Math For Moms


Handrawn pictures

I never thought that I wanted to be a  stay at home mom. In fact, I never even wanted to be a mom in general until I met my husband. I know it sounds cliche, but for reals, it’s actually a true story. I’ve always been a hard worker and have always been incredibly proud of the work I do. From waitressing to working as a child protection social worker-I’ve always felt good about working. Don’t get me wrong, returning to work after my maternity leaves, was terrible. I hated the idea of “getting back to the grind”. But honestly, once I was there I was able to focus and enjoy my daily tasks.  I also had a great daycare that I felt good sending my kids to. They were loved and had wonderful teachers and I just felt good about their overall care. I’m not great at math, but this certainly adds up for me.

A simple math equation: Job Satisfaction + Positive Daycare Experiences = Happy and Fulfilled Working Outside the Home Mom.

young girl Crossing streetSo life goes on and my kids grow. I have a daughter who is now 6 1/2 and a son who is almost four. My daughter entered kindergarten last year and that was a big change for us. You know that feeling when you have to take your kid to daycare for the first time. It feels a little bit like your heart is leaving your body….well, it wasn’t that bad for me. Who needs a heart anyway! But not being able to pick my kid up off the bus. That was pure torture. I got used to it and fumbled around with after-school care to find what would work for her. She was fine, mostly.

My son, however, did not have the easy breezy time at our daycare as my daughter did and his behavior at home reflected his difficulty at daycare. This made for crummy nights and even crummier mornings. Everything that happened became a battle with my boy. He took monster sized naps at daycare so bedtime was impossible which made him never want to wake up in the morning. It was a vicious cycle. He was mean and demanding and started name-calling. I mean-he’s a three-year old boy so some of this was normal, but it was majorly interfering with my solace I call home.

Boy eating a muffin for breakfast
Don’t be Fooled by That Sweet Face

Meanwhile, back at the office….things were getting a bit…..well, let’s just say my personal morale was plunging into the depths of a deep dark ocean. Work was busy, support was less than desired and many of my near and dear friends of the office began a mass exodus like the place had become infested with Zombies and there would be no survivors. I had a serious case of the Mondays that I couldn’t get rid of. The equation was not favorable.

Math: Decrease in Job Satisfaction + Incompatible Daycare Situation = Sad Working Mommy 

And then an opportunity arose that I could not pass up, but never thought I wanted. It was a part-time job that would offer me the opportunity to stay home with my son, escape from my workplace and allow me to pick my daughter up off of the bus, which I’d been longing to do for the last year and a half. It was serendipity. And the offset of daycare costs almost cancels out the cut in pay. Almost.

Math: Less Stressful Work Environment + Feeling Better About My Son’s Care + Getting My Daughter off the Bus = Worth The Slight Dip In Income For A Happier Household

So here I am embarking on a new adventure as a mostly stay-at-home mom. A job I never would have applied for in a million years. I am confident that this is the best thing for my family right now. I’m not confident that I can produce sensory bins and crafting projects and teach my kid to write his name, but I’ll muddle through somehow, I guess. And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll just go back to work full-time.

If you could choose, what would you do?

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Maggie VanDuyn
Hi, I’m Maggie. I have two spunky, hilarious and active children. Zoey was born in 2008 and she is currently in first grade. Emmet was born in 2011 and has a combination of childcare providers. I’m digging this parenting adventure and cross my fingers each day that I’m not screwing my kids up too much. I’ve invested in a good health care plan so I’m prepared to offer counseling to them as they grow. I love cooking. I hate cleaning. And I wonder if I’ll ever feel like a “real” grownup! (I secretly hope not). In 2015, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer. This has made a huge impact on my life, my family and my priorities. It's also made looking on the bright side the focus of my life. Follow more of my musings on my personal blog!


  1. We should talk, this is the exact type of scenario I’m working toward (part-time work + home more). Glad to hear your new schedule is working out well for your family!


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