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div class=”MsoNormal”i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”This is Part 2 of my story of a href=””Working Toward Being a Stay-At-Home Mom/a.o:p/o:p/i/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”br //i/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”Becoming a stay-at-home mom came slowly then suddenly.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanFor over a year I had been working as a flight attendant to bring in some extra income so we could survive financially as a family.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanOnce my husband finished his degree, we knew he would be promoted to an officer and then he would have four months of training away from home i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”{we could not go with him}./i I had to figure out a way to stay home for four months with my daughter. It is one thing to travel 4 days a week with your husband home, but I could not ask our generous relatives if they could keep our daughter for 4 days straight.o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”br //divdiv class=”MsoNormal”Fortunately i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”{and unfortunately} /iI had injured my back and decided that I would take a medical leave from work. I knew that once my husband was promoted, his income would double and it would replace the income I was bringing home. So we knew we could afford me to stop working for four months.o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”I was completely honest with my supervisor about the injury and my husband’s training and my need to not work for a few months plus I would be moving during that time off.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spano:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”br //span/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”What I discovered is that since I had been injured while working I was eligible for workman’s comp.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanI knew I would need some type of therapy, but I never considered that because I was injured while working that the company would be responsible for it. i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”{Remember, I was a teacher prior to this so there was a low injury rate. Since I never got between the fights that broke out between the students, I never had to deal with workman’s comp.}span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spano:p/o:p/i/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”br //span/i/divdiv class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”a href=”–jWI/AAAAAAAAAXQ/hfiahlbJ8pM/s1600/nursecorp.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”–jWI/AAAAAAAAAXQ/hfiahlbJ8pM/s200/nursecorp.jpg” width=”177″ //a/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”When my husband was promoted as a 2nd Lieutenantnbsp;into the Nurse Corp, our income doubled.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanIt was a relief. Suddenly I was a stay-at-home mom…sort of.o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”br //divdiv class=”MsoNormal”For those few months where I was a single stay-at-home mom, I was so busy that I didn’t notice any difference.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanI went to therapy for my back, worked on the purchase of our first house and impending move at our new duty station and traveled periodically to visit my husband.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanIt was a crazy time in our lives i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”{my life since I did it all on my own}.o:p/o:p/i/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”br //i/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”My husband didn’t spend much since he was in training and I didn’t spend much because I was used to a frugal lifestyle.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanWe were able to pay our bills and finally feel relief from the financial pressure we had the entire previous year. All of my husband’s school debts were paid off and we only had to work on my school debt and our car payments.o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”br //divdiv class=”MsoNormal”When we finally moved to Maryland i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”{my husband was stationed in DC}/i I transferred to the DC base as a flight attendant. I don’t think I considered myself a stay-at-home mom because I didn’t quit my job.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanI came off of workman’s comp and began working again.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spano:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”br //span/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”September 11supth/sup 2001 changed everything.o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”br //divdiv class=”MsoNormal”My husband i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”{who was a nurse}/i started working an insane amount of hours.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanMy schedule was no longer going to be in my control and I could not guarantee the days I was going to work.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanI was faced with a decision of whether or not to leave my job.o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”br //divdiv class=”MsoNormal”b style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”I became a full-time stay-at-home mom.o:p/o:p/b/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”b style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”br //b/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”A few things happened that I never expected:o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst” style=”mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;”/divullispan style=”mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin;”span style=”mso-list: Ignore;”span style=”font: 7.0pt quot;Times New Romanquot;;”nbsp;nbsp; nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;/span/span/spanI was surprised at how busy I was without a job.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanInbsp;couldn’tnbsp;figure out how I did it all i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”with/i a job./lilispan style=”mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin;”span style=”mso-list: Ignore;”span style=”font: 7.0pt quot;Times New Romanquot;;”nbsp;nbsp; nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;/span/span/spanThe transition financially was okay since I had just started working again and we didn’t really i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”need/i the extra income./lilispan style=”mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin;”span style=”mso-list: Ignore;”span style=”font: 7.0pt quot;Times New Romanquot;;”nbsp;nbsp; nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;/span/span/spanI had a difficult time adjusting to my new identity./li/ulbr /div class=”MsoListParagraphCxSpLast” style=”mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;”o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”Someone would ask me, “So, what do you do?”span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanMy answer, “I’m a m-m-m-o-m-mm.”span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanI had a hard time coming to grips that I was no longer a person who had a title and excelled at her job.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanThe days of affirmation for work were gone, as well as the accolades from supervisors. I would justify the question with, “I used to be a teacher, but now I stay home.”o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”br //divdiv class=”MsoNormal”What was so ironic is that I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but when it happened, I couldn’t fully embrace it.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanI wanted people to know I used to work, I had a degree, and dang it I was a smart woman! I didn’t want people to look down on me because I stayed home. o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”br //divdiv class=”MsoNormal”It was a hard adjustment because I couldn’t find other moms in the same situation and I felt really alone.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanIt took a while to be comfortable in my new role.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanBut after a while i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”{and a few kids later}/i I can honestly say that I love being home. o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”br //divdiv class=”MsoNormal”There still are obstacles financially, but since we went through the worst with hardly any money, I know we can get through the rest.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spano:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”br //span/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”So now, when someone asks me, “What do you do?” I answer quickly, “I stay at home with my kids!”o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”I know the struggle we went through to get to this place.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanI know there are women that desire to be stay-at-home moms.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanNo we don’t drive fancy cars.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanNo we don’t live in a huge house.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanNo we don’t go on vacations several times a year. No we don’t eat out a lot.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanEverything we do is in moderation or not at all.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spano:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”br //span/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”The result? o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”br //divdiv class=”MsoNormal”I have many people compliment me on how good my children behave and how polite they are to others.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanThey are helpful and kind and smart.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanThey are not angels…they do have their moments, but to hear those affirmations from others reminds me that all our sacrifices for me to stay home are paying off.o:p/o:p/divdiv class=”MsoNormal”br //divdiv class=”MsoNormal”i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”Becoming a stay-at-home mom was not an easy road.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanThere are stories within this story that I chose not to go into, but it can be done if that is what you want.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanspan style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp;/spanIt’s not a path that everyone will choose and that is okay.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanIf you love your job and what you do that is great!span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanDon’t ever feel like you are a bad parent because you work or a bad parent because you don’t. People need to decide what is best for their family. Really, what kids want is your time.span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”nbsp; /spanIf you invest in your kids, you will gain great dividends!nbsp;o:p/o:p/i/divbr /br /a href=”” target=”_blank”img alt=”Anna” border=”0″ src=”” //a