When I quit my full time job, some folks thought I was crazy. There were some family members I didn’t bother announcing it to for fear of judgement. I knew there would be stressful times financially and mentally. I knew it would be hard, never-ending, 24/7 work. But in my heart, I knew I wanted it, and needed it, more than anything. Sure it meant my husband and I would have to make some sacrifices, but it was more than worth it. Here’s a list of things that make me genuinely happier than the steady paycheck ever did.
1: Sweatpants. Every day if I want. Need I say more?
2: Letting the baby sleep until her natural wake time, instead of dragging her out of bed at 6:00 AM.
3: Being right there when she learns new things.
4: Couponing. It can be fun.
5: Date nights spent in with my husband and a good Netflix series, instead of out at a restaurant.
6: Trips to the park.
8: Reading her stories.
9: Falling asleep at night without the anxiety of “Did I pack that in the diaper bag for tomorrow” or “X, Y, and Z could all go terribly wrong at work tomorrow”.
10: Making and eating lunch in my own kitchen every day instead of spending money at fast food joints.
11: The feeling of being a really important support system for my daughter and husband.
12: Avoiding the commute on bad weather days.
13: Getting to keep my dog company all day, therefore helping with his anxiety problems.
14: Setting my own pace for work. Do we need extra money? That means extra time hitting it hard on my laptop.
15: Always being there for doctor’s appointments, especially shots.
16: All the cuddles.
17: A more organized house.
18: Healthier cooking and eating.
19: The other SAH and WAH parents I’ve met online and elsewhere.
20: A newfound appreciation for my hard-working husband.
21: A stronger sense of purpose.
22: Time, and most days energy, to do yoga.
23: A “saver’s mindset” since I know I don’t get that steady check every two weeks anymore.
24: Naps. When I can. Yep, I said it.
25: Reading books and articles I enjoy.
26: Free fun like going on walks, playing outside (once it warms up), and trips to the library.
27: Knowing that if the vehicle gets a scratch or dent, we don’t need to panic. We don’t owe anything on it and it’s not brand new.
28: Meeting neighbors.
29: That exiting moment Daddy gets home.
30: More time for my photography.
Those who tell you being a SAH or WAH parent is easy are crazy. It isn’t. There are budgets and grocery lists and bumps and bruises and to do lists a thousand miles long and ear infections and temper tantrums and dishes and laundry …
and love. And the knowledge that you are secure in your role within the family and that you have control over your own sanity.