The Shocking Reality Parents Are Not Prepared For & What To Do About It
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
A Member of the MomSub Community Shares Her Story
For more than a year, I have reached out to dozens of moms to learn more about their struggles in an effort to help provide solutions. While those interviews have been insightful and sometimes emotional, I was even more touched when a mother named Stefanie Miller recently reached out to me and offered to write a guest post for MomSub. I learned Stefanie is a freelance writer and mother of two with her own parenting blog. While reading Stefanie's submission, I was very moved by the heartfelt story she was inspired to write after learning about MomSub. I am proud to share the complete post Stefanie crafted especially for our MomSub community. -- Diane Moca, MomSub founder
Why I Wish MomSub Existed Four Years Ago
Everything changes once you become a parent. Nothing will ever truly prepare you for all the challenges that come with raising a child. We all want that time with our newborns to be special and memorable, and while it most definitely is, it can also be overwhelming.
Thinking back four years ago, I thought the transition from my husband and I being just a couple to a family of three was going to be easy. In some ways it was. We both loved being parents right out of the gate. However once six weeks passed after our son was born, we were hit with a terrible reality check. I needed to go back to work.
Did I want to? Yes. I loved my job and everyone that I worked with. I was excited to go back. However, there was also guilt. I felt as if I was abandoning my son by going back to work and so badly wanted to continue to stay home with him. I knew that I couldn't. We relied on my income and benefits, and we for sure wouldn't survive financially if I quit. So we made the tough decision to look into childcare.
"What I learned was devastating. The cost to put our little boy in full-time care would take my entire paycheck. I felt sick to my stomach."
The Gut Punch To New Parents
My husband also worked full time, and we didn't live near any immediate family who could give us a hand when we needed it. Both working retail meant we worked nights, weekends, and holidays often. This also meant that both of our incomes were needed to make ends meet. It was already a difficult time and throwing in finding a daycare only increased the flames.
What I learned during that search was devastating. The cost to put our little boy in full-time care, which only meant 8 am-5 pm for most, would cost us my entire paycheck. All of it. The money we needed for rent, utilities, food, and my mountain of hospital bills after giving birth. I felt sick to my stomach.
I had no idea what we were going to do. There were rare times when both my husband and I had to work late at the same time. Trying to make opposite schedules just wasn't working. We needed to find someone to watch our child who we could afford, so we could make enough money to survive.
A Friend Of A Friend Comes To The Rescue
We had gotten very lucky a few weeks after I started work. The partner of my husband's former co-worker turned friend offered to help us out. Being a mom herself, she understood our struggle. She offered to take care of our son for one-quarter of what we would have paid at a childcare facility. It would still be tight, but we needed two incomes to survive.
As it turns out, she was amazing. I never worried that he wasn't being cared for, as it was just the two of them at her house a couple of days a week. She didn't mind keeping him late if we needed it, and it comforted me knowing that he was in a setting similar to the one at home, with one-on-one care that he would have gotten from me if I was able to be a stay-at-home mom.
The Impossible Situation So Many Face
Eventually, we moved out of state when I found out I was pregnant with my second child. We decided to live with my mother-in-law to get some help with transitioning from one child to two.
Now we are still here and living rent-free, so I get to stay home with our children while my husband works. I have taken up freelance writing to make a second income, so we can eventually move back on our own. But it's been three years. Not many people understand how financially difficult it is for families like ours. It is impossible to have two working parents and young children, and no affordable childcare options.
Finding Other Moms Just Like You
When I recently discovered MomSub, I was impressed. It sounds like it could turn into an absolute game-changer. It connects you with other moms who understand what you are going through, who know what it's like to never get a moment yourself to take a nap, pay some bills, or even just watch a little TV and drink your coffee while it’s hot. Not only is it important to have reliable childcare, but it is just as important to be able to step back from your motherly duties and breathe. The concept alone sounds amazing. Who would know you better than another mother just like you?
Providing real options for working moms is very important. Especially for the ones who want to work. Plus, it never hurt to give yourself a break that you have way more than earned. I’m excited to see what kind of community comes from MomSub.
If you want to join our community of moms helping moms, you can apply to join MomSub here.
Stefanie Miller is a freelance writer living in Florida with her husband, two young children and mother-in-law. She shares the challenges of parenting through her blog at https://stefmillerwrites.wordpress.com/.