I haven’t had a job with a paycheck in ten years. When I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter, I decided to become the CEO, CFO, and head maid at the Moses house. It’s not a bad gig. I am extremely fortunate to be able to stay home and spend my husband’s money. He appreciates what I do and knows that if I got paid by the hour, I would be super rich. (Then maybe I would hire someone to take over my maid status.)
There are many blogs, books, and articles about working mothers vs. stay at home moms. I am in favor of whatever works for each family. For my family, being home with my girls works. For others, it may be a mixture of daycare, nannies, and/or preschool. DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO SURVIVE!! But please, whatever you do, don’t judge someone else’s decision.
I’m going to be candid but I am not going to complain. Here is the good, bad, and ugly of my stay at home experience…
On more than one occasion I have tried to quit my job. One day I called Stephen at work. He is a doctor and does not have time to just chat with his wife at 2:00 p.m. I did not care one bit that it might not be a good time to answer his phone. Our three year old was being impossible and the one year old wasn’t exactly endearing herself to me at the moment. When he said “Hello?” I said, “I quit. I’m not doing this anymore.” He listened, I didn’t abandon our kids, and we all lived through that crisis. Then I felt guilty. This would be a recurring theme.
We added daughter number three to our family. I love babies. I am half crazy but those first six months are my favorite times. I adore tiny human beings who love me best. But the sleep deprivation was rough. No more naps for mommy during “down” time because there was no down time. Our youngest has a lot of food and environmental allergies and asthma so her care at times was more challenging than usual. I was outnumbered and at times craved just a few minutes when I could go to the bathroom alone or finish a thought. Then I felt guilty. (See the pattern?)
I wanted to have a clean house, relatively clean children, dinner on the table, and still be awake to say hi to my husband when he got home from work. I really wanted a lunch hour. For me, the above expectations were just too much. I’ve learned that having a clean kitchen and a sort of clean bathroom really does make me happy. The rest of the house will just have to wait. My kids take a bath or shower every night and I can’t budge on that one yet. I like to cook but dinner might be eggs and toast or Papa John’s. Sometimes a cartoon gives me the peace of an uninterrupted sandwich.
I need to spend time with friends and have interests that do not involve my children. My girls need to see me enjoy and excel at something other than hair detangling and grocery shopping. They need ME to be happy so I can ensure that THEY are happy. And I cannot feel guilty.
I will never be good at math, crafts, or birthday parties. I will continue to throw away papers I’m supposed to save. I will have some really crappy mom days that push my patience to the limit.
However, I will always tell my girls I love them. I will never stop singing loudly in the minivan when driving them to school. We will keep laughing, crying, and learning together. And no matter what, I won’t quit my job. After all, this is the only profession where I can get away with wearing yoga pants everyday.