Being a Stay at Home Mom while Pursuing Your Dreams

It’s ok to be a stay at home mom and pursue your dreams!

Can we have an honest moment? I thought being a stay at home mom meant that I literally take care of my kids 24/7. No working outside of the home. Playdates a couple days a week, max. When I had my first child, I assumed that meant everything else was on hold. I’ll raise babies, then pursue my passions when they’re older. At that time I had only been a nurse for about two years and wasn’t ready to give that up completely. I found an amazing sitter for my daughter and worked one day a week until I had my second child, then worked two-three times a month after that. Initially I felt bad about that choice, but slowly realized I wasn’t making a mistake. I also had a photography business on the side, but didn’t fully dive in until about a year into my motherhood journey. There were always so many dreams and passions inside of me, I just didn’t know how to merge them with my biggest dream, which was being a mom.


I’m only three and a half years into this motherhood thing, but God has been showing me some things that I never thought were possible. I’m realizing that when I leave my kids with someone I trust to go do something I want to do – it makes me better. I love being a nurse. Leaving my daughter once a week to go pursue something I love did not make me a bad mom, but a better mom. 

When I found out I was pregnant with my first, I knew I wanted to stay home with my kids if at all possible. My husband is a big supporter of that and works hard to make sure that can happen. But when these dreams came up in me I had a hard time understanding what to do with them. I loved photography and am now falling more in love with blogging each and every post, but is that ok? Will my kids be disappointed that Mom may be gone a little more than I was before?

We’ve made some major adjustments in our family. My husband went from working swing shift (12 hour shifts including days and nights) to working from home. That’s another post for another day, but the story of how we got here is definitely something I want to share. Having that kind of flexibility has opened so many doors for our family.

Here’s what happens when I spend time doing something I love:

  • I am refreshed
  • I am more kind
  • I am more patient
  • I am more understanding
  • I am more thankful
  • I feel accomplished
  • I am the best version of myself

I cannot even being to tell you the amount of joy I get from raising these two little girls. I love being able to stay home with them, love on them, clean up after and with them, take care of them. I genuinely do love fostering their gifts and holding their hands through the trying times. What I’ve realized is that along with being a mom, I have other dreams and passions I didn’t even know existed. Figuring out how to merge all of these things together has been difficult, but one thing rings true: I am a better mom when I do something for myself. And it is not selfish, by any means. Our children deserve the best version of ourselves we can give them, and if that means you start a blog, a business or another endeavor – go for it. I’m thankful we live in a world where we can pursue our passions and still stay home with our babies. Thank you, internet. I do my best to make the most of nap time and wake up before my kids so I can be present with them throughout the day. Spoiler alert – I am far from perfect at that. I’m currently nursing my youngest back to sleep so I can finish this post. You just do what you gotta do!

Gymboree Sale On Now!

Meg Meeker said, “The most powerful way to teach a daughter how to enjoy life is for her to see her mother doing the same.” I want my children to see me living a life that is full and focused on running this race for Christ at my highest potential. As I get a clearer perspective on this, I feel more and more at peace with the decisions I’m making for my family.

 “We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.” Romans 8:28 (VOICE)

If you are in the same boat, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are my hopes and dreams?
  • Are they in line with what God wants and what the Word teaches?
  • How will pursuing them make my family better?
  • How will they make me better?
  • What will it teach my children?

To sum it up – taking time away from my kids makes me a better mom. And friends, that is ok. Let go of the guilt, let go of the pressure. You are doing a great job, and you are making eternal differences in the lives of your littles. Keep pursuing your goals, dreams and passions. There are so many ways to merge them into Motherhood. You were created this way for a reason, dreams are put in our heart for a reason. Motherhood is not a hindrance, but an open door to see what else God has for us.

An Open Letter to my Husband From Your Stay-At-Home-Wife

To my husband,

Thank you for giving the kids a bath, even when you feel like you have nothing left to give at the end of the day.

When we are wrangling kids and trying to get out the house and you say, “What can I do to help?” Thank you for that.

I am constantly needed throughout the day. When you come home and see that the house is a hot mess – instead of saying, “What did you do all day?” You start picking things up and putting things away. That is what I need. That is what our family needs. Thank you.

I can’t tell you how much it means when you say, “Go take a break, I’ve got the kids.” It is very difficult for me to say “I need a break” when I know you’ve had a long day too. Words cannot express how much I need you to say it.

Thank you for loving me, even at my worst. I try so hard, so stinkin’ hard to do this mom and wife thing well. When I fail, I appreciate you being there as a helping hand, rather than being disappointed in me.

The kids are dying to spend time with you. Thank you for prioritizing time with each one of them. And thank you for treating them like the gifts that they are, rather than a bother.

Thank you for listening when the kids tell you about their day, even if you have no idea what they are saying. Thank you for being excited with them.

Please know that I don’t need much, I just need to know that you appreciate me too. Thank you for letting me know that I am doing a good job. It keeps me going.

Thank you for doing the dishes. When I hear that you’re doing them and I didn’t even have to ask you to do them, I get those same butterflies you gave me when we first met.

Thank you for not letting your job stop when you are done working. And thank you for understanding that just because I’m not away at a job everyday, I am working very hard.

Thank you for showing our kids that I am first, and they are second.

Thank you for leading us in prayer throughout the day. And thank you for showing our kids what it means for you to love me like Christ loves the church. You are setting the standard for their future spouses.

Thank you for loving me so well, day in and day out.

Thank you for supporting my dreams.

Thank you for hearing me, really hearing me when I need it most.

Nothing makes me happier than watching you play with our kids. Thank you for being a horsey, helicopter and every Disney character under the sun to put a smile on their face.

Thank you for being an honest man. A hardworking man. And a godly man.

Thank you for going along with my crazy ideas – like going camping for two nights with two toddlers. It’s going to be fun, I just know it.

Thank you for making me feel beautiful, when we both know I’m on day three of dry shampoo and sweatpants are my jam.

I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.

– Your stay at home wife

Pictures c/o Lindsey Cassidy Photography

10 Ways Simplifying has Changed my Life

10 Ways Simplifying has Changed my Life

Simplifying has changed my life is so many ways. In the past year, I have intentionally simplified our family life, our home, our schedules and my motherhood. We still have a long way to go, but I just have to share how simplifying has benefited our family.

I have listened to podcasts, read books, and “Pinterested” way too many articles on simplifying and minimalism. I first started implementing strategies after listening to Allie Casazza’s podcast. Game changer. It wasn’t a new concept to me, but it really gave me the practical advice I needed. You’ll want to follow Allie. Her knowledge and wisdom has been instrumental in my motherhood and marriage. Emily Ley has also been a great wealth of knowledge. She is raising three kids and rockin’ being a business owner and a mom. Her book, A Simplified Life, has some of the most practical advice I’ve ever read! It was a great addition to our simplifying process. Keep reading to see 10 ways simplifying has changed my life!

I always thought that because we didn’t have a lot of stuff, we were living simple. We have a small home and live frugally.  But here’s the deal. We did have a lot of stuff! I just didn’t realize it because it was usually tucked away. If you were to come by to visit about a year ago, there would be a 50/50 chance that you were about to walk into a toddler tornado, or a mostly tidy and clean home. I cleaned when I could, and when our schedule allowed. If I had a few days of just staying home, I would clean consistently. If our calendar was full for a few days, the house was let go. It wasn’t terrible, but I always found myself wishing I could get a system down that would simplify our home and cleaning process.

Turns out, there is a way. I’ve learned a lot from my research, but also from practicing these things in my own life. One things I try my best to live by is something that Emily Ley talks about in her Book, A Simplified Life: only keep the best, the necessary and your favorite. This was the foundation for my simplifying and decluttering process.

Here are a few ways simplifying has changed my life:

  1. I spend less time cleaning. It’s incredible. I thought to have a clean home I would literally have to be cleaning all the time. That or hire someone. Not the case at all. Since we have gotten rid of the things we don’t need, there is not as much laundry, dirty dishes or overflow of stuff lying around. Things can’t pile up like they used to because we only have what we need. Which means there is not as much laundry or dishes to wash. I’ll go into this more on the practical post I’ll be making soon!
  2. It gave my kids the opportunity to give. My girls are only 3.5 and 2 years old. But those girls LOVE to give. They love helping and I want to foster that as they grow. My two year old can’t quite understand, but I’ll explain to them that there are other kids in need that don’t have a lot to play with, and since we have extra, we can share our toys with them. It’s hard to explain, but when my three year old understands the why behind this process, she is so excited to be a part of it.
  3. It simplified my cleaning process. Emily Ley recommends doing a load of laundry a day. We don’t have quite enough for that, but we have implemented doing a load every other day. I try to throw in a load in the washer in the morning and fold it as soon as it’s done so it’s not weighing me down. Incorporating this into our schedule is key. I am not perfect at it, but I try if at all possible to be consistent. When I have to do the more time consuming tasks like mopping and vacuuming, I include the girls when I can. Sometimes they have to find ways to keep themselves busy, but when they are included they feel such a sense of accomplishment. They just can’t wait to tell Daddy about it!
  4. Our home is more peaceful. My goal from day one of starting a family has been to cultivate a peaceful home. I am in better spirits when things are clean. My husband and myself both feel less stressed when the house is in order. We slowly added things like picking up after ourself every time into our everyday. It may take more time at the moment, but it saves SO much time at the end of the day.
  5. It is consistent. Most of the time. There are definitely times when life happens and things are thrown off. But it makes it so much easier to play catch up when you’re just picking up from a few days of busy, rather than weeks of things piling up. Being as consistent as possible is key to keeping things simple.
  6. I am a happier Mom. When I first became a mom, I kept hearing “It’s ok, the dishes can wait. Enjoy the moment.” And I 100% agree with this. I cherish moments with my babes everyday. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t ever clean. I realized that I am happier and I am a better mom when things around me are in order. And that’s ok. The dishes can wait, but not forever.
  7. Simplifying gives us room to enjoy our everyday. It allows for the things that matter. If we want to spontaneously go somewhere, it doesn’t stress me out anymore because we are not drowning in mess.
  8. Routines and structure work best for kids. It’s a chance for me to teach them how to keep a home. They know that before we move on to our next activity, we have to pick up the one we just finished. When I first implemented these things, there was a lot of push back. After a lot of repetition, they have finally caught on and most of the time it is not a fight. They know that this is how we do things in our home.
  9. It became easier to say “no.” I’ve never been much of a shopper, but after we decluttered, it made me realize that I only need to purchase something if I absolutely love it. I want to surround myself with things that are life-giving and make my home better. The same goes for toys and clothes. A few questions I ask myself: Do we need it? Do I love it? Is there room for it? Before I purchase it, I have to answer yes to all of these.
  10. Everything has it’s place. No more “junk piles.” Raise your hand if you have a junk pile by your back door. We still struggle with this, but are definitely getting better. If I notice a pile starting, I try to jump on it as soon as I can so it doesn’t get out of control.

I try to use the decluttering and simplifying process to glorify God. God has given me a family and I want to take care of them as best as I can. I look at cleaning and organizing as a way of giving to my family.

These may seems like little things, and by themselves they are! But if you can start to slowly implement them in your home, they will really make a difference! I am very passionate about how this has changed our life, so if you have any questions at all please let me know through the Contact tab! Thanks so much for reading. Good luck simplifying!

I’ll be doing a practical post soon on how I simplified and decluttered. Be on the look out! In the mean time, read this book!!!

Update! Here is the practical post: 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life This Week