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July 27, 2006

I’ve done both so I can give an honest opinion on each.

The first year of my daughter’s life I worked full time. It was actually more than full time. I would get to work around 6:30 every day and I was lucky to leave at 5:00 most days. I took my lap top home and worked from home on weekends. I did some traveling for work. I gave so much of myself to my job there wasn’t much left over for my family. Much of my identity was wrapped up in my job. I was a manager and I had to be there for my employees. I felt satisfied with myself if I did a good job that day. My satisfaction shouldn’t have come from work. It should have come from home.

The decision to stay home wasn’t an easy one. I love my daughter but I wasn’t sure I could spend all day every day with her. It’s hard. I wouldn’t want to spend all day with Abel every day and I love him. He would get on my nerves and I’m sure I would get on his! I was afraid of failing. If I didn’t like staying home, and decided to go back to work, what would that say about me as a mother? I would feel like a failure. I was worried I would go crazy stuck in a house with her – no real breaks.

There came a breaking point at work and I just decided to give it a try. I promised myself 6 months – if I wasn’t happy, I would get a job.

It’s been almost two months now. There are bad days and there are good days. Abel gives me a break at night. After dinner, he gives her a bath and plays with her until bedtime. I get to lay around, or get on the internet, read, etc. It’s MY time and I get it everyday. On the weekends he goes grocery shopping and takes her, or they go to Walmart – anything to get her out of the house and give me a break. I’m lucky in that aspect. He understands that this is a full time, draining job.

Are there days I miss working? Absolutely. I miss going to lunch with adults, having conversation. My friendships take more work now. I miss the mental stimulation I got daily. I miss the income. And, I miss the stress.

Do I want to go back? Nope (not yet!). I love spending the day with her. I love snuggling in the mornings, eating breakfast with her, going swimming, watching her work things out in her head. It’s neat that we are in a position that this choice was an option.

It’s not easy. Some days I want to give her some benadryl and knock her ass out for a few hours so I can take a shower in peace. There are days when I’m not the best mom. I lose my temper, sometimes I yell. But, it’s worth it for me. Staying home isn’t for everyone and I’m still not sure it’s for me, but I’m giving it my best.

I’m sure once we bring another one in the picture it won’t be so easy………….

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