Kirby Hoberg is a stay-at-home mom by day and a professional ballerina and actress by night. While many women feel that motherhood interferes with a career, I love Kirby’s story of how being a SAHM has actually enabled her to pursue her acting career.
I did not start out as a stay-at-home mom entirely by choice. Our first child was born just a few weeks after my college graduation. I did the math (over and over just to be sure). With the cost of childcare in our area, it was too prohibitive for me to work. I was never against staying home with my kids, but I had naively assumed it would be more of a choice.
In an attempt to overcompensate for my news feed full of classmates feeling out careers, I threw myself into parenting like it was a job. I read dozens upon dozens of parenting books, learned about neuro-development, and overthought TONS of things. I was incredibly competent but also unhappy and aimless. I was not being the mom I wanted to be, nor was I being the ME I wanted to be.
After countless late night conversations with my husband where I weighed the possibility of getting a job, pursuing another degree, or doing anything that was not being “just” a mom—I had to admit what I wanted was not a change of job title but a direction for my life. That meant letting go of some of my unhealthy ideas about motherhood.
I had clung to a number of ideas that made it nearly impossible to purse larger goals. I felt guilty about leaving the kids with my husband too much. I was dismissive that I had any talents worth pursuing. Even if I did, I had no business trying while my kids where still little.
Getting rid of untrue fears and thoughts like those meant my whole world opened up. I was free to pursue talents and hobbies I would almost certainly not have had time for if I was not a stay-at-home mom by day.
I started with choir. I had admitted that my talents lie mostly in the performing arts. I thought singing would be the most postpartum-body friendly option. After a year or two of that, I decided to get really crazy. I signed up for ballet classes.
Ballet made me face my body as it was after two babies, and start to see its strengths. I had danced for many years growing up, but time and pregnancies meant it took a while for my body to remember what it had learned. It was not easy, and I was quite terrible for many classes. I pushed out of my comfort zone and did something I was proud to share with my kids.
Then I went even further. I started auditioning for theater productions. Dance is time consuming in its own right, but it can be pursued with daily work at home too. Theater is time consuming in an out-of-the-house-is-mandatory kind of way. I knew this would be a big commitment. Productions normally rehearse most week nights, then show every weekend night. It was something I would almost certainly have never even attempted if I was not getting to be with my kids during the day. Otherwise I would have hardly any time with them for months on end.
Through all of this I was communicating and making decisions with my husband. He has his own hobbies (running, training for half-marathons, and volunteering) that needed to be held in consideration too. We worked on developing a schedule to allow us to still have family time and couple time together. Frankly, I don’t think it would have worked if I was not already gifted the flexibility of being a stay-at-home mom.
I feel incredibility blessed to have developed my own interests and aims that I can share with my children. My son started ballet school this year. My children have been a fabulous audience when I’m rehearsing new monologues for theater auditions (my 4-year-old loves Shakespeare, but hates most anything contemporary. Opinionated this one is.) I feel more confident that I will be able to help them find their own strengths and talents after allowing myself to find my own.
Even though it did not start out entirely by choice, I feel I have had a fantastic amount of personal opportunity by being home with my kids during the day. Once I considered motherhood to be not a limitation but an enhancement, opportunity bubbled forth. It was opportunity that had been there all along—just waiting for me to see it as the gift it is.
Kirby Hoberg is a Texan girl living in the San Francisco Bay area. She and her husband Matt have two children. She loves coffee, Anthropology, country music, and British television. She’s a 2nd generation homeschooler, semi-crunchy mom who can’t seem to run out of depths to delve in Catholicism. (We have a lot in common!)
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