3 years as a SAHM

October 24th was my three year anniversary as a stay at home mom. Prior to staying home I worked for the Oregon Department of Forestry for seven years. In some ways leaving was a very easy decision to make, and in other ways it was very difficult. I've always worked. My first babysitting job was at eleven years old and I continued doing that on weekends, evenings and summer breaks until I was old enough to be hired at a local Hi-School Pharmacy. Even while I was in college I kept working, at one point I was going to school and working two jobs. I began with the state as a seasonal employee, but was hired permanently a few months after my seasonal job had ended. For the most part I loved working there. A lot of my co-workers were great, the customers always entertaining, but the summer hours during fire season were brutal with a little one. Mark and I had talked about it here and there, but it wasn't until we were unhappy with our daycare situation that we really sat down and found a way  to make my leaving my job work. I think we were both equally worried about finances, but were shocked to see that once gas, daycare and other expenses relating to my working were taken out of the equation we really weren't left with a lot. It's eye opening to really look at how much it costs to work.

I cried when I gave my notice to my boss. I think it was a mixture of fear, sadness and total excitement. I won't lie and say it has all been easy. Life on one income has been an adjustment for us, and we still have our moments of figuring things out, but overall it was the best decision we've ever made. I've done a few things since leaving my job to bring additional income into our home (in home daycare, Etsy & photography), but my husband goes above and beyond to make sure that I get to be at home with Amelia and that is something that I will never take for granted. Being able to pursue my passion for photography and build my business, as well as being able to attend every school event for my kiddo is a true blessing.

Being a mother is my greatest accomplishment so I thought I would take the next few weeks to share posts celebrating motherhood. My own experiences, other mothers I admire, blogger moms who inspire me and any other thoughts I have. I look forward to sharing things with you and answering many questions that I've been asked throughout my journey as a mom. 
Ashley Elizabeth

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