So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I told my friend I was going back to work full-time. 

I thought I was past this. I thought I had made peace with it.

But the tears on my face tell me otherwise. 

It’s been six years since I’ve worked full-time outside of the house. Six years in which I’ve grown accustomed to being home with my boys all the time (for better or worse).

I’ve enjoyed being able to do laundry during the week instead of all on a Saturday. It’s been wonderful to go grocery shopping first thing in the morning on a weekday and not have to deal with the crazy Saturday shopping crowd. I get to go on coffee dates with my girlfriends and have playdates for my youngest while the oldest is in school. Being home has allowed me a flexible schedule in which I can continue directing theatre at our local elementary school. My family can travel whenever we want and not have to worry about me taking time off from work. It has truly been a blessing. 

But that’s all about to change.

When my oldest was born, I was working full-time outside the home. He would go to daycare every day and I would miss him terribly. I’d pick him up from daycare at the end of the day and our sweet childcare provider would tell me about all the funny and cute things he had done that day. I hated that I missed any of those moments. He even took his first steps at her house. And I missed it. 

So, when I got pregnant with our second child, a strong desire to stay home started to grow within me. When my husband and I realized that if I kept working, my entire salary would go to daycare, we decided I would stay home. If the options were to work and make no money or stay home with my boys and make no money, the answer was a no-brainer. I wanted to be with my boys more than anything. It meant a lot of sacrifices and things were extremely tight financially, but God always provided for us and we made it work. 

When my little guy was one, we made a big move from Illinois to South Carolina. It was quite a change for us, but it was a great one. However, we soon realized in order to survive financially, I would need to work. I dreaded it. I wanted to work from home so I could still care for our boys. God provided the perfect part-time work from home job through a friend of mine from church.

This job has been wonderful. It helps us out financially and has allowed me the flexible schedule I’ve wanted (and needed) over the past four years. Because I work from home, we can go on vacation or visit family and I don’t have to take time off. I just bring it with me. My job is only really busy four months of the year. The rest of the time it’s very slow, which works out well for a stay-at-home mom. 

But we all know things change, and as they say, “All good things must come to an end.” 

I’m at that end. 

We’ve come to the point where we need to buy a new car. There’s also still some debt hanging over our heads we’d like to get rid of once and for all. We’d like to have more of a savings account (who wouldn’t?). And at the top of the list is the fact that my youngest will be starting kindergarten this year. That means both boys will now be in school all day. So we knew it was time for me to get a full-time job outside of the house. 

As I’ve thought about it over the past six months, dread has filled me. My anxiety has been rearing its ugly head more often. While I know it’s necessary for me to go back to work, I’m not ready. 

While a full-time job means a substantial pay increase, it also means a lot of change is imminent. It feels like I’m losing more than I’m gaining and that’s what scares me.

I won’t be able to bring my work with me anytime I go on a trip. I’ll be tied to using vacation time instead. I know that may not seem like a big deal, but it will significantly cut down on the amount of travel we do. And we will all miss that. 

Working full-time also means I can’t drop off and pick up my kids from school anymore. That might seem like a small thing, but I really enjoy that extra time with my kiddos. Yes, the carpool line can be a pain in the rear, but I love the before and after school chats I have with my kids every day. 

It means the creative side of me will take a bit of a back seat as well. Working until 5 p.m. each day means I can’t direct the musical at our elementary school. Rehearsals start at three, so it’s just not feasible. Anyone who knows me knows that theatre is my passion (it’s actually what my degree is in!). So, having to cut that out is a huge deal for me. It feels like I’m losing a piece of myself. 

No more morning coffee dates with my girlfriends or getting laundry done while I work. That flexible schedule I love is going out the door.

All of this means a change for my husband as well. He’ll now be carpool dad and making sure the kids do their homework after school. He’ll probably even cook dinner more often. All of which he is actually looking forward to.

He’s ready for all of these changes. But I’m just not. 

But, here I go . . . as my kids head off to school, I’ll be heading off to my first day of work. 

Ready or not, here it comes.

You may also like:

It’s OK to Stay Home, Mama

I’m an Exhausted Working Mom Who’s Ready to Lean Out, Not In

To All the Working Moms Who Are Tired Before They Get to Work

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Leah Stuhler

Leah is a writer/freelance editor and is a theater teacher/director. She is the author of the book The Cupcake Bullies. Leah is also a contributing writer and editor for Military Moms Blog and a contributing writer for Columbia SC Moms Blog. Check her out at

Sometimes I’m Jealous of My Husband’s Friendships

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two men sitting in back of pickup truck smiling with fishing gear

I see him pick up his phone and smirk. He’s quick to respond, his thumbs fly across the keys. It isn’t long before another notification grabs his attention, again he’s quick to reply. The dimples I adore flash across his face and the cycle continues. And it hits me. I’m sometimes jealous of the friendships my husband has with his buddies. They text each other about the simplest (and dumbest) of things. They ask each other how to fix things. They show each other ads on Marketplace for cars or lawnmowers or whatever one of them is looking for. They...

Keep Reading

A New Friend Is Worth the Effort

In: Friendship, Living
Two friends chatting and having coffee in a shop

I moved to Los Angeles—sight unseen—when I was in my 20s. After working in film and television production for many years, I married my husband and we had two kids, but I never found the deep friendships I knew growing up in Oklahoma. I had been told my loneliness would be cured once I had kids. Everyone assured me the sheer number of opportunities for mommy friends would abound once I was carting around a stroller and a diaper bag. But no matter how many Mommy and Me music classes or park activities I signed up for, I was years...

Keep Reading

“Tell Me Three Things.” The Friendship Tool You Need Today

In: Friendship, Living
Friends hugging

The “three things” concept came from a friend via text message years ago and is now a go-to conversation starter between us. She’s the type of friend I don’t talk to often but when we do, “three things” gets us caught up on what’s truly important in each other’s lives.   How often are we on autopilot and respond to “How are you?” with a quick “I’m good!” This generic conversation starter typically lends itself to generic answers. We can easily skirt around what’s really going on in our lives by deflecting—“I am great! How are you?” RELATED: Can We...

Keep Reading

We Have a Lot of Pets and It’s the Best

In: Living, Motherhood
Collage of kids with animals, color photo

We are the house with a lot of animals. Yep, that one. Each time I call my mom to delicately mention we are thinking of adopting another pet, I am met with the same disapproving tone, “ANOTHER dog?” Let’s be fair, we are only shopping around for our third. It’s not that crazy, but I get it’s more than most. Oh, and we also have a horse. But hear me out . . .  My oldest son has autism and used to be terrified of our dog. She was patient with him, she kept her distance, and she slowly broke...

Keep Reading

Hello 40, I’ve Been Waiting for You

In: Living
Woman wearing 1983 Original shirt, color photo

Recently, a friend gave me a sweatshirt displaying the words “Nineteen 83 Original.” I slipped the soft fabric over my head and pushed my arms through; the cozy sweatshirt fit perfectly. I looked down at the retro print, loudly and proudly displaying the year: ’83. I contemplated whether to wear it out that night. It was comfortable, I liked the way it felt and looked, and it was honest—I was literally wearing my age. Was that okay?  Would my mom have ever worn a shirt that so boldly proclaimed her age? My aunts? My grandma? Never ask a woman her...

Keep Reading

When Mom Gets a Migraine Life Must Still Go On

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother has a headache, sitting on the couch with kids running around in blur

I can’t tell the story of paramedics from the angle from which they see things, but I can tell it from the angle of the person looking up at them—the one lying in the medically-equipped vehicle with lights flashing and siren audible. There are some lessons in life we learn by blindside—we are thrust into them. That was me that May day in the ambulance.  I had known about migraines; I had decades of first-hand experience with them. I knew vision could be temporarily taken. I have operated countless days with an invisible hammer continuously beating one side of my...

Keep Reading

My Childhood Home Is Forever a Part of Me

In: Grown Children, Living
Mother, father, daughter, older color photo

Of all the places I will roam, home is forever part of me. I can see the bright, orange poppies coming out to grace the springtime hills. I can hear the classic hymns being played on the familiar piano—its notes drifting God’s praise throughout the house. I can smell the fragrant aroma of brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and oats mixing together to make the cookies of my childhood. I can touch your warm embrace—the firm hug that has always communicated that it will all be okay, that God has us held in the palm of his hands. I can taste...

Keep Reading

Our Kids Need to See Us Slow Down Too

In: Living, Motherhood
Friends with feet up around a fire pit, color photo

I have a girlfriend who has a lake house just over an hour away. It’s in a small town that has a local Mexican restaurant with a fun, easy-going staff that feels like they have to be family. There have been times over the last few years that something about that casual, bright restaurant with its rowdy waiters and surprisingly outstanding, cheap food makes me feel so content. The small lake town is not that far from home, but it feels far enough away to be unavailable to my responsibilities and have a tiny piece of that vacation vibe (without...

Keep Reading

Dear Teachers, Thank You Will Never Be Enough

In: Kids, Living
Kids hugging teacher

Growing up a teacher’s daughter has given me a lifetime of appreciation for educators. Of course, it’s true; I may be biased. I’ve been fortunate to have learned and been guided by many outstanding teachers, including my mother and grandmother, who passed those legacy skills onto my daughter, who strongly feels teaching is her calling. But if you’ve had your eyes and ears open in recent years, you, too, probably feel deep gratitude for the angels among us who work in the school system. So, as the school year ends, and on behalf of parents, grandparents, and anyone who loves...

Keep Reading

When the Last Baby Graduates

In: Grown Children, Living, Motherhood
Graduate with parents smiling, cap and gown

We’ve been through this before, so we know the waves of emotions that roll through us. When our kids graduate—be it from preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, or college—we moms come to terms with one season ending and a new one beginning. RELATED: I Blinked and You Went From Kindergarten to College When it’s your last child who is graduating from college, this can feel like uncharted territory. Yes, we know that we find new rhythms to our relationship from having gone through this with our other child(ren). But we as moms have not yet left the college...

Keep Reading