I found myself questioning why am I a SAHM? While there are things I do miss about working, the pro’s for being at home FAR outweigh the cons. When I was working, I loved having daily interactions with friends. Inside jokes, a place to take a break, and constant communication. At home, I feel more isolated. I’m not a major pick up the phone, and call a friend. Some days I feel an overwhelming sense of climbing up a pile of housework, that only gets rebuilt the minute the kids get home. It IS a job here.
My time was somewhat better organized when I was working. I knew I only had a limited time at home, so I would hustle to get things done at a certain pace. I was certainly one of those Mom’s who sat at her cubicle thinking, “How much I would get done if I was at home”. I also would sit and think of how I would be a different SAHM if I was given the chance again. Of course having days off while you’re working are reserved for vacation or sick days. My job was also 50 minutes away from home, and some days I wouldn’t get home til 8pm, if I decided to go to the gym. It was TEN times more stressful to come home, and see a mess all around the house. All I wanted to do was come home, and relax. Instead I became resentful, that I too was working but had to come home and continue to do so. God Bless Eli, but unless hes vacuuming he is terrible at housework.
When I was at the gym, I had a personal trainer, who was the first one to really question my choice. He asked me if I thought I would become resentful for being at home. If I would miss interacting, or feel a loss of identity. I can honestly say I don’t resent Eli at all for me being at home. If anything I have been throwing myself into his company so that I contribute to our income. There also has not been a loss of identity. While I’m not using my coding certification (medical claims) that I worked hard for, I am still working. I manage the household, finances, kids, animals, Eli’s company, and myself. The only difference is I’m not getting paid by an outside source, no benefits, and no office.
I read an article about the rise of Stay-at-Home-Mothers
I found some things to be true, and others that didn’t apply to my own story. Certainly, if I had a job where I was the breadwinner of the family, I don’t think I could have left. Eli and I sat and very carefully, looked at finances to see if it was possible.
Now, for child care costs, YES we save a lot more with me home. Come June, after Alex graduates preschool, and elementary school is out, we will be saving at least $1000 a month! Connecticut is not cheap for childcare folks! We let Colin stay in the after school program a couple days a week for extra socialization. He enjoys going and we didn’t want to take that away. For Alex, we love his preschool and wanted him in full time. His teachers are phenomenal and were Colin’s as well. When Colin entered Kindergarten, he was well above his peers, and I always thank his preschool teachers for that. While I believe some SAHM do an amazing job teaching their little ones at home, I personally know I could not right now. With everything that happened with my Mother, I don’t think I have that current focus. So yes, I look to outside sources.
The other thing that I find the undeniably best part about leaving work, is being here for the kids. While working I missed a lot of events for the kids. I wouldn’t be able to be back in time for a Bingo night at school, concerts, kindergarten graduation (yes seriously), or even doctor appointments. I am now here.
One of the most terrifying moments working, happened November of 2012:
I got a call from the preschool that Alex wasn’t breathing right. I told the head of the school that I made an appointment for Alex and would be taking him in that evening. I felt he had a bad cold. Ten minutes later, I got another call, that his teacher was cradling him, and his breathing seemed shallow. I can stay calm in periods of crisis, its one of better attributes, however, I was starting panic. I asked to leave work early, and got an earlier Doctors appointment. 15 minutes later, I got another call, they were very worried and wanted to make sure I was coming. I told them if he spikes a fever just call 911 but I was leaving right away. I had not even reached my car, when I got the call that his temperature was up. Of course, I told them make the call. Then, I had the most nerve wracking drive from the Hartford area, to Yale New Haven. Once there, we found out Alex was close to respiratory arrest. The ER staff thought it was pneumonia, but 24 hours later we found out Alex has asthma. I realized, if I was home, I would have just gone and picked him up. There wouldn’t have been the calls back and forth, and I wouldn’t have had my child so close to medical danger. I had guilt, and constantly was wondering if I was right working?
Being able to jump when my boys need me, or be there for concerts, parent teacher conferences, or just to play outside before its dark is unmeasurable. I know now the reason I’m a SAHM is because life shouldn’t be taken for granted. I don’t want to miss anything in their lives. I know I can my best self, Mother, and Wife here. While some days I do have the stay at home Mom drain brain, I wouldn’t change it.
As for the isolation? I’m learning to throw myself out there. Blogging was my first start. I also take myself to the gym, and am starting to look at community events more. Being at home is not a dead end. So while I may not be one of the over educated Moms that left work to be at home, I’m not a minority, or super young, I made the right choice for my family. I think each Mother does not make their lightly, and we are more demographic. What’s your story?