Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm A Stay At Home Mom

I thought people knew this but I guess I didn't make it very clear. I'm going to stay home with Aiden for now. Maybe until he's in school. Or maybe until he's in college. I don't know yet, but right now, being home with him is what feels right for me.

I often feel the need to defend myself when I tell people this since our society seems to think that it's okay to comment on/critique/criticize other people's (mainly mother's) life choices. People tend to look at me like I'm nuts or that I'm somehow giving up on life, which is so wrong. I know plenty of moms who love their jobs. They feel fulfilled and have a sense of purpose heading into work each day. I, on the other hand, during my last four years of going to school and working, was left with a feeling that my sense of purpose was sitting in daycare with strangers. I hated being away from Aiden, and not in an 'oh, I can't wait to see you at six o'clock (or nine o'clock) tonight' kind of way but in a way that made me realize I want to be the one taking care of my child and showing him the world, not a rotating crew of childcare workers.

I remember being in middle school and sitting on the afternoon school bus, watching a kid run off the bus and into his mom's arms and thinking 'wow, I want to be that kind of mom'. My own mom didn't get a chance to stay home (except briefly when we were very young), and I don't know that she would have even if she had the choice. She has a great job and she's awesome at it, and I'm no worse for wear having had a working mom, but I have always known I'd want to stay home with my own kids if possible. It just happens the baby is here sooner rather than later. So yeah, this is what I want to be doing now.

No one looks twice at a woman who works through her twenties and thirties and stays home when she has a baby at 39 or 40. Why can't I stay home with a baby who's going to be in college by the time I'm 40, and do what I want then? Sure, it's backwards but I've always been one to do things in my own time. And really, 40 is the new 20 anyway. I fully plan on going back to school or work or whatever the moment it feels right. (And I know a bunch of you are doing the sarcastic eyeroll because come on, she'll never go back! But plenty of people also said I'd never graduate after having a baby, in a neat four years no less!)

Sean and I have talked about it over and over again, and we both agree it's what's best for us. He's about to embark on a period of his career that requires 12 hour days and an ever changing schedule. Trying to work a forty hour week and care for Aiden while Sean works his own opposite schedule is my personal version of hell. I know that it would not do good things for our marriage or for my ability to be a good parent. It's not something we're willing do.

So I guess I just really wanted to come out of the closet about my firm decision to stay home right now. And to say that I totally support working moms and stay at home moms. And to say that I hope everyone voted yesterday.


LauraES said...

I can't wait to hear what prompted this post. Also can I be your son's stay at home godmother?

Vicki said...

Stay home, I remembered my struggling to work and take care of my son. You don't need to have an expensive life style, simple life style Sean's income is enough.

By the way, I love the picture, Aiden is a big brother to the Bear.

Demosthenes said...

I often find myself eye-rolling at Feminists. You know why? Because they seem to often miss the part about Feminism being about CHOICE and not about every woman literally doing the same job as a man. Women's rights movements granted me the ability to have a career in finance and computer science (as something other than a secretary), which I'm thankful for - but having that career doesn't make me any stronger than you or any more right than you. (Heck, I could never stay home all day with a child.)

Your choice is your own, and as long as you made it as an independent, thinking human being and weren't just being a 1950s zombie Stepford wife, then you're as fulfilled and free as anyone else. People can disagree all they want, but really it comes down to what's right for you.

(Also - I'm curious like Laura. What prompted this?)

Tierney said...

Can I be a stay-at-home train-playing friend? Just thought I'd ask :-)