Transitioning Back to Work After Being a Stay-At-Home Mom

After slogging through three years of motherhood while teaching nearly full time, I was heartily ready for a break.  Last spring I took a year’s leave of absence to be with my children and experience stay-at-home motherhood.

I loved the intensity and importance of being with my kids full time, until one day, I didn’t.  Was it a dramatic episode?  Nope.  I simply reached a point where the endless cycle of laundry, meals, and playtime wore me out.  My brain felt rather mushy and creating daily structures and routines exhausted me.

Plus, although frugal living is a passion of mine, it felt a bit uncomfortable to have absolutely no spare room in our budget.  I longed for the occasional dinner out or swimming lessons for the kids.  If we stayed exactly on track and no emergencies came up, we still had to take a little out of our savings each month.
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Is Staying At Home Greener than Working?

If both parents have demanding careers and multiple children, how do they manage things like washing cloth diapers, composting, making healthy dinners and spending time with baby? There are also some single parents out there who are handling full-time schedules and parenting while keeping the planet in mind. How do they do it?  I am utterly in awe of people who can juggle so much without feeling overwhelmed. 

My husband and I both work thirty-some hours per week and yet we find the balance of a two career family rather precarious at times. Over the last few weeks illness and injury has made the daily challenge of laundry and homemade dinners seem ever greater.   I often long for take-out, or look lustfully at the frozen entrees in the grocery store,  knowing that those convenience items are designed for the hectic, dual income family.  Even though I’m often overwhelmed,  I don’t want to give into the urge to buy disposable, convenience items, saving time while potentially harming the planet.  At this point it seems we should be able to handle some extra time for green choices since we have just one child, we both work equally hard on domestic tasks, and neither of us are working full time.

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