‘I imagined being among the living again, crawling out of the cave called stay-at-home motherhood.’: Mom shares frustrations trying to re-enter the workforce

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“I’m a stay-at-home mom who didn’t get the job.

I imagined there would be a big steak, with an extra side of crispy crowns for dinner when I did.

I imagined my husband coming home from work with flowers. I imagined him saying, ‘Congratulations baby, you did it!’

I imagined paying off my student loans instead of paying expanding interest on the principal.

I imagined having access to health insurance and a 401k to match my skill set.

I imagined paying a mortgage on my own home – not rent on someone else’s.

I imagined stability for my kids after retreating from the workforce for four years, on one slim income to raise them.

I imagined more for my family by now, imagined my kid watching me soar.

I imagined social blooming for me, life-long friends for my kid.

A normal schedule, sunlight at the end of a very dark and trying tunnel.

I imagined being among the living again, crawling out of the cave called stay-at-home motherhood.

I imagined adult interactions and a brand new enthusiasm for human contact.

I imagined all the situations, education, and time leading up to this moment and how they all led to this one.

Full-time mom and powerhouse, I imagined.

A first interview, a second, a third with a facility tour! It felt like it was finally in my reach.

But I couldn’t have it all.

‘I’m calling with bad news,’ they said.

I imagined being defined by my career. Then, just as quickly, I imagined being defined by a lack of one.

I imagined a complicated and lonely truth about stay-at-home motherhood I hadn’t been told before. I imagined the feeling of being 10 years old and being told a career woman and motherhood would be mutually exclusive.

I imagined a world where going to work was a luxury for women, and staying at home was a full-time, paying job.

I imagined if, comprehensively, all the things I mastered as a stay-at-home mom could be listed as experience, I’d be overqualified.

‘It was a difficult decision,’ they said.

I imagined it was.”

mom looks stressed while looking at computer completing work, hands resting on her forehead
Courtesy of Wallflower Writing

This story was submitted to Love What Matters  by Wallflower Writing at Detroit Moms. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her websiteSubmit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Wallflower Writing here:

‘I went back to work, but it wasn’t just for me. It was for the little eyes that see me do the big, awesome things.’: Working mom shares importance of following your dreams

‘Motherhood isn’t about where you came from, but how you rise to the occasion.’: Mom shares appreciation for ‘warrior women’ in her life, grandma who stood in the gap

‘Unmarried, unprepared, and unconvinced. I feared shame and judgment would follow my baby bump and I on campus.’: Young mom talks embracing your reality, ignoring stereotypes

‘She’s not a tally on the task list. She’s who I’m doing it for.’: Mom shares turning mundane tasks into magical moments for kids

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