A True Confession

Yesterday, my blogger friend, Whitney, announced that she has given notice at her office and will now be a stay-at-home mom.   This has been Whitney’s dream.   In fact, the full name of her blog is “My Journey Towards the Glamorous Life of a Housewife.”   So, congrats to Whitney on achieving that goal!

After I read Whitney’s post, I found myself in a really bad mood for the rest of the day.   I was grumpy and irritable.   And you wanna know why?   Jealousy.   Pure, simple, good old-fashioned sour grapes.   Whitney gets to stay home with her little baby, Levi, and I have to go back to work.

Its time I finally come clean.

I want to be a stay-at-home mom.   I want to spend my days with Michael.   There.   I said it.   Now you all know.

This may not seem like much of a confession.   I mean, there are tons of stay-at-home moms out there.   And who wouldn’t prefer to stay home over working everyday?

Well, me, for one.   I’ve always been a worker.   I enjoy working.   Its more than just a job or a career to me.   I take pride in my work – no matter how insignificant my job might be – and I find some kind of identity in having a career path and professional goals.   Lately though, I’ve started to dread going back to work.   It wasn’t something that got me down really.   Just a thought I’d have every now.   Like when me and the Bean are going for a walk around the neighborhood at 2:00 in the afternoon or when I lay down and take a nap with him on rainy mornings.   At those times, I’d have a passing thought that wouldn’t it be nice to do this every day.

But when Whitney posted about giving her two-weeks notice at work, something just changed inside me.   My heart throbbed.   And not in the good way like when I see a Johnny Depp movie.   In the way like I thought it might pop right out of my chest if I thought too hard about having to go back to work.   Hearing about someone else making that dream happen made it all the more clear that it couldn’t and wouldn’t happen for me.

Unfortunately though, that’s my reality.   I can’t be a stay-at-home mom.   For one thing, I have this downer called a mortgage payment.   And rumor has it that banks get pretty P.O.’d when you stop sending them payments.

And aside from the mortgage thing, there is the fact that I’m not very good at staying home.   Chris leaves the house at 6:30 AM every morning and gets home at 6:00 PM every night.   That’s a 12-hour time period.   I should be accomplishing so much.   There’s laundry and grocery shopping and cleaning and bills to pay and errands to run.   And that’s not even including all the work that the Bean requires like feedings, diaper changes, play time, and endless amounts of cuddling.   At any given point during my day, I have a million productive things I could be doing.   But you know how I spend my days?

Kissing the Beanie.   I kiss his cheeks.   I nuzzle in his neck.   I chew on his feet.   I blubber his belly.   And before I know it, Chris is home and another day has passed without anything useful being done.

I couldn’t do this every day!   Think of all the chaos that would ensue!   I’d have no clean dishes to eat off of.   I’d have no food to put on those dishes in the first place.   Chris would have no underwear.   Beanie would have no burp cloths.   Ask a real stay-at-home mom what she did all day she I’m sure she would be able to rattle off a list of accomplishments that would include some form of saving the world.   Twice.   Ask me that same question and you know what answer you’d get?

“Well, I nibbled Beanie’s ear.   Oh, and I chewed on his thighs.”

But just because I’d be lousy at it, doesn’t mean I don’t dream of staying at home.   I treasure every second I get to spend with the Bean this summer because I know in the fall, he’ll be spending his days babbling and cooing to someone else while I shuffle files around my office and try to look important.

So, that’s my confession today.   I wish I could call my boss and tell him I’m not coming back in August.   I wish I could pack up my heels and buy some more yoga pants.   I wish I could be there for a 10:00 AM feeding instead of a 10:00 AM meeting.

I want to be a stay-at-home mom.   Too bad my job seems to get in the way.

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23 Thoughts to “A True Confession”

  1. I personally think nibbling on your baby’s ears is a wonderfully productive thing to be doing. Maybe you will someday be able to make this dream possible.

  2. Hang in there – it gets easier! I totally wanted to stay at home at the 3 month mark when i was facing going back to work. It settled down after a month or two back. as long as you have someone you trust to leave the bean with (and it takes some time) then you will be okay. you sound like you are describing me with the work stuff and your sense of self. i also didn’t get much accomplished while at home – i do much better when i have tasks or events or deadlines to meet rather than having the whole day open. FYI – when it comes to school (we call it school, not daycare…makes me feel better) get ready for the fact that the people there aren’t you and won’t do everything the way you do. Seems obvious, but it was hard at first…”no, mix the bottle this way…”.

  3. I feel your pain. I am less than a week away from my due date and am already dreading leaving the baby and going back to work. You are not alone:)

    http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/06/asking-a-boss-for-a-part-time-schedule/?hp

  4. I desparately wanted to stay at home with my first one but my husband was in school and it wasn’t possible. All of my friends were staying home and I was SO jealous.

    I ended up working for the first two years of his life and then had our second. And now I am home. And I love it. I don’t think I ever want to go back to work.

    The working wasn’t so bad- just made me appreciate the time I did get with him even more.

    But I totally understand about not being productive while being home. I still find that a struggle. Everyday 🙂

  5. 1 – I hear the banks are pretty lenient with lapsed mortgages these days. In fact, lapsed mortgages seems almost fashionable – everyone’s doing it, lol. (Except me – I’m a renter.)

    2 – My husband is like you in that he could be home all day and not get a thing done… and then barely be able to account for what he DID do all day… and he’ll probably be our primary at-home parent. Ruh-roh.

    I know it’ll be tough to go back to work, but hang in there. You’re keeping a roof over the Bean’s head and clothes on his back and food in his belly. It’ll all work out.

  6. I am not a mom yet, but I can imagine your struggle with having to leave the Bean. Hang in there. Maybe you will be able to stay home with the Bean someday or with your next child. Your Blog seems to be “hopping!” I certainly enjoy reading your daily confessions. Thanks for sharing.

    Routine is everything. It will be ok. Once you get back to work and get settled into the new routine with the Bean and Chris. That is what other working Mom’s have told me anyways. 🙂

  7. I think you’re spending your days right now JUST AS YOU OUGHT. The laundry, dishes, (etc) will all be there but your baby is growing every single day. So don’t change a thing about what you’re doing right now. It’s a precious time, you won’t recall a bit of what the house looked like in 20yrs but you will remember snuggling Bean. Just sayin’….

    Enjoy it while it lasts. Who knows, maybe someday the SAHM thing’ll work out or make more sense (if you have another baby, do the math on how much it’ll cost you to work, you might be surprised how little your paycheck’ll mean after you’re paying daycare [etc etc] for two.) but you can be a good Mom and still work. I know so many who do.

    BIG HUGS
    Heather

  8. This post breaks my heart. It really does. A couple of thoughts:

    1) SAHM’s do not get the amount of work done in a day that you seem to think they do. Childcare takes a lot of time and attention. It’s hard to do most chores one handed and when they nap, you need one too. It gets better as they get older but kissing baby thighs is your primary goal right now. 🙂

    2) Probably somewhere in the back of your mind you’re thinking of this time as a “vacation” which is making your productivity sluggish. If you were to stay home full time it would become your “job.” It sounds like you have a strong work ethic so that would affect things.

    3) Just because you have to go back in the fall does not mean it’s forever. A lot of people are shocked by how much money can be saved when one person quits the work force. You may be able to get creative with your finances and/or change your work situation to part time. Hang on to the dream!!

  9. I’ve never wanted to be a stay at home mom. Ever. I don’t have kids yet. But yesterday I was reading thru some blogs and thinking about how nice it is these moms get to do such wonderful things with their kids and I felt the tug.

    I’m trying to ignore it. I know it’ll only get worse when I actually have a baby. Ssssh, lets pretend I don’t want to stay home.

  10. Katie

    I don’t want to stay home! My baby will be here in about four months and I’m all set to be home with him, and it freaks me out. I love working (in the sense that anyone loves working) and don’t know what will happen to me when I give that up. I feel like I’m throwing away something I’ve spend the last ten years working towards. As it is, I’m taking a semester off from working on my masters and who knows if I will ever really go back. This kid better have some awesome thighs to nibble on… because I’m going to need that to convince me that I’m making the right decision. I hope to feel the way you do.

  11. Hang in there.

    I think that staying at home works well for some families, but not for all. And sometimes, what doesn’t work well for you right now may work out quite well in a couple years, so if staying home is something that you’d really like to do, then don’t write it off. You might yet be able to make it work.

    Another option might be a career change. Have you considered working part-time or finding a job that allows you to telecommute one or two days a week?

  12. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 3 years now and you really do think we’re more productive than we are. It sometimes takes a week to get a week’s worth of laundry washed (thus the never ending cycle of laundry) Sometimes the dishes don’t get washed for 3 days. About the only thing for sure to happen is for the kitchen to get sweeped and the living room to be vacuumed because keeping a newborn fed, changed and happy AS WELL as a 3 year old entertained, it’s time consuming and wears you out.
    And I’m happy to not have a job.

  13. Girrrrrrl, I am sorry I put you in a bad mood. That was not my intent. 😉 I’m sure you would be good at staying at home. But you are probably foregoing the chores and such now because you know your time with the Bean is limited and you’ll be going back next month. I say, suck on those toes as long as you want!! For us it totaly didn’t make sense for me to work because with MY salary, I would be working to put him through day care! What’s the point in that? So for us, it made sense. I guess it was a good thing I had a measly job when it was all said and done! 😉

  14. Jenny

    Oh this reminded me SO much of how I felt too! I never thought I would be a SaHM- and definitely never thought I would WANT to be one. But as soon as I had my little boy, everything changed. I still went back to work after 3 months, but only made it until he was about a year old. We caught a lucky break with my DH getting a raise, and then I was able to quit my job. Now my little one is almost 2 and the past year has been one of the best of my life. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ll catch a lucky break too! If not, just cherish the time you have with Beanie whenever you can and don’t worry about what you’re not getting done.

  15. I’ve been a lurker for a bit, this is the first time I’ve commented. I’m a stay-at-home housewife, sans kids, and sometimes I feel just as guilty as you because I don’t have a “real job.” What is my life worth if I’m not putting money on the table? But lately I think we women shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. You’re doing the job of a stay-at-home mom right now, by loving your baby. (And it sounds like, in the words of my husband’s grandma, you’re “lovin’ him good.”) All the other stuff — laundry, cleaning, etc. — will get done in due time. And just because you’re not a stay-at-home mom now doesn’t mean you won’t be someday. Our roles evolve and change. Who knows what the future will bring?

  16. I always wanted to be a SAHM. Now that I have TK (The Kiddo), I’m not so sure. I’m kind of looking forward to going back to work. I’m sure that will change as that day gets closer.

    On the other hand, I like not working. I like not having a schedule, not having to be showered and dressed and made up and out the door by 830a. I’m terribly unproductive as well (I can’t remember the last time I vacuumed) but TK and I DO get an awful lot of feeding, changing, giggling, tickling, smiling, nibbling, and pplbbrtting done. 🙂

  17. I have been back at work now for about 4 weeks and I am losing my mind. I am so incredibly tired. I am just falling apart. Aaron and I had the stay-at-home-conversation yesterday, but I know that I have to stick it out in my job for at least the next school year. It is a complicated situation. More to come on my blog.

    I never thought I would want to be a SAHM, but I also never thought that the program I work for would totally be going down the tubes…

  18. We think you are awesome and The Bean loves your nibbles and bites! I’m sorry that you can’t stay home BUT you’ll cherish all those moments!

  19. It’s hard at first (as I think it should be). But sometimes I secretly love the time I get out and use my skills in a wage-earning way.

    I reconnect with my kids by playing, talking to them, playing with them, wearing them in slings/carriers and sleeping with them. It makes a difference.

    My husband can do the vacuuming and dishes when he gets home.

    Now more than ever, it’s important to me that we share household duties so we can both parent.

  20. Eva

    I’ve been a SAHM for 9 yrs. Going back to work since my youngest is going into Kindergarten. I start next week. I just wanted to put my 2 cents in…

    It took me a long time (years, really) to realize being a SAHM requires more than taking care of the kiddos. There’s all different numbers, but the average I hear is a SAHM’s salary is worth around $50-$75k/year, depending on where you live. But this is only the case if the SAHM actually does the jobs that makes up that salary. Like being a cook, maid, driver, nanny, etc. etc.
    The job is hard and requires a schedule, but the benefits are amazing. And even though your hours are 24/7 and your husband’s work day is over at 5 or 6, it is so worth it if you can handle that. At first, when my DH got home from work I would hand over our baby and say “you deal with him now.” Well, that’s not fair to someone who’s been hard at work away from home and not even getting to be with his babies kissin’ those tootsies. Not saying he shouldn’t help with some things like the bath or whatever. But usually he wants to spend that time with the baby because he missed him while being away at work.
    I could go on and on, but I won’t. Just know you are right that a SAHM’s job is hard and requires organization to be done successfully. I’ve thought MANY times over the years that it would be much easier to go to work and not have to deal with a fussy teething baby ALL DAY LONG. But then the next day would be full of giggles and kisses.

    Enjoy each moment you have with Michael. And right now isn’t when you need to whip out the SuperMom cape. I say you should get atleast 3 months to recover from birth and get your bearings! Pray for direction and be open to jobs from home if you really want to stay at home. For a while I made take and bake dinners and delivered them to teachers for extra cash. Sorry this was so long, I should just get my own dang blog!

  21. I could have written this exact post a few months ago when one of my best friends quit her job. She had been back to work one week after her maternity leave and decided she had given it a shot and didn’t want to work – so she put in her two weeks notice. At that point, I had been back to work after having my daughter for a year – I didn’t think giving it one week was really giving it a shot, but I was really happy for her. Except deep down I was/am insanely jealous. I chose to continue to work because my job was so flexible – I work from home on Mondays and have every Friday off – only 3 days in the office. But, when you work, it doesn’t matter where you are – it is always in the back of your mind. Eventually I know I will be a SAHM, but like you, we have a mortgage and are used to a certain lifestyle. It won’t be as bad as you think it’s going to be, I promise – you’ll get a routine – and after a few months, you’ll actually look forward to Mondays – sitting at your desk all.by.yourself.

  22. Hilary

    Oh, I am definitely the black sheep of the group! I couldn’t wait to get back to work after I had my daughter. I am a horrible SAHM. Our daycare provider has taken the last two weeks off and my husband and I are counting the days until she gets back. I spent all last week at home with my daughter and after the third day, I felt cabin fever start to set in. It’s not that I don’t love and adore my baby girl. It’s just that this age is not my area of expertise. I teach seventh grade and adolescents are SO much easier than babies and toddlers (for me, anyway). I love my job, I love teaching English and I love coming home all excited to see my babe after a day at work. This past week has only confirmed what I suspected all along: I am a happier, better mom when I’m a working mom.

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