If you’re a long-time reader here (thank you!), then you know how I feel about Mom staying home whenever possible. I so appreciate this post from Tara, exposing her heart and sharing her perspective on coming home.
I didn’t plan on getting married.
I didn’t plan on having children.
After meeting my husband and realizing that he was The One, I soon came to realize that we’d have a family together. We wanted to have a family together.
I planned on being a working mother, not ever believing that I’d want to stay home and wipe butts and entertain babies all day long.
And then my baby was born.
I spent three months crying over the fact that I’d have to leave her to return to work. I couldn’t fathom how I’d manage to part with this tiny person who depended on me, whom I loved so deeply. I couldn’t imagine how I’d bear to spend my days a mile away from her when I couldn’t bear to sleep in a different room from her at night.
To make matters worse, I am a public high school teacher. I wrestled with the fact that I was abandoning my own child every day in order to take care of other people’s children.
The guilt and sadness grew. I cried every day as I drove from the day care to my school.
Every single day.
I begged my husband to help me find a way to quit working. He said it wasn’t possible. We sought marital counseling because my resentment for him grew along with my sadness and guilt.
Finally, I resigned myself to be a working mother for the duration.
Once Grace was old enough to talk, I understood that she loved her day care and that she looked forward to seeing her teachers and her friends. It became a little easier to go to work each day.
Through her second and third years in day care, my emotions ebbed and flowed. Some days and weeks were harder, and some were easier. I never felt like I was doing the right thing, and, as Amy pointed out so brilliantly, my career became just a job. My master’s degree became a burden; student loan payments were among the bills keeping me at work.
We planned to be a family of three.
No more children were in our future, and we had only two years of day care to pay for before Grace would head off to elementary school.
Even though my heart wasn’t in it, teaching seemed like the perfect job. I’d get out of work each day around the same time that Grace would get out of school; even though the end of summer is hard, we’d still have summers together.
And then I turned up pregnant.
It took a long while to accept the idea.
Once I accepted it, however, and really started to picture what our future was going to look like, I realized that we couldn’t afford day care for two children. It’s impossible.
We started looking at our bank accounts and our budget. We can’t afford to lose my income, and we can’t afford to pay for day care.
It would seem logical, I suppose, for my husband to stay home with our children. Logical, but not practical. He’s not the mom. He has neither the patience nor the skill to wrangle a baby and a preschooler for any period of time.
Plus, I want nothing more than to be at home with my children.
So, that’s where we are. I’m back at work, at least until the baby is born (I carry our health insurance.). My husband is looking for a new job – one with medical benefits and better pay. He hasn’t found one yet.
I have faith. I believe that my intense desire to stay home is coming from the Lord, and I believe that He will provide me with a means to stay home.
I’m feeling a little anxious while I wait for it to happen.
Tara is a wife and mom who has been publishing Feels Like Home since 2007. She writes a variety of posts: food and cooking tips, craft ideas, and a myriad of parenting (mis)adventures help make readers’ lives easier – or at least make them laugh along the way.
You can learn more about Tara at Feels Like Home.