It's been four years since I left the working world to become a stay at home mom. A lot has changed for me since that day~we've moved, and I've had 3 more children. I remember being so incredibly adamant with Doug when we got pregnant with Drew that I WOULD be staying home and that we'd need to figure out how to make everything work so that I could do that. My mom stayed home until I was old enough to watch my brother for a bit after school (when I was 12 and he was 10) and in my mind that's how I wanted my life to be. I can honestly say, four years later, that I didn't do quite enough soul searching at that time. I looked at the finances, realized that the cost of two in daycare would take almost my entire paycheck at a job I didn't love, and said I wanted to stay home. I have a tendency to put my mind to something without thoroughly thinking it through. This was one of those times.
I know there are those out there who would love to stay home and cannot for financial reasons, and those of you who love working and know that staying at home isn't for you. I don't begrudge anyone their choices; everyone has to do what is best for them and their family and no one has the right to tell them otherwise. Right now I am talking about MY choices and how they affect ME.
Being a stay at home mom for ME is incredibly difficult. I love my children dearly, but there are days when I would rather be anywhere but here. The days tend to blend together. There is no structure, aside from the girls' afternoon nap, and I am a person who likes some structure. The monotony of being at home all the time gets to me and by the time Doug gets home at night I feel like the house has closed in on me. I think his exact words were "raving lunatic" or some such thing. I'm sure a lot of that lately has to do with all those broken bones we've been dealing with. Izzie can't spend much time strapped in a car seat or stroller because it hurts, so we're forced to spend more time here. The girls are almost 2. Every reader with a child over 2 knows what that age is like, and having that doubled is enough to do a person in. Drew will be 4 in three weeks. He's bored to tears on the days he isn't at school. Put it all together and it's enough to make us all crazy.
Am I doing my children a disservice by being home with them? There are days when I heartily say YES to that. I feel like they don't get the best of me, and that is what they need to grow up healthy and happy. I'm sure they can feel my sadness and I know they've seen me cry and not know why. I certainly don't want to go back to work just because being at home is hard and it stresses me out; that would make my kids feel like I don't love them and I'm just running away from them. It's a terrible position to be in. Of course all I want is for them to be happy and if happy for them means that I'm not here all the time then maybe it's something I really need to consider. I know what I'd like to do if I got a job, and I wouldn't be doing it for the money because it pays squat. However, if working means that my children are happier and healthier, and in turn so am I, then maybe it's time.