Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Conflicted Feelings over becoming a Stay at Home Mom

I want to be a stay at home mom. I never thought I would have wanted to be a stay at home mom.

I worry about that choice.

I worry that my future daughter will not respect me as a hardworking woman and will not strive to become self sufficient.

I worry that my children will be spoiled by my presence and not appreciate all that I do for them.

I worry that my children may become too dependent upon me or that they will be too dependent upon the things I do for them and they will not be equipped as an adult.

I worry that other people will judge me.

I worry that I will disappoint those people that have always thought of me as a role model for their children.

I worry that when I WANT to return to work I will be unable to pick back up where I left and make a decent amount of money.

I am a worrier. Can't you tell?

My mom worked full time so I just thought I would too. I grew up being told 'you can be whatever you want when you grow up and do whatever you want to do'. I always thought I would be able to have it all: a great career, a big paycheck, a cute family, pets, house, tropical vacations, etc. I never thought that the pressures of a 24 hour a day world might someday force me to rank the importance all of these things. That I would not have enough hours in the day to do everything I wanted to do (while being who I wanted to be for the people in my life). Adulthood has woken me up to the fact that I have to choose what is most important to ME and let the rest fall. I cannot physically and emotionally handle 'it all'.

I have always thought being able to be a SAHM was a luxury. That it was nice if it was financially possible for people to do so. Now living where I am and making what I make, at the end of the day, I wouldn't be taking home much money after all of the expenses. (I do recognize that my 'not much' is different than someone else's.) Day care around Boston is one of the most expensive in the nation - it is in the top 3! It really makes you think about things much differently when you have that to consider. All that sacrifice, hard work and stress for what? The ability to take a nicer vacation every year? (Provided there is any vacation time left to use after a kids fever/cold take up your vacation time). I don't even LIKE my job anyway. I have no room to advance where I'm at and have tried unsuccessfully for YEARS to get another job.

When I met my husband he felt strongly that someone had to stay home with the kids. Poppycock, I thought.

His mom stayed home until the kids were in school then worked part time. My mom never stayed home. I turned out just fine.

Well after a few years and many conversations about our childhoods I came to realize his was rosier than mine but I thought that it had far more to do with our different income brackets. That is until later.

Now I think that his childhood was rosier than mine partly because of the greater means of his parents but also because his mom stayed home. He could do more 'things', spend more time together. He wasn't saddled with the responsibilities I had at young age. He was allowed to be a kid. He had more opportunities to figure out what he was good at and encouraged to follow that path. I truly believe that a lot of it had to do with his mom staying home. She wasn't as stressed and tired as my mom was working full time while raising us alone. She could notice and nurture his talents and guide him toward activities that would help him flourish. Not me. I was shuffled around constantly. Grandma B, Grandma V, Aunt L, Aunt D & Uncle P all had their rotation. I am not trying to judge my mom at all. She did what she had to do but I want my kids to have a different experience.

I will be honest, there was a time I DID judge SAHM's. I was in high school. My aunt stayed home with her 4 kids until they were all in school all day. I DID judge her when her husband asked me something to me about my aspirations. I was full steam ahead with my 'go to college and do better than my parents plan' so at the time not working didn't seem like an option to make that possible.

I feel terrible about that now. I feel terrible because I truly had NO idea what it is like to be an adult. The deep sense of responsibility that comes with it.

Rainbows: At the end of the day my ability to stay home is a luxury and I am thankful I have the choice of doing so.

Rainshowers: I have a hard time accepting that my life hasn't worked out exactly as I pictured in high school. My high school self would not even recognize me now.

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