When I started documenting my pregnancy on the blog, I had every intention of doing other posts besides the weekly updates – choosing names, packing the hospital bag, putting together the nursery… But after doing the updates got to be so routine (albeit interrupted by moving), the other posts seemed too big to tackle or uninteresting.
Except this one…
I was reminded of my intention to write a post about staying at home vs. working full time when Carin over at The Baby Doctor’s Wife tackled the same topic last week.
So, here’s my take…
I wasn’t one of those girls who had her wedding planned long before she got married. I wasn’t one of those girls who had her perfect little family all figured out – number of children, names of said children, etc. – long before she got pregnant. I just didn’t think about that stuff too much.
But I am one of those girls who has known for a long time that she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Christopher, apparently, has envisioned for a long time, too, that the mother of his children would stay home with them.
Neither of us took strides to ensure that situation would work, though. We chose the journalist lifestyle. We don’t make a lot of money. We work wonky hours – early mornings, late nights, split shifts. We don’t have a ‘typical’ day.
We moved around a lot in the last three or four years. We didn’t really put down roots until after we found out we were expecting twins. We saved money and lived on a budget – to the best of our abilities – all that time. But we didn’t really examine our finances – and decide to buy a house/pay a mortgage rather than rent and ditch cable and other ‘luxuries’ – until we found out we were expecting twins.
Despite our desire to have me stay at home with our children, we sort of anticipated I would continue to work. It’s hard to give up a full-time reporting job – especially only 10 months into the gig – a career that is fulfilling and rewarding, albeit demanding. There’s always day care, anyway.
The news we got in January, though – that we were expecting not one, but two bundles of joy this summer – gave us pause. Day care for two infants would eat up my entire paycheck every two weeks. Day care centers might not even have space for two infants at once. Sure, Christopher could watch them during the day, until he went to work, then I could take over in the evening, when I got home. But who would cover them during the times our schedules overlapped? It just seemed too complicated a situation for even a reliable nanny.
So, we decided, very matter-of-factly, that Christopher would be the breadwinner, and I would be the caretaker (and that, in time, I would go back to freelancing to supplement our income).
Why do I want to be a stay-at-home mom? And why was that my intention long before even getting pregnant?
My upbringing – that’s why. My dad was a draftsman (for the same company for more than 25 years now), while my mom was a stay-at-home mom – at least until my younger brother, Kyle, and I were in school. We had a small house with a big backyard and a pool. Oma and Opa lived three houses down the block. We lived paycheck to paycheck (I assume), but we were happy because we had everything we needed and then some.
I don’t know that I truly appreciated my mom being at home with us at the time, but I sure did later on.
Don’t get me wrong, I know staying at home isn’t an option for everyone: Some women want to go back to work, while others have to go back to work just to make ends meet. And for those women, there are some great day cares and some caring and compassionate day care providers.
But I know that, for us, this is the best situation.
Will I miss my job? Absolutely!
But am I excited for my new job as mom? You bet.