Why I am a stay at home mom.

Before I get into this, how about we get something clear? I am only giving my opinion, and I'm not judging you if your opinion is different than mine. We can be adults about this, and realize we may not feel the same way re: the subject. I honestly do NOT want to see comments from women or men who feel like they need to justify to me, of all people, why they don't stay at home. That is purely your business. Share if you want to - but please don't feel like you need to justify your actions.

I did not get much sleep at all last night. On my mind was a conversation I had with my sis in law about how we, and lots of other women, try to deal with suddenly 'staying at home' (kids or no kids) and how often we become depressed when there isn't much to do.

When I got married a few years ago, I decided that I'd had enough of my semi-crappy job and wanted to stay at home. No, I didn't have any kids. I'm not sure what I thought it would be like. Quaint, I'm sure.

The reality was I was a terrible housekeeper. My kitchen was, as a rule, atrocious, and I felt I had much better things to do online than to keep my house spick and span. It makes me shudder to think back on all the dirty dishes that sat around for days, the dirty laundry that stayed in a pile for, let's be honest, weeks. I did feel depressed and I had no self motivation to take care of myself or my apartment.

In my own way, I was learning a very good example of what NOT to do.

We've been married three years and now with the baby thrown into the equation.

Would I ever go back to work?

I would guess that for some women with actual careers, the idea of going back to work is tempting. For me, the idea of going back to an office, or e-gads, RETAIL, is just not a temptation in the least. I say that with love for the ladies who do work in those settings, of course. I've worked enough retail to last me a good long while, thank you very much.

I have an extended family member that suggests checking out the mommy play groups in the area for something to do. Can I admit that deep down I'd rather spend the afternoon cleaning the toilet than go to a mommy group function? Am I horrible for feeling that way? Am I totally sick and twisted that I feel content to get my adult interaction through blogging and my internet friends, or real life friends, who I keep up with by email?

I've never been a person who needed a gaggle of girls hanging around to feel validated. And I'm not saying that is what mommy groups ARE or are FOR, but I'm just saying that I've always felt like a bit of a loner, of an anti-joiner, and I truly feel content to skip out on all the groups. I don't feel like less of a person, woman, or mom, if I have no desire to go out and make a bunch of new mommy friends.

Basically, it all comes down to this. If I had to, I would do it. If my husband was hurt and could not work, I would go back to work. Short of that, when I think of dropping my baby off at a daycare, and I think of all that I would be missing out on during the day -- the laughs, the singing, the silliness, the 'tude, everything good and bad, I just can't justify leaving her.

Short of staying with a grandma every day, I don't feel like a daycare employee would give her the love, the attention, the care that I can. No one knows her like I do. No one knows her noises like I do. The noises that mean I'm bored, or I'm hungry, I need love, or I've got a poop in my drawers. Nobody can tend to her like I can.

I truly think it is my privilege to stay at home and take care of her. Often by the time my husband gets home from work and takes over, the baby is cranky and tired and full of fuss. I cannot imagine what it would be like to miss the whole rest of the day when she is a little angel baby! It hurts me just to imagine that.


Leslie said...

I stumbled upon your site..I love your writting on Stay at home moms! Yes, some times I wish to pull out my hair and second guess my self...but the thought of someone else raising my children makes me want to puke!!! Keep being candid in your writing..its great!

Melissa said...

i'm 100% behind you!!! i would rather die than leave my son in daycare. besides my husband, he is my greatest earthly joy and delight! i cannot even imagine letting someone else raise him. i cannot even imagine!!

Jenn said...

I feel the same way you do , yes it's not always fun and exciting but I had my kids and I don't feel the need to pay someone else to raise them ! I too could careless about going to anything named play group I love my kids and I'm ok with being home with them and talking to people on here ,it gets me what I need so I don't go crazy not talking to adults all day and it lets me not miss a thing with my kids! You can never get it back!

Darla said...

*STANDING OVATION* I was (and am) always home and I miss my child SO MUCH when he's at school there are days it takes all I have in me not to go get him and bring him home (he's only gone 7 hours a day LOL).

I can't imagine having a baby in daycare - even grandma's unless I absolutely HAD TO. I've worked at home all these years but I wouldn't have "had to" I just love to work, BUT there are women who can be solely at home and LOVE IT. And I say: YAY FOR THEM!

That wasn't the case for me, but I foung a way to have both worlds and now knowing that we could only have one child, I'm SO GLAD I made the choices I did.

Regrets? ALWAYS! Serious regets? Hardly.

Alicia said...

As a former daycare worker,I just want to tell you that you are Right On! The things I saw when I worked in daycare. Not abuse, just pure coldheartedness. I stayed in that job waay too long just because I was sure I was the only nice thing happening in most of those kids' days. You keep on lovin' on that baby and enjoying every minute of it!

cari said...

Love the post...thank you for reminding me why I am a stay at home mom. This is what I always wanted yet when I first was home from the hospital with my first baby I remember thinking...oh I totally get it now. It would be so much easier to just drop him off with someone while I go to work. Although, I am not the best housekeeper and my husband can cook way better than I can and even seems to handle our two boys better than I do at times, I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to learn and grow as a mother while enjoying every little moment with my sons who will be grown before I know it.

craftycat said...

I love that you can stay home with your little one, or even if you didn't have a little one. I think it is such a personal choice and no one should judge. LOL too bad I didn't think that way years ago. I did work but off and on and on when it was needed. Now I'm an empty nester and SAH, I'm also like you, I enjoy my online friendships and my RL friendships thorugh email, I also would prefer to clean toilets than the play date thing LOL. What a sigh of relief to hear someone else feels the same way.


Jimmie said...

This was a really nice perspective. My husband and I are planning to have kids in the next year or so, and I know up front that I won't be able to stay at home, at least for another year-ish. (He's getting his PhD, and I bring home the bacon...so blah.) The alternative is waiting until he's finished with school before we have kids, which is something I've seriously considered, but the reality is that even if we do wait, there's always the chance that the job he gets won't be so amazing that we can live on his income alone, or that even if it is, we might have to move somewhere where the cost of living is so much higher, so again, I'd still have to work and I wasted a couple of years figuring it all out.

So, we'll see. I am fortunate in that I work in a very family-friendly environment now, and I do love my job. It's truly the first job I've ever had where I've looked forward to getting up and going into work (most days). I just don't know how I'll handle it if I know I'm having to drop my baby off at daycare each day. (We don't have any family nearby, so daycare it is...)

Deborah said...

I can relate to a lot of this Ali. When Ella was born I was in a high powered corporate job. I LOVED it! But once she came along everything changed. I dropped into the daycare one day to find her in a swing with her bottle propped up. No. So when we moved to Ireland I decided to stay home. I miss the camraderie of the work environment, something you just can't get at Mom groups. Groups of women come rife with drama and I just can't be bothered with all that.

Audrey said...

I`m not a mom yet and do work (am not even married) but I can totally relate. I´m not sure how I´ll make it when "the" day arrives, but I do know that I won´t go to work straight after my child is born (like some women at my job) because I`d miss my child so much and wouldn´t want to miss the growing up!
And: if you´re fine the way you handle things (staying at home instead of working) then everyone should respect (and accept) that! Thumbs up.

Taeran said...

Stay at home mums ROCK!

Seriously though, I can't understand people who ditch their new babies to daycare a couple weeks after birth.. I feel like saying "well did you want that baby or not!?"