My Transition from SAHM to Working MoM

This week’s guest post is from… me! Check out my triplet blog here!

3 months ago, just before my triplets 2nd birthday, I felt a certain… itch. As much as I have LOVED being with my children every day for the past two years, I just had this feeling like something had to give. My husband works long and constantly changing hours to support us, we had no babysitters, our budget was stretched to the max, and I was starting to feel like I was cut off from society. My energy was sapped. Then one day, while scrolling through Facebook, I saw that one of my friends had posted something about my old place of employment needing help. It was not for the management position I had when I left, but it would work even better for me since it was fairly flexible position. I jumped on it, starting out part-time. I had to work on my husband’s days off, so we never saw each other anymore for a while, but at the time it was a tradeoff worth taking- I was out of the house on my own for a few days a week, and could help to bring in some money again.

Soon after, a fulltime position opened up which would allow me full medical benefits. Since we were purchasing our insurance privately (which was ridiculously expensive, for very little coverage), this was something I just had to find a way to make happen. It would make the difference between us struggling all the time to make ends meet, and arguing over finances to being able to take a deep breath, and know that we are going to be ok. It all depended on us finding reliable, trustworthy childcare, and we ended up finding a wonderful au pair from Thailand, who is with us now. (This is another post in itself, yes?)

It’s been a few weeks now that I have been back to work fulltime, and so far, so good. I thought I would struggle with a lot of guilt over going back to work, but the truth is, I don’t have time to feel guilty. I get up, go to work, come home, play with and take care of the kids, put them to bed, clean up the house, do laundry- then get up and do it all again. Being back at work makes my days even longer, but my job (and most jobs on earth, I’m betting) is so much easier than taking care of three two year olds, that it feels like a huge break. And I am earning money while I am there, so that I can save for my kids future; family vacations; and God forbid- to get my hair done!
Mentally, going back to work has been really good for me. Being able to drive places by myself now, talk to other adults, and reconnect with my work friends made me realize how isolated I really was as a SAHM. Not to say that all SAHMs are this way, but my particular situation was very difficult, with my husband working such long hours, not having any family in the state, or any babysitters. (If I didn’t have my MoM friends that shared my experience, I would have probably been thrown in the loony bin a long time ago.) I know I am probably preaching to the choir here- but it was hard!

These days- well, it’s still hard, but now I have a chance to go out with my husband once a week. I have joined a gym, and am working out again. I have lessened the financial stress that is on my husband, which makes me feel better too. I still have lots of time with my kids, and although I do miss them terribly when I am away, I come home to them refreshed and energized.
If there is one thing that I have realized since my kids were born, it’s that what worked yesterday, may not work today. Just when you think you have the perfectly-tweaked system, the kids change and we have to figure something else out, and our working/childcare situation is no exception. We just have to be willing and ready to stay on our toes and make adjustments when necessary- that’s all we can do!

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  1. very inspiring lani! since we moved to germany i been a sahm (back in iowa i worked part-time) and i am so ready to go back to work part-time just waiting for the twins to be enrolled in pre-preschool hopefully after this summer. Need to get out of this nuthouse, can't even imagine how it'd be with another one running around here. thanks for this post! have a great day <3

  2. Great post Lani!! I hope to be able to go back to work one day and you just gave me even more hope 🙂

  3. lani,

    every single situation is unique and constantly finding the right solution for each different chapter is hard work. a lot of times i think people get trapped by binary thinking, but things are seldom black or white. most things are gray and continue to evolve. it sounds like you recognize this and have made an outstanding choice, for you AND your family.

    just don't run off and work so hard you can't keep up this site! b/c it's truly, truly impressive. jco

  4. It took me 3 years to get the itch – but I got it too – and was able to enjoy returning to work. Of course now the situation is reversed and hubby stays home.

    You have to post about getting the au pair – I'm sure everyone would like to hear!

  5. Great post! It's oh-so-true about how things change or NEED a change just when you think it's "perfectly all in place". I see a change coming in my near future, regarding the twins' day care. And while it's tough to swallow or even make the step, like JCO said, not all is black and white. Glad it all worked out, and that you and your family found a way for it to work!

  6. Hi Lani. Maybe it is the age but it seems several of us found this to be a great time to get back to work. I'm very encouraged that it is working out well for you! Sounds great!

  7. Congratulations on all of it: the job, finding balance, knowing yourself, and being comfortable with your decisions!

    I've never been an SAHM, but I have no idea how I'd do it. I NEED adult interaction regularly, and am a better mother for it.

  8. Every situation is different but I agree that we need adult interaction. Great post and good luck.

  9. great post Lani!!!Very honest and refreshing!!!

  10. Great post Lani! I sometimes wonder if I'm starting to feel that itch too – something about being trapped inside with three two year olds will do that to a person occasionally I guess!

  11. Wow! You go, girl! Congrats on going back to work and learning to balance being a working mom!

  12. Great post! Important for those of us that stayed home for a while (myself: 3 1/2 years until the kids were healthy enough) to let go of some of the guilt we may feel after going back. Although I miss the time with my kids, I agree with you: It was great for me mentally to get back to work and return to *normal* adulthood, to talk with peers and not almost exclusively to toddlers!

    SAHM moms work hard, and so do working moms! It's all a balancing act!

  13. Wonderful post Lani! Going back to work is such a personal choice, that depends so much on each individual family's dynamics. Every family has to do what is best for them! I went back to work when my triplets were 7 months, and it was by far the best thing for our family (on so many different levels). Thanks for sharing your experience!

  14. Thanks Lani for sharing your story! It sounds like you are doing the right thing for yourself, your marriage and for your family. And thanks for the reminder that things can change! Your story is very inspiring…thanks again for sharing!

  15. Cindy (and Brian)

    great post – thanks for sharing. 🙂

  16. so glad it's working out! i love staying at home with my kids, but some days i miss working so much it hurts. and i didn't even love my job :-/

  17. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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