I was four years out of college, had a great career, met the man of my dreams and got married. Three weeks after the wedding I took a pregnancy test. Positive. Nine months and two days later my beautiful son was born. So much for waiting two to three years before discussing having kids! I always said it would be nice to stay home with my kids when the time came. It was easy to say. Until the time came, and it came much sooner than expected which made it even more difficult for me.
Maybe you or someone you know is at the same decision making moment. Some do not get to choose. And this post is not for those who have no choice! This is for those who have a choice, even it if means giving up some commodities where things might now be “tight”. It is still a choice for a lot of us out there. There are three things that I really thought through that helped me come to my decision to be a stay-at-home mom.
1. I didn’t want someone else raising my child. My cousin worked at a daycare for a while and she absolutely loved it! She even talked about the distinct, unique smell of each child’s poop and could tell what kinds of food they ate at home. Yeah, gross. I think changing my own children’s poopy diapers are gross enough. I watched my friend’s little girl today for a few hours and she pooped. I have to admit I was extra grossed out and tried not to gag. Back to my cousin. She would often comment how she would be embarrassed when a mom would come pick up their child and the child would cry because they didn’t want to go home, they would call back for “mama” (my cousin). I didn’t want to be the real “mama” on that side of things.
2. I didn’t want to miss any “firsts”. I had a very dear coworker who was the biggest influence in my decision making to be a SAHM. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “There’s no worse feeling than picking up your baby and hearing that they learned how to crawl today, or took their first step, or said their first word.” She told me I could never get those moments back. You see, this woman has three beautiful daughters, but decided to keep working instead of stay home. She loved her career and for whatever reason decided to never stay home. She told me she will always regret that decision.
3. I would never be able to “go back” and change my mind. I’ll always be able to “go to work”. But I will never be able to go back and choose to be a stay-at-home mom. Did I want to live with that regret?
And, of course, a week before my second child was due to be born, my husband and I were taking a walk along the beach when we ran into his boss. She was looking for a person to fill the position I had just quit. But at the same place he worked. We could work TOGETHER (our dream), and, get this….our health insurance would be completely FREE! That’s right, when both spouses are employed then they take care of your insurance. Umm, yes please! Talk about a moment of truth. I wasn’t even technically a SAHM yet, and was already faced with an amazing opportunity. We thought about it for about 4 days, then I went back to the three reasons: 1. I didn’t want someone else raising my children. 2. I didn’t want to miss any “firsts”. 3. I would never be able to go back and change my mind. These reasons still mattered to me, so I passed up the opportunity.
Do I regret my decision? So far, no. Is money tight? Why, yes. I’m on a complete spending freeze right now. Do I wish I had a reason to get dressed up and wear nice clothes? Yes, it would be nice. But then again I can’t fit into any of them anyway. Am I more satisfied wearing pj’s or work out pants every single day with dried snot on my sleeves and smeared food remains down my pant legs? Absolutely!
At the end of the day we are responsible for our own decisions. Maybe going to work is the best decision for you! That is not something I can and never would answer. Only you know that answer. Life has no rewind button, and our children certainly do not have one. Yes, I know many times I wish I could fast forward through the temper tantrums and poopy diapers, etc. But I can’t. Whether you are home or working away from home, don’t forget to appreciate the time you are in. These are some of the best times of our life. 🙂 Peace, Mommas!
Stay-at-home moms, what were some of the things that influenced your decisions? Leave a comment!