We don’t have family in the area to take on the task as day care provider so our only choices were for me to stay home or to find a day care center for AJ. Before I met my hubby I was determined to stay home once I had a baby. I am a huge Dr. Laura fan and after listening to her for years I was not going to tolerate working while being a mom. Besides I wanted to be like the moms I was envious of while working. The moms who got to be at Target or getting their to-do lists complete while I was stuck in an office all day. Reality set in and we decided I would go back to work.
When I was approaching month 8 in my pregnancy I started visiting Day Care centers close to work. I wanted to be close to the Gummie (that’s what we referred to the baby as since we didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl and because the first ultrasound looked like an actual gummi bear) so I could visit on my lunches. I also wanted to have drive time to and from work every day with this new little human of ours. The plan was for me to go back after 12 weeks (when AJ was 3 months old). So, I started the day care research. After narrowing my selections down I went on my site visits. I went to check out the locations I researched alone. I did not give my hubby many details or thoughts on my visits because I wanted him to form his own opinions when it was time for him to check out the locations. After his visits, we sat down and talked about our likes and dislikes for each location. We had two centers we were interested in and we were going back and forth with which one felt like a good fit for us. All of our day care talk ceased for a while when we brought the babe home. We couldn’t formulate sentences for a while due to lack of sleep, so there was no point in having a serious conversation about our child at that point. We were just trying to survive.
After the hubs (Nick, who states I don’t use his name in my blog, so going forward I will do so to make him happy) returned to work after being home with us for 3 weeks we resumed our day care conversations. We had constant conversations about which location we would choose. Nick started coming home after work and telling me he couldn’t imagine anyone else watching AJ. The guy who was so onboard with me going back to work ASAP was now telling me he would do anything he could to have me stay home. He flipped the script on me and I was stunned. It was what I wanted to hear. If it was exactly what I wanted, why was it so hard for me to say yes?
We sat down and made charts with finances, pros and cons of staying home and pros and cons of day care centers. After much debate and loss of sleep, not because of the baby this time, I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). It took me about 1.5 months to to make the decision to stay home. I was worried about money, health insurance and how I would handle not working. I worried about not interacting with adults on a daily basis. And, I was wondering if I would be “doing” enough for AJ. I still worry about all of these things.
There have definitely been days where I have flat out said I would pay any amount of money to have someone watch AJ all day long. I’m more tired now than when I went to work every day! Side note: I’m not a coffee drinker, so I don’t have many options in keeping me awake! I miss having conversations with adults. I’ve joined “mom groups” only to be removed from the group because I didn’t meet their quota of monthly activity participation. You would think they understand. I’m a new mom with an almost 8 month old. I do my best to stick to his scheduling needs and that often conflicts with activities they plan.I miss the security of bringing in an income, even though I know most of the income I would bring in would go directly to day care. After all, I still love shoes. Heck, one of my thoughts was how can I participate in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale if I’m not working. Laugh if you will, but I really had to think about it!
I try to balance the negative thoughts with the positive. I often wonder if I’m doing enough for AJ. I’ve wondered if a day care center would be better for learning. I get worried he’s with me too much and that he’s not exposed to enough children, adults or activities. But, then I get so many kisses, laughs and smiles during the day that I wonder how he could all day without having me there for kisses. I get to see so many of his milestones first hand. I know that even if he was in day care I’d still get to see his firsts; it would just be my first time.
I’m officially the mom I envied while working, but now I see the working ladies lunching and it reminds me that I actually miss it. I know this choice is not a forever one, so I’m doing my best to make sure this baby, Nick and house are well cared for. I’m relishing the time I have with him because it’s going by so fast. I’m not sure when I’ll go back to work, but when I do I’ll have so much to be thankful for and I may even appreciate the job a little more. We often say we will be comfortable with day care when he can talk to us and let us know whats going on. However, that could all change.
Until then I’m an expert at wheels on the bus and the itsy bitsy spider. And, I’m thankful for my husband, Nick, who works so hard to allow this to happen.
See you around a Target center near you…