I want to be a stay-at-home mom.
I’ve always had a vision of staying home with kids. And for years I said as a matter of course that I wanted to stay home at least until the kids were all in school. However, these were the words of a naive young woman who believes it’s possible to have everything without ultimately compromising anything. I could stay home for 5-10 years and resume a career and it would just happen: right jobs, career progression, contacts, whatever necessary. And any financial loss I saw as incidental and “worth it.”
Last night M & I were talking about life and babies & he mentioned a conversation where the friend was surprised to hear that I’m always with the baby; I’m rarely away from baby; and I don’t crave breaks from baby. Hearing this, I realized that indeed, the last 6 months of being at home – before and after baby – have been good for me. In spite of some stress and complications, I’m enjoying it. I love putting a house, family and life together. It is very satisfying to be around baby for so much of my time. And I can’t imagine NOT being here and doing this.
Project ahead about 6 months when I need to be back at work and suddenly, that reality becomes visceral rather than intellectual. I will not be home with her; I will not be living the nurturing, educating, full-day full-time mom role that I’ve dreamed about for so long. The question becomes, what do I want to give up? Do I want to give up my wonderful job and career; or my long-held vision of being home with child? Last night my gut spoke and said, jobs come and go but the satisfaction of being home with my child (and hopefully children) will be deeper, longer-lasting, and worthwhile. I BELIEVE in being home with my child. I even, heaven forbid, believe in home schooling (so much for the “return to work” part of my early dreams.) In spite of all the time, study and money I’ve devoted to career prep – 10+ years of post-secondary ed – I think my choice will need to be baby.
Anyhow, that’s where I’m at right now with this. Ideally I’d go back to work for a while, then off again for baby #2 and home indefinitely after that. And find some way to continue some work on the side -but largely sacrifice the career for the kids and family. The unfairness of needing to choose, we can get to later. And the actual choice can also wait. For now, I’m glad to have settled some of this in my own head.