Posts tagged ‘stay at home mom’

November 15, 2012

Stay At Home Mom…What Does That Even Mean?!

Dancing like nobody’s looking

Recently our family made a fairly big lifestyle choice.  For many reasons, but mostly we love change and we also have always believed in those tired cliches of ‘living life in the moment’ and just really being able to fully enjoy our little kidlin. After 10 months of working full time and having H go to daycare, we decided that I would call it quits (hate that word!) and that we would be pulling him from daycare…I am truly excited and happy to say that I am now a Stay at Home Mom.

Let’s discuss this.  What does that term even mean?  Though it may seem innocuous enough, it seems it is actually quite heavy with meaning.

I’ve come across various ideas of what a SAHM is from different people but they seem to veer on either end of a bizarre spectrum with the two major assumptions (and I say assumptions since these are in no way actual definitions) outlined below:

1 – Depressed and overly-stressed woman who has zero adult interaction and who regrets her decision to stay home to raise her kid/kids. Waits anxiously at the door for her husband to come home and release her from crazy screaming toddlers and baby mayhem. Commonly found with cake batter in her disheveled hair and coffee stains on her sweatshirt.

2 – Perfectly coiffed Super-Mom.  This chickita manages to somehow make gourmet meals, look amazing, squeeze in lunches with girlfriends and arrange fun playdates for her well-behaved Super-Offspring.  Hubby jokes about her spending habits but comes home to model show-home that is clean every evening and a happy family all the time.

Realistically I fit into neither category, as I’m sure most don’t, and yet these seem to be the prevailing assumptions made when the term ‘stay at home’ is used.  For me, it is simple – I’m choosing to spend more time with my family.  In no way does this mean I am sacrificing my self-worth, social life, intelligence, or ability to contribute to society.  On the flipside, neither will I be churning out beautifully plated meals every night, signing up for pilates or teaching my child five languages.  I think I’ll probably end up falling somewhere in between where, just like any job, there will be good days and bad days.

I also think Stay at Home is a bit of a misnomer since most days we are out and about 🙂  H is signed up for some fun programs and we are lucky enough to have friends to have playdates with, so while we cherish our rest time at home, its more like a home-base for our various adventures in the city.

We got a range of responses when letting friends and family know about the recent choice we made.  It was sad that some immediately thought that something negative happened at work and that me staying home was a default.  I guess it was such a natural decision that once we figured we could make it work, I didn’t have to think twice about it.  What stood out was the ton of positive reinforcement which was awesome.  Every family is different and you just do what ya gotta to make it work.

Though I enjoy working (outside the home that is, since what I do now is definitely still work!) I really feel, and this may be naive or overly optimistic, that I have lots of time to do that.  So while it was sad to leave, it was definitely bittersweet.

Right now I’m looking forward to spending some fun times with the little guy and just taking life as it comes 🙂

 

July 27, 2011

Bye Bye Mommy-Guilt! Can I Get A Hell Yeah

Couldn't do it!

You may recall a few postings back that our lil family was gearing up for the dive into daycare.  We had done all we thought we needed to prepare, had been fortunate enough to get a spot in our desired facility and I had some awesome job opportunities lined up.  Things seemed amazingly in tune with the universe.

Until we decided that daycare just wasn’t the right fit for our family at this point.  Dun dun dun.

Like with many choices as a parent,  I found myself guilt-ridden no matter which option we took.  Am I the only Mom out there that feltguilty at the drop of a dime?!

Finding a job you love – guilty, you are abandoning your child to the care of others, missing out on his growth

Staying at home to care for baby – guilty, you are not fulfilling your ‘potential’, not bringing in dizzough

Using disposable diapers, feeding store-bought baby food, forgetting sunscreen, not using flash cards, using flash cards.

Guilty, guilty, guilty!

You know what? I say bye bye to guilt!  I’m over you!  I no longer bend the knee to your frown-inducing, brow-furrowing and overall wrinkle-causing ways.

I thought that Baby H would benefit greatly from being around the other babies and having constant socialization.  Which, at the end of the day, he definitely would.  But when it came time to actually being able to part with him at 9 months, I realized I still want this time with him.  He is still a baby and I’ll never get this time back and the time really DOES fly by.

All tired cliches aside, I felt tremendously happy and just lighter when I FINALLY came to the conclusion that:

1) I don’t need to plunge headfirst into a full-time career immediately

2) We don’t need to push Baby H to be any more independent than  he already is

3)  I’m fortunate enough that I can stay at home and spend this time with him

4)  Our family is making the decisions that are the best for us and not necessarily anybody else

But to get there the most important step was to crush the guilt.  Just destroy it.  It wasn’t making any decision-making any easier.

I realize there will be many challenges waiting for me as a SAHM (more fodder for blog posts!)  Life isn’t going to be all baking, shopping, lunches and playdates…

And I am still a strong believer in the positive aspects of daycare – we still have him on the list for when he is older.

But for right now, I just want to spend every waking moment smooshing his cheeks 🙂

And not feeling guilty about it one way or the other!

Amen.

What do you feel guilty/not guilty about? How have you coped (or not) with the guilt?

July 5, 2011

Changes…(And not the diapering kind!)

I’ve always been pro-change.  Whether making big decisions or small, I see true value in being able to not only accept but to embrace change – after all, its the spice of life!

Our little family has decided that Baby H will be starting daycare soon!  I know, its not a super drastic change for most but for us it definitely will be.  I have had mixed feelings about the whole daycare dilemma but we finally decided that it is the best decision for Baby H.  The more time we spend with him, the more we realize how quickly he is growing and how much he loves to explore his world and learn!

We considered many options – me staying at home (boring for him) hiring a nanny (same, one person constantly, same environment) and even having Gma watch him.  But the thought of keeping him at home in the same environment just didn’t seem fair.  As much as we do get out (two or sometimes even three times a day!) its not the same for him as having the dynamic space with new people and other babies that he would get at daycare.

I have heard so many mums having great experiences with daycare that it seemed the natural thing to do.

That’s not to say it wasn’t a hard decision and that I’m not wracked with nerves about the whole thing!  But with his strong, super sociable personality I am really hoping he will love it!  And that means that for the next few weeks I will be cherishing EVERY moment with him even more than I normally do!  Yes even those times he refuses to nap, pulls my hair, tears my new tops or wants to grab the wires near the TV.

Instead I’ll be focused on the way when he wakes up after a nap he sits up in his crib and babbles until I come to get him.  Or when he calls ‘mama’ when he is bored and wants to do something fun.  Or the way he crinkles up his little nose when he smiles at me if I do something funny.

GAHHHHH! Ok now I’m going to cry!!!

What are your experiences with childcare for baby? Do you stay at home?  Would love to hear from other mamas & papas out there!

 

 

 

 

 

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