360-DEGREE TURN

12:00 PM

Ines Lopes

Last October, David and I decided that the best way for us to balance our personal and work lives would be if I resigned my contract and stayed at home with Eva.

Even though everything happened quite sudden, of course, we didn't take the decision overnight and had a lot of things to consider first. After I announced our decision to the company that I was working for, my family and friends, a lot of questions were raised, so I thought might as well give you a brief insight.

Furthermore, I think that there's still a huge misconception about "stay-at-home" moms and I think it is time for me to approach it here on the blog.

A small disclaimer before we start. I believe that we should never judge a parent for the way they want to raise their children or live their lives, for as long as no one gets hurt (I think that part goes without saying). I am not trying to say that this is what every parent should or shouldn't do. This is simply my personal experience and what has been working the best for us three. I respect everyone's beliefs and I hope you respect mine just as well.

A short rewind in time

I was working at the same company for a long time. Even though I liked my team and the overall experience of getting to know people from all over the world, the truth was that I hated most days there.

The job was pretty easy, some days could be more stressful than others, but after a couple of years doing the same thing every single day, not only you get the hang of it and start taking it easier, you also get bored to death. 

I pretty much reached that stage. I felt like I was not evolving in any way. Didn't feel like there were any opportunities left for me there and it also felt like I was wasting too much of my precious time and energy on something that simply didn't make me happy. It completely became an "only for the money" kind of job, that I was not enjoying or even feeling appreciated at. 
I am not trying to bash the company by any means. I completely understand that bigger companies gotta do what they gotta do and I am still very much grateful for all the good things it brought along.

At the same time, David was working closer to home but also feeling very demotivated with his job since it wasn't as challenging as he wanted it to be. 

Time for a change

David decided to change job and so he did. He started working at a company that he likes with a project that got him excited and having challenging daily tasks once again. With this change, he also started working further away from home.

I also got back to work after a short maternity leave break. Everything had changed with my team. My work was "downgraded". More than half of my team was gone and the ones that stayed were also very demotivated with the whole situation. That was all fine. I was honestly expecting that to happen anyways. But with all these changes, I also got back to working completely random shifts, working the weekends and all that jazz. 

So the problem arose

Eva, with only four months old, would spend entire days at the daycare. Four days per week, from 7h00 in the morning until 18h30 in the evening. She was being raised by other people, together with other kids of different ages, among a lot of constant noise and spending less than one hour per day awake with us for most days of the week.

She had trouble sleeping at the daycare because of the overwhelming amount of stimulus surrounding her all the time and so she would get home completely exhausted and consequently not having the same quality growth she has now.

With all the shift changes at my work, the stress levels raised far too high, because we had to organize and manage our schedules in order to be able to get to the daycare on time to pick her up. This would be extremely stressful on the days that the trains were delayed or not working since we would both get stuck in the same city at the same time, far away from home and the daycare. Between all this, my milk supply was consequently affected as well.

Eva was getting closer to the people at the daycare and not so much to us, which was very depressing to watch. 

Some days I would see her for half an hour per day, where I would give her a bath, dress her pajama and put her to bed. Other days I wouldn't even see her because she would be asleep when I got home and still asleep when I was leaving for work the next day. On top of this, David was getting a lot of the pressure on top of his shoulders, having to manage everything by himself. The taking care of her in the morning, getting her to the daycare, stress to manage to be on time at work and back home to pick her up at the daycare. 

The worse part of it all was that we were barely giving her any education since she wouldn't spend a proper time with us. The fact that she couldn't sleep during the day affected her performance as well since she would spend most time at home sleeping. I'm sure we all know how important and precious sleep-time is, especially for a baby or child.

On top of all of this, a huge part of our salaries was going straight to daycare. Meaning that we would be both stuck at work for entire days, not see or participate in our child's education the way we wanted to and simply giving all of that huge amount of money so that someone else would take care and raise our child. 

Full stop

David was still on his probation period at the new job, but we both knew that this situation was becoming unbearable for the three of us. 

So one day, while we were both at work, he texted me something along the lines "present your resignation letter today, you are out of there as soon as possible".

Even though we had spoken about this hypothesis, I never thought that it would be a real possibility. 

After exchanging a couple of texts to make sure this was the right move, I told my manager and my colleague sitting next to me about this decision, who by the way supported me as always. I couldn't stop shaking and I could barely focus for the rest of that day. That's how excited and anxious I was. I just couldn't believe it. It was all so surreal!

I only worked for about two more weeks (the longest weeks I ever had there) and on the last day, when I was giving back my stuff and saying my last goodbye, I just couldn't believe it was really happening. I finally would be able to take care of my child full-time and be with her anytime she needed me to be. See her grow, teach her stuff, help her grow happily and provide her my full attention and dedication. How more natural can it be?

Finding a good balance

From then on, I've been spending the days with Eva. Even though people like to label it as "stay-at-home mom" and some people nowadays still depreciate the importance of this "full-time job" I can ensure you that we do not just sit around all day looking at the walls, and I do see a lot of progress in her behavior and attitude, especially when compared to the days that she goes to the daycare (I'll get into that in another post).

Yes, she still goes to the daycare. Despite our decision, we always had in mind the importance of Eva interacting with other kids and adults. The difference is that she now actually enjoys spending time there. She goes two days per week for about three hours, and I notice that she doesn't mind when I'm leaving because she knows that in a couple of hours I'll be back to pick her up and get her to a peaceful atmosphere where she can nap, rest, play and do a lot of other activities as well.

In between all this, David and I are no longer stressing with schedules, trains, getting on time to work or the daycare. We can just live a happy, relaxed life all together and actually enjoy the company of each other. Each of us has an important task that we enjoy doing and that provides for our balanced and happy life.







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6 comments

  1. Awn gostei imenso :D
    Tu és tão lindaa mulher de deus!

    Beijinhos,
    www.pirilamposemarte.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahah obrigada!! Que amor :}
      Beijo grande

      Delete
  2. Encontrei o teu blogue hoje e que post brutal! Posso ficar?

    *um beijinho*
    LucieLu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olá e muito bem-vinda!! O teu comentário deixou-me super feliz! Obrigada. Fica. O prazer é todo meu. Ando a divagar pelo teu blog também, que encontrei ontem à noite. Adoro!
      Um beijo enorme

      Delete
  3. Só venho aqui relembrar que quero posts posts posts :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaww obrigada!
      Tenho tanto a acontecer dentro da minha cabeça que nem sei por onde começar, mas em breve ha de sair algo.
      Beijinhos

      Delete

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