.07.2014

Real Talk: Deciding to Stay at Home

I've never really talked about my job on this blog because I always felt it was better to leave this blog and my work separate.  As my life has changed so much over the past 9 months I thought that I should share what I've been doing with work and what I ultimately decided to do. 

Long story short I was a real estate agent before I had Miller and I actually went back to work when Miller was just 4 weeks old. I had 3 deals that were closing in August 2013 and the guy who was supposed to be helping me completely bailed.   Thankfully I could do most of my work from home and I was lucky to have the help of my sister since she was off work for the summer.  After I closed all those deals in August I kept on working as much and as often as was fesible with a newborn and no outside help.  I continued to work as I still had a listing until October 2013. It was stressful and not fun at all.  I had the worst attitude about it and the guy that I was working with at the time, another agent who has children himself actually said to me numerous times that he thought I really should have been working harder.  Mind you I hadn't even planned to go back to work until the end of September and I was still running on 3-4 hours of sleep so I my head would just be fuming anytime he spoke to me.  At that point I decided to take the rest of the year off to be at home, enjoy my baby and not have any outside stresses.  I'm very lucky to have that flexibility in my career.    As you may or may not know real estate agents work strictly on comission so if you aren't working then you aren't making any money.  So all of my time off was unpaid.   

Miller- 4 weeks old

My husband was very adamant about me staying home once Miller was born.  At first I was excited because to be honest I never thought I would stay at home.  It was just assumed that I would be going back to work, I knew that it wouldn't maybe be in the same capacity as it was pre-baby but I never thought that I would strictly be a stay at home mom.  While Kyle felt this way I was really still on the fence about everything.   
Real estate is a hard career to get started up in so I didn't just want to cut the cord 3 months after Miller was born and be done- what if once he got a few months older I got bored?  What if I didn't really like being at home?  What if I wanted adult interaction? What if I wasn't good at being home alone with a baby all day?   All of these things went through my head often and I worried about how I would handle my role at home. 
Ultimately we decided that in January 2014, when Miller was 6 months old, I would start working part time again.  I would mostly work from home but try to pick up clients/work on weekends and evenings as often as I could. My manager was very open to this idea and was willing to work we me to help make the transition smooth which was so nice to hear.  Well fast forward to January and with the kitchen renovation and Kyle traveling pretty much every single week that month it just didn't end up being fesible.  I was doing my research and learning the market again but I just didn't have the time to really reach out to clients the way I wanted to and dedicate time to them.   I then said February would be it and then March. 

Eventually we realized that without putting Miller in daycare or getting a nanny I just wasn't going to be able to go back to work.  Kyle's schedule is just too busy and unpredictable and with no guarantee of income on my end we just couldn't justify paying someone to watch Miller if I was only maybe going to make money.   
 So while I have unofficially been staying home since October I am now officially staying home full time.  I put my license in referral which means I can refer clients to other agents and get a small fee off of it, plus it's an easy way for me to eventually get back into the business in a couple of years when Miller is going to school and has a more set schedule. 

I'm not going to lie, not having my own income for the first time since I was 16 years old is hard but so far I LOVE being at home with Miller so much more than I ever thought I would.  I really think I was made for this, it just feels more comfortable to me that any job ever did.   Not everyday is rainbows and sunshine but I would take this over cranky clients every day.    I know that staying at home is not an option for everyone and I feel so incredibly blessed that I am able to do this while Miller is young.  
I also want to give props to working moms.  My mom worked my entire life and still does and I just cannot imagine how she did it.  She always looked incredible, kept an impeccable home, had a thriving career and marriage, and managed to raise two kids and take us to all 100 of our sports and activities all with a smile on her face.  Now that I'm a mom I constantly ask her how she did it and managed to stay sane!  

So do you work or stay home?  Are you happy with your decision?  I'm not trying to start a debate on the subject just more interested in others opinions!   If you don't have kids yet do you think you'll work or stay at home once you do? 


34 comments :

  1. I think when we have kids I will def. be a stay at home. If you have the ability to stay home and raise them, and you won't miss the work world, then you should do it! My mom stayed home with us and I couldn't imagine having been raised differently.

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  2. I'm always interested to hear others' stories about the decision to stay at home or keep working. It is something that I struggle with constantly. Being a mom in any situation is tough! Miller is a little nugget in that 4 week old picture! Sweet, little baby!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your story! I decided to work part time from home for now. I was fortunate to have a full time job before (in an office) that is flexible and has allowed me to maintain a lower number of clients and work from home so I can be with my daughter. For us, it has been a wonderful compromise. Like you, I appreciate that it allows me to keep my foot in the working world so I might have an easier time transitioning back to more work after she starts school. You never know where life will take you, ya know? Thanks again for sharing - your little guy is so sweet!

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  4. You are very lucky to have the option to stay home. I wish I could stay home at least part time. I would love more time with Hunter during the week but I also wouldn't want to take him out of daycare completely because he loves it there and learns so much, so part time would be my ideal. However, it's not feasible right now financially especially since we get our health insurance through my job.

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  5. I can imagine that being a realtor with a little one would be tough. Flexibility is great - until you try to arrange childcare, right? And it seems like realtors are ALWAYS working. Clients call all times of the day. I know the decision to stay home or work outside the house can be so tough and is different for everyone. It always baffles me how people can make such judgment about such a personal and tough decision. I'm glad you're enjoying staying home with sweet Miller.

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  6. Oh Mama, I am so happy that you've come to a decision. I know we've e-mailed back and forth about jobs and being a sahm... it's truly so hard to balance it all and you have to do what's best for your family, and it sounds like you totally have! Congrats to you. Now you can focus 100% of yourself on your family and on yourself without the pressures of "work" interfering... Who am I kidding? Haha!! You NOW have the most demanding boss in the history of bosses (Lord knows I do) and he's not even 1 year old yet ;)

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  7. That is never an easy decision. Cheers to you for finding what works best for you and your family.

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  8. I have three kids (1,5,8) and I stay home full time since #3 was born. I worked part-time teaching with #1 and #2. It was great but got harder as #1 and #2 got older and my husband's job grew more demanding. I just couldn't put the time into it if it couldn't get it done at school. I love being home but it is not without sacrifice. Some days are hard but my kids and husband need me home during this season of our lives. It is all hard and no decision made about kids is an easy one. I have so many Mom friends that do it all which-a-ways and it all takes planning, hard work, sacrificing, etc...on everyone's part. I commend all moms and offer no judgement, opinions, etc...bc it is a hard, personal decision and not always a forever decision either;) it's seasonal for us;) Mandy

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  9. I stay at home with my daughter, and I feel very fortunate for the opportunity. Though I do long for a little more adult interaction at times! I feel for you so much -- working when Miller was 4 weeks old? I would have been dead. DEAD. The guy you were working with sounds like a class act, to tell you to work harder. You've got more will power than I do (or at least did at only 4 weeks post partum) that he didn't end up with a bloody nose for saying that! Congratulations on making such a difficult decision -- and when it gets rough or you truly miss being a real estate agent, just remember you can go back in a few years!

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  10. This is something I have started to think about once mini arrives in August. Right now I am looking at coming back to work on January 1st but I am not too excited about it. I work in San Francisco and by train it takes an hour door to door to get from home to work. This stresses me out. I think by child #2 I will become a stay at home mama. And once the kids are in some sort of routine I would like to find part tie work.

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  11. My sister works full time with 3 kids and it is so hard. Granted she has the most amazing nanny but I know she would rather be home if it was financially feasible but unfortunately they cannot swing it at this point. I think it is such a tough decision either way!

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  12. I'm sure this choice wasn't easy, but it sounds like a lot of thought was put into it and that you're doing what's best for Miller and your family.

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  13. I'm so glad you've made a decision you're both happy with! I've done both (but you know that) and while there are pros and cons to both, I wouldn't have traded staying at home while they were tiny for anything!

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  14. I'll never forget the day I went back to work after having my son. It might have been the hardest day of my life! That being said, I've been a working mom (teacher) for the first almost 8 years of my son's life. We are making a big move from MD to CO this fall and for the first time in nearly 20 years I will be unemployed as of the first week in June. I'm looking forward to taking at least a year off as we get to know our new community etc., but just like you shared, I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about it. I guess time will tell and I figure I can very likely substitute or something part time if I decide I need to get back into it. I won't lie, I worry about the financial piece and how our life might look a little different without me working (although most of my current salary goes right back to our school to pay my son's tuition). Enjoy these years will little Miller- they go QUICK!!!

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  15. Loved reading this. What great insight into the hard choices that have to be made! When our daughter arrives next month (!!!), I will plan to take off three months and then return to work. I would love to be a SAHM but right now it just makes the most sense for us to be a two-income family (plus I carry our insurance). Now, with that said, we will see how it all goes ... but that's the plan :)

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  16. Such a tough choice but it sounds like you made the best decision! I planned on working full time (after three month leave) while bringing Weeks with me to work. Oh hell no that did not happen! I am lucky to have an extremely flexible (family oriented) Job and work a few days a week while weeks stays with my MIL. You really don't know until you try it out and see what works best for your fam! Each family is different and different things work for different people! :)

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  17. Great post! I know a lot of bloggers are SAHM and always wonder how they got to that decision. We don't have kids yet but being a nurse I'm fortunate to only work 3 days a week. I could also work weekends only which is 2 shifts and get paid as much as if I worked 3 shifts. Either way my mom is retired and would more than love to watch our child when we have one. With my schedule although I work full time I can still be home 4 days out of the week which is very lucky. Sounds like you made the best decision for you and Miller. I'm sure a SAHM isn't as easy as everyone thinks it is and I know y'all don't get enough credit.

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  18. Good for you girl! That is always such a hard situation to be in and you have to do what is best for you and your family. Real estate is so sales heavy that you will be able to relearn the market and get back in when you're ready - you're smart! I got laid off during my maternity leave and went back to work at a new job for a few weeks when Avery was a baby but I was so sad every day that I put her in daycare. I think I lasted three weeks. I worked from home and got my master's from home after that. I found freelance jobs I could do and a company that let me bring her with me to job sites. So perfect! Since I had Greyson I have been doing real estate marketing and other real estate work. I am giving you big snaps!!

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  19. what a great post - super honest and real, love it. your little guy is adorable and you're doing what is best for your family! not a mother yet, but the plan is for me to stay home one day, hubby is very adamant about it as well. i look forward to the day!

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  20. This is a beautifully transparent post. I loved getting to know you better in this post. You should be so proud of the discernment you showed in making such big life choices for you and your family.

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  21. Glad it all worked out!! I know every mom struggles with this decision. Have fun enjoying all of those precious moments with your little one!

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  22. I admire working mom AND stay at home moms!! I can't imagine :) I think it is wonderful that your job is flexible like that, which is one thing I like about having my company is that some day hopefully I'll be able to do something similar!

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  23. Good for you!! So excited for you. Enjoy your time with that handsome man.

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  24. Congrats on staying home! I still kinda go back and forth about working or staying home. I'm happy with our arrangement, but I also think it would be lovely to stay at home with Mac. Although, not going to lie, I really would miss that paycheck.

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  25. LOVE THIS POST! I had a very similar situation where I tried to work from home starting in October and it was impossible. I had such a hard time switching from baby brain to work brain in a matter of minutes and I was always being distracted by the baby. It was so relieving to finally make the decision to just give the idea up for awhile and reconsider going back to work at a later date when babe is in school. And we are so lucky now because these babies are at the most fun age yet! I'm loving it.

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  26. both Tim and I were children of stay at home moms so for us, it was all we knew. I worked also in Real Estate, but as a staff accountant for a local company (not Realtor). Our plan was for me to stay home until both kids were in school all day. I've been lucky to have a support network and having all our family local. When we moved to VA, we haven't had that and I MISS it so much. I can honestly say that since being here, and not being able to see family/friends as often as I was able to, I'm often ready to go back to work now (as Tim is home too - working on PhD). It's been a whole lot of togetherness at this house...hahah. Nick has another year of preschool, but I may go back sooner (probably part time). I'm not sure if I'll go back to what I was doing or look into something else.

    Aside from all that - best wishes on your decision. I feel blessed that I've been able to spend these years with the boys and I'm sure you will too!!!!

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  27. Awww... so exciting! :) I am a teacher and actually was supposed to go back to work in January, but I just couldn't.... I asked my principal for permission to stay at home for the rest of the year and to return in September when my little guy is ten months old.

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  28. I think that's great that you are able to stay at home.

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