Yesterday I officially became a stay-at-home Mom. For a lot of woman it's an easy, no-brainer decision but it wasn't that easy for me. There are a lot of things to consider when giving up everything that you've worked for in the past as well as a social life. Having a baby is already life-changing and I didn't want to rush to a decision while being in the middle something that makes you so crazy and unable to think clearly; AKA motherhood. For those who are struggling with the same thing, here is what I considered:
Finances: Obviously your finances are going to make the biggest impact on your decision. We are lucky enough not to have a ton of debt, but a fair amount, and also lucky enough that my maternity leave coincided with tax season making it easy to pay off everything but my car. Still, we are having to postpone the wedding to Spring of next year, postpone saving for a house, and I will have to babysit at least one child a month to make up for the difference.
Social Life: I already gave up my social life when I moved to Oregon. I found out I was pregnant with Olivia a few months after moving here, which made it really hard to go out and meet new people. Going to work was the only thing that gave me that sense of belonging and social interaction. Even being home on maternity leave gets to me a few days a week. Having a new baby in the Winter is hard... it's rainy and windy and you really don't want to go out, especially if the baby is going to freak out and make you go back home anyway. It's a lot of work getting your newborn and yourself ready for the day. I get really bored sometimes, and crave that everyday interaction. Luckily, Jet will get older and become more entertaining, the other child I will be watching will keep me busy, I'll be seeing the parents everyday and there are play date groups I'm looking as joining as well. I also try to get out by myself at least one night a week to go tanning and relax, and Mike is good at convincing me to go on family outings once during the week as well.
Feeling accomplished: Being a Mom and Wife is hard. You're up all night feeding the baby, then when you wake up it's coffee, playtime, feeding, nap time, cleaning, playtime, feeding, nap time, dinner, clean-up, bath time, feeding, bed time. Eat and shower if you're lucky. Then you also have to try to fit in grocery shopping, socializing, and making sure your relationship isn't getting forgotten in the shuffle. You do all of this with little recognition or appreciation, and it can get you down. It's important to remember that what you do IS important. Looking back, I so appreciate that my Grandma was home with us all day. I became so close to her, she was always there when I needed to talk and I trusted her more than anyone. She taught me all the basics... cooking, baking, cleaning, crafting, and everything I needed to know about keeping a house in order. But then she also taught me about charity and loving others... something that she might have been to busy for if she was working. It was also important to her that we sat around the table, with a healthy meal, and ate as a family... something that I now realize the value of and can't wait to do with my own family. Your children might not realize how special these moments are now, but they will when they have their own family someday and that's when all the long days and sleepless nights will pay off.
At the end of the day, this is an opportunity that I wanted so badly with Olivia and didn't get... an opportunity that a lot of Mothers don't get. After Olivia passed away I regretted the fact that while she was in the care of people who I trusted and who loved her more than anything, I missed SO much time with her and so many milestones. I don't want to miss anything this time around, life is too short, and these are moments that you'll never get back.