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Dreams Fulfilled November 18, 2011

Posted by battysgirl in Baby Fever, Being a Mom, Friends & Family.
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Two and a half years ago when I went back to work after my maternity leave with Celeste ended, I was in tears at the prospect of leaving my daughter in the hands of (even the most well qualified) strangers.  I worried that I would be missing out on all the great milestones in her life and that there was simply no way that I could be a stay at home mom and still provide the kind of life to our child we wanted to.

Two years ago, I lost that job and was terrified that I had forced my family into poverty and searched desperately for another one.  Within five weeks I had a job offer (I know… how lucky was I?) and although it was a rather drastic pay cut, I felt that by working I was providing my child a better life with the things I could give her (other than time, of course).

Last year, we decided we wanted to try again for another child.  We wanted to try once Celly turned two and while  I was very, very happy that we had come to this consensus, I also made it clear that, with the birth of our second child, I felt it was best (both financially and for our family) if I no longer work and focus my attention on raising our children.

With the due date of Baby P 2.0 looming, today is my last day as a full time employed working mama.  Monday morning, I will not be waking up and running out the door to work.  I will no longer be working to pay someone else to raise my child. 

I cannot even begin to tell you how this makes me feel.  On the one hand I am elated that after two years of missing my kid and hoping I’ve made the right decision, now I will be with my kid and… well, hoping I’ve made the right decision!  I’m terrified to be honest.  Will we be able to surivive on one income?  Have I budgeted sufficiently to get us through this without ruining our credit?  Can I even stick to the budget I’ve set up for us?  Do I have the patience to be a stay at home mother to a toddler and a newborn?  Is Celeste going to hate me for pulling her out of school and away from the friends she’s made there?

I could go on, but I don’t think I need to.  I remember the first week back at work after my maternity leave.  I did miss my child something fierce, but I also learned that I missed adult interaction as well.  I was almost relieved to be working again.  When I started working at this job, I cried every night I had to work the late shift and I wasn’t there to kiss my child before bed, but if I’m honest, I also came to enjoy having an excuse for her Daddy to do all the work for a night.  And, I have to be honest here, working those late shifts and forcing my hubby to be her sole caregiver for a few hours in the evening did wonderful things for his confidence level as a parent!  To top it all off, I was raised by a stay at home mom and working father and witnessed first hand my mother’s extreme desire to get OUT of the house and be something other than a mom and wife.

I have talked to Celeste about the idea that she will be staying at home with Mommy and she gets excited about it, but I also know she enjoys the children she goes to school with and I will not be as attenetive once the little one comes as she is used to (at least for short periods of time).  Most of you who know me will know that I’m a researcher and as such I’ve been looking up fun activities for us to do and free printable worksheets for us to continue having learning fun with her.

What I think she will miss the most are the friends she has made in the past two years.  I’m hoping that frequent trips to the park will lead us to other children and stay at home moms and that the few parents I do know with kids in her age range and I will have a bit more time on our hands to get together.

Any stay at home moms that might read my blog, got any pointers for me?  I keep joking with people here at work that when I come to visit I’ll have a big ol’ bald spot on my head where I’ve pulled my hair out.  I am confident that staying home is what is best for my family and that is why we’ve moved forward on this decision but like every mom out there, I’m a worry wart.

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