To Stay Home or Not to Stay Home? That is MY Question
Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would be strategizing worthy ways to make being a stay-at-home mother a reality. Housewife! Yuh crazy! I would never be a housewife. That certainly was my stance about ten years ago. Who would have guessed that today my dream job is to be a housewife?
Funny eh? The reason why I went to college was to facilitate my successful entrance into the workforce. To one day join the ranks of the many working mothers out there.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not for or against any of the aforementioned titles. I am currently a working mother facing a dilemma. I am in no way or form disillusioned by the glamorous life that awaits me, if I should stay home. It is hard work. Even harder than what I do, when I leave my children in the capable hands of their babysitter.
Not only will I have to ensure that the little munchkins are fed, entertained, washed and rested; I will also have to ensure that the house is in order. The very thing that I tell myself time and time again that I would do if only I had more time at home, get my house in a reasonably presentable fashion.
I must secretly admit that I harbour a teeny tiny bit of fear that I may not be up to the task of staying home with the boys. I conquer that fear with the sad thoughts that recently seem to be constantly bombarding me.
I am missing out on some very entertaining and crucial developmental years with my children. Again, I must stress that I do not believe that should I not stay home with the boys that they will somehow become a scourge on society. I teach many children who did not stay at home with their mother in their toddler years, and they are very well-adapted, little children.
I am also very capable of being a working mother. I mean to say, I am woman hear me roar! But with all the roaring and carrying on that goes with being a strong, multitalented woman, my little kitten heart continues to break, as I make my hurry meals in the evening – with a baby clinging to my pant leg and a toddler trying to pull me over to engage me in his exciting world of play dough construction. So as capable as I am at what I am currently doing, I am choosing to leave my career, and enter a new, exciting, and many-times frustrating field. That of a stay at home mother.
The first time that I felt the urge was following my first maternity leave. It was a wet, grey and cold morning, and I was due back at work after enjoying the wonderful bliss of staying at home with my cute, little boy. I had mentally prepared myself for the moment in the weeks prior, or at least so I thought.
So there I was in the car driving to the babysitter thinking to myself that the weather MUST be an omen that it wasn’t a good day to take him to the babysitter. But on we went, my husband driving, I in the passenger seat sitting quietly, trying to put on a brave, strong face. We arrived, and we took him out of the car, and into the babysitter’s apartment. Not only did he look at us with a face of utter betrayal, which further compounded my feelings of sadness as I left him; he also did not even crack a smile.
Well, low and behold, I then realised that I’d locked the car keys in the car. To me, another sign that I should not leave him at the babysitter that day. I kept waiting for my husband to voice my sentiment, but alas, it did not happen. The babysitter drove us to work, where I cried my little, new mummy heart out. Needless to say, Alejandro had a good day and the thought never seriously entered my mind after he transitioned quite easily to life at the babysitter.
When Giovanni came along, the desire to stay home became even more pronounced. Now Alejandro was a perfect little baby, but Giovanni? Not so much. Cute as a button, but he has a special talent for screaming. Not just loud screaming, but prolonged, ongoing, loud screaming.
The feeling continued to cement itself when our babysitter, ever unflappable and a seeming miracle worker, texted us one day, asking when we were coming to pick up the boys because she couldn’t take the screaming anymore. More evidence that I should stay home with the boys, because, even though he is a screamer at home, he will at least play with his toys or his brother, therefore saving his screaming bouts for special occasions.
It really hit me one day while on my way to pick up the boys from the babysitter that it was dark, when I dropped them off that morning and there I was picking them up and it was dark. I felt a twinge of guilt creeping into my tired thoughts of what will I cook for dinner? And will I have time to pick up the toys from around the living room tonight?
This was the first time I actually seriously started to consider staying home with them. By seriously, I mean, I actually started to formulate realistic scenarios for achieving my goal.
I started getting ‘signs’ from any and everywhere. A few days later, after talking to one of my co-workers who also has a toddler, I overheard someone talking about how they wished that they had slowed down and enjoyed their children when they were younger. I mean that HAD to be a sign. While watching Oprah’s Life Class, she had a few episodes that focused on topics like slow down, enjoy your present life. One of her shows also focused on listening to your inner voice that tells you what your purpose in life should be. Well let me tell you, bells started ringing, telling me that at home is where I needed to be.
So here I am, at a crossroad, doing extensive research because I cannot afford to be impractical. I must consider realistic things like, will we be able to cover our expenses with only one major income? If it was necessary for me to provide some supplementary income, what would be a viable source of money if I were to stay at home? How much can we reduce our current debt before I embark on my journey? What if I couldn’t hack it out as a stay-at-home mom? Will I be able to re-enter the workforce easily?
I am in the market for any and every type of advice. I know in my heart of hearts that staying home with the boys is what I WANT to do. I also know that I must be practical in my desire. So I ask, to stay home or not to stay home? I’ll let you know what I decide.