To Become a Stay at Home Mom or Not

Some discussions have come up in our house recently that I never thought I would have with my Husband.  A discussion that involves my career versus staying at home once we have a baby in the house.  Staying at home.  A stay at home Mom.  All things I never thought I would contemplate.  I always assumed I would have a baby, take the appropriate maternity leave and go back to my job.  After some recent discussions though, things may change.

When I was fired from my job a little over a year ago, I was lucky to find a place with an old friend.  The thing was, it was right back in insurance, where I have been for a long time and have forever disliked.  But this job was a band-aid and has worked well for where I have been at in my life.  I have been the only employee, I come and go as I please, I take whatever time off I need/want, I spend endless hours on Pinterest when it is slow and in return when there is work to be done I do it and do it well.  All of the flexibility has helped with the endless doctors appointments and the time off needed from the miscarriage.  I didn’t have to worry about PTO or anything else which gave me the time to just focus on my Husband and I.  Taking that bit of stress off my plate was huge.  In return for all that flexibility, I have made a lot less than what I’m worth.  Not because he doesn’t want to pay me more but he just can’t afford to.

While the job has been nice, it is running its course for numerous reasons I don’t want to list out.  My Husband asked a very loaded question one night “Do you really think you want to go back to this job after maternity leave?”  Then he broke down my shit pay, versus gas/day care and followed it up with  “Do you really want to go back to this job, drop our baby off at day care and only come home with X amount of money to show for it?”

Crickets.

Also, reality check.

And you guys, he wasn’t trying to be mean but just made me look at the obvious.  Sure, I could go back to working insurance for the bigger corporations and make the money I’m worth after the baby comes.  I can work the 8-5, pay daycare and gas, and still have money left over with no problem.  It isn’t out of the question.  The problem is, I’m right back at ground zero of hating what I do, insurance, a job I’m burnt out on.  And how hard would it be to go back to corporate 8-5 after all this flexibility I have had?!

Which leads us to me staying at home.  It isn’t that I’m against it, I’ve just never thought it would be for me.  After a lot of discussion I realized I don’t think it would be for me simply out of fear.  I want to be more than just a Mom in life.  I know some people are totally fine having that be their only title and I commend those people but that scares the shit out of me.  I need more.  I look at people who have all their kids off to school, none at home, and they seem confused, standing there with their hands in their pockets, wondering what to do next.  I fear that day.  I’m also worried about being that Mom that hands the kids off to the Husband as soon as he walks in the door screaming “I had this kid all day, it is yours now!” with hatred in my voice.

All these, simple fears.

I voiced those fears to not only my Husband but a friend recently who laughed, saying I would be the last person to do that.  That friend also considered smacking me upside the head out of jealousy.  We talked a lot about how I have raised Rebecca and how my ex and I handled her when she was a little one.  And you know what, we handled it just fine. I didn’t “lose” myself and I was more than just a Mom, still am.  It is all what you make of it.

I could find the time to write more if I stay at home because that is the one thing that eludes me in the office everyday.  I can’t find creativity with people screaming in between moments about their ID cards.  With all the infertility issues, I have held off on becoming a certified yoga teacher.  I could do that.  I can find a part-time gig doing something that still gives me my own time.  Essentially, while I look at is as losing myself, I could actually end up finding myself.  This “what do I want to be when I grow up” thing has haunted me for some time now.

It is the first of many discussions we are going to have about it.  There are many things that go into making this choice.  Most importantly, the Husband and I have to do it in a way that works for us and our family.  For now, the door is open and the topic is on the table, where it goes from here I don’t think we will know until we get there.

 

10 thoughts on “To Become a Stay at Home Mom or Not

  1. I wish more women would put their careers on hold for the first five years of a child’s life. After that, there’s still time to be “more”. I sacrificed a ;lot to stay home with my three children, which is coming to an end this year, and it was the best decision ever, especially for them. Whatever decision you make, it will be fine because your child will be loved and that is the most important thing.

    1. My Aunt said one of the most helpful things, go find a woman/man that says she/he regrets/regretted staying at home with her/his kids. I love how every stay at home parent I have spoke with has said what you just shared “best decision ever.” Thank you for sharing:)

  2. This is such a personal decision in so many ways. I would have the same fears as you, though, but would also find ways to ‘stay me’ while home…such as you say, the yoga certification. that owuld be ideal for you, hitting your passion and giving you some me time, while being at home with your child, and not paying an arm and a leg in child care costs. whatever you decide, it’ll be right for you. xo

    1. It will take time and I know I will just have to find a new balance to everything. I know it will work out but you know, fear of the unknown:)

  3. I think you know my vote. Your kid(s) will only be little once. If you have to luxury of staying home i say count your blessings and enjoy every minute of it. There is plenty of time in life for all the other things.

  4. I have already started my campaign on Eric to stay home once we have two kids. I don’t think we’ll be ready when our first is born, but by the time the second comes around we’ll have a sizeable nest egg that we could dip into should anything happen. I do however want to continue freelancing, or working as a contractor for my company, and taking a paycut in the process, just so that I have something that is mine and my resume doesn’t go dormant for several years. I like my job but I’ve always said I don’t love it enough to hand off my kids to someone else at daycare while I slave away in an office.

    1. Amen to that friend. It is scary financially to go from DINKs to one income and a kid. I’m selfish and I would have to budget more and not have to go on so many trips. You know, sacrifices:) It is a big change but very worth it! I bet Eric will give in to you:)

  5. Flexibility is an incredibly hard thing to give up, especially with kids around. With my first son I worked from home for the first 18 months of his life before returning to the corporate world. In doing so though, I didn’t really take a “maternity leave”. I took two weeks and then started back to it because my ex-husband and I were young, he was still getting through college and I wanted to make sure we had steady income. I regret that now. With a second baby on the way, my husband and I decided that it would be a great time to work from home for the foreseeable future. After six years in the corporate world, in an environment I was really thriving in and moving forward…it was scary. Incredibly scary. Like, I worked out a three month notice mostly out of intimidation scary. But I focused on what I really wanted to do (in my case writing and freelancing for local non-profits) and I’m happier with the decision everyday…and I’m going to make a REAL maternity leave this go round. Like 3 months maternity leave just to focus on my family and my kids.

    This *may* be a great time for you to not only get some time at home with the kids, but to get to reexamine what your career goals are. Find what your true calling may be, and be truly excited about getting back into the workforce. Or maybe you’ll find that being a stay at home is your true calling. Just a thought.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is a huge decision to make and I have yet to hear anyone say it was the worst decision:) You can’t get back those months and years when they are little!

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