I was reading Frema’s post today about her arranging maternity leave and the fact that her awesome husband has decided to stay home with their baby once her leave expires. This brought my thoughts back to our own plans. I have always looked forward to an early “retirement” knowing that I would be home when we started our family and that’s still the case today. I have many times since February questioned whether this is the right choice for me now that I’m facing it. I worry about becoming lonely, bored and overall loosing my mind with cabin fever. We are in another new place, are all alone, no friends, no family, no help. Will being home all day with no adult interaction make me loose it? Is cleaning and cooking and taking care of the baby going to be enough? I still don’t know the answer to that, what I have learned in the past few months is I will make up my mind after the Nugget is here. I know now that while my job is mostly okay, it’s not a good fit for me. So, I plan on working here until I either have the baby or until October 19, which is two days past my due date. Then it’s so long. If I do decide to go back be it 12 weeks or 12 years after Nuggets arrival, it will be a new path as the one I have been on for the past 7 years has become stale and is no longer a challenge.
My other line of thinking here is a concern for “family time”. Mike is in the first year of his career and it is not one of Monday- Friday 9-5 like mine where I leave it all behind and live it up when it’s over. His is never done, he works every night and every weekend for a good 10 hours each day. This will get better over time, but not soon. This has me thinking that his only job when the baby comes should be his job. No more dishes, cat box cleanings, lawn care, garbage etc. all of his chores will become mine. I really feel like this is fair anyway, he’s got the sole responsibility of sustaining our life style. Is it too much to ask that I do the same for him? I want him to have time to spend with us when he can back away from his workload. This time is precious now, I long for a day we can just take the time to go run errands together again. When the baby is here I know it will be even more important. Not that I won’t ask his help from time to time or that he’s off the hook indefinitely but right now I’m thinking of his well being too. Were not talking the 1940’s housewife who laces up her corset and prepares her man a drink while awaiting his arrival, but if I’m at home all day it certainly won’t kill me to add on a few things to my day to help him out. After all, he’s doing our family the ultimate favor of working this hard so we can have the life we worked so long for. I don’t know what it will be like when our little one is here so this plan will have some kinks, especially in the early days when I’m recovering from the birth but I will give this the old college try. Mike doesn’t know of any of this since it’s been coming to me slowly for the past few weeks (during which our quality time is spent carpooling) and I’m sure he will protest a little and be worried that I shouldn’t have to do it all. That’s when I will remind him this isn’t exactly a free pass but more of an attempt on my part to make sure that when he is available our time together is spent doing things that matter. Not cleaning the litter box!
So, are you a stay at home Mom? How do you maintain the balance of who you are and your new self as a parent? Is staying home all puppy dogs and rainbows or insanity in diapers, maybe a combo of both. Talk to me, what’s your story , do you share chores, are there weekly play-dates, reading time at the library, swimming lessons, what?