13 January 2014

How Can I Not?


Photo credit of my sweet Dominic goes to Digital Graces
From fear to bliss. I am a new mom, but an old one. And the things I thought I once wanted in life are now no more.

The idea of being a stay-at-home mom never interested me before. A corporate working mom who traveled for business meetings and then rushed home to put her child to bed is what I always envisioned. Not because of the supposed glamor of it all (is it, really?), but because I thought I'd find equal value and joy in a corporate job, and that I would find satisfaction in balancing that with a child.

But now, in my late thirties/early forties (not telling you which), all I want to do in life is to raise my baby. I can't even believe it. I can't believe I have a beautiful baby that makes me question my life's choices for the future and I can't believe that I want to be home with him. I still shake my head that the only reason why I wake him up after a two-hour nap is because I want to see his beautiful eyes and hang out with him. I know I should let him sleep a little longer, but two hours of him sleeping makes me miss him! Friends from fifteen years ago never would have thought this about me. They'd probably laugh if they read this post. Not probably. They would.

I want to guide him and protect him and love him, and be the one he comes to when he needs a hug. I don't want someone else to do that while I am gallivanting about trying to write the proper corporate email.

Sadly, it doesn't make sense for me financially to be a stay-at-home mom. I need to keep working because of a silly little thing called bills and saving for the future, so it's such a battle for me internally to know what needs to be done, but dreaming of something else. Didn't I do all that daydreaming when I was a kid?

But one day, one day soon? I desperately hope something comes along that doesn't require the same amount of travel or stress. I've done the corporate life for fifteen years. I feel confident I can choose a different path and my self-esteem won't crumble in the least bit.

So today is a cold morning. The reality of maternity leave coming to an end soon looms over me. But I have a hot cup of coffee right now. A good book. And a very, very sweet baby to curl up with.

How can I not want to be a stay-at-home mom when I look at his sweet face?

15 comments:

  1. I think that's a struggle so many women face and there's just not an easy answer. I'm sure sweet little Dominic will still come to you because he will know you're the one who is passionately in love with him.

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  2. You sound so torn, and I cannot imagine what you must be going through. I hope you find something that works with this new part of your life in a wonderful way. Dominic is adorable!

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  3. Oh honey. I wish I knew what to say. I'm a stay-at-home mama and we definitely make sacrifices for it. But it's worth it and those first years are only so long, ya know? You definitely have some big choices before you and I know you'll make the right ones for you and your family. Good luck. *hug*

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  4. PS I'm 37 and I hear ya on your kiddo really teaching you what's important.

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  5. I struggled with this very same issue when I had my kids but all in all, I do not think I could be a SAHM full time. With my son, I only had a few weeks off with him and with my daughter, three months but after three months and knowing that she had a good daycare lined up, I was ready for some adult conversation.

    But recently, after my long Christmas break with both the 10 year old and the 15 year old, I had a pang of wanting to stay home again. It was weird because they can take care of themselves now and even make their own meals but it was so nice to be around them. I instantly wanted to write a book, sell the rights and become famous so I could stay home with them but no... I returned to work today.

    I SO know how you feel.

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  6. Natalie, what you are going through is very normal. We are about the same age and my goal was to be the best career mom, I was out to prove balance can be done.

    The best choice I made was to stay home for a year and go back out in the corporate world.

    Are you able to work PT or take a leave of absence, I would really consider these.

    Staying home a year was the best decision I made BUT I did leave my job and found a new one a year later. Economic times are very different, my baby is 6 now. I probably would be scared crapless to give up my job now and be a stay at home mom.

    I get it, enjoy every minute and moment. Have a discussion with your boss about not working overtime, long hours at least for a year, that may help.

    Last note, you will cry the day you have to go back to work.......

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  7. I can remember feeling so torn, too ... I chose to stay home and give up my career for the time. It was the best thing I ever did for my children, but fifteen years later, it made it very difficult for me to re-enter the workforce. My point? There are always trade-offs in life ... and you will come to terms with them. You just have to feel confident that your decision is best for you and your family ... in the meantime, enjoy every moment! Bet you're having the time of your life getting to know your little boy! Congrats!

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  8. Well, I completely get it. I do. I worked that corporate job, the one that contributed to half of our family income. A switch flipped for me on 9/11, when my kids were the last to be picked up at daycare that day because my employer had IMPORTANT BUSINESS to do as a result of our nation's tragedy. That night when I got hom, my husband and I sat down, put pen to paper, and came up with a three year plan. Not everyone would be able to do this, I appreciate that, and I feel blessed I was able to work it out. But when my daughter was in 1st grade and my son in Pre-K, was able to quit. I am telling you, we never went on vacations, we never ate out, and I bought my clothes at Target. We sacrificed. The crazy thing was that by me being home and taking care of everything, my husband was able to advance in his career, so it sort of evened out eventually. I really hope that someday you can do this. It is a huge adjustment (and a bit of a hit to the ego) but I feel lucky to be able to do this for my kids. You have my e-mail, please feel free to vent if you need to :)

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  9. I faced that same struggle when I went back to work. It was definitely not a possibility for me to stay home, but I was able to find a job closer to home with less travel and stress, which has allowed me job fulfillment and a better work/home life balance. I hope the same for you! He is adorable!

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  10. Oh Natalie, I'm continually shocked at how short maternity leave is in the states! While I haven't met my son yet (so close! though), I can't even imagine having to go back to work after only a few short months. I hope you find a solution that works for both you and your beautiful Dominic, even if it's not immediate. Everything works out in the end - I truly believe that! <>

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  11. What a precious photo. And such a difficult decision! There is nothing wrong with staying home, and perhaps even working from home, for a few years. And there is nothing wrong with going back to work. I know you'll do what's best for both you and your family.

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  12. What a beautiful baby! This is a common struggle. I hope that you find your way through it to a solution that is best for you, baby, and family. Know that you will be a good mother no matter how it turns out. I was lucky enough when I had my first the have the option to stay home and I feel blessed for it. Many of my friends are like you. They struggle with the desire to stay home and the need to work. Whatever happens, enjoy every minute. They grow so quickly.

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  13. I've done both - stay-at-home and working mom. They both have pros and cons. I cried some mornings as I drove off to work when my kids were little but when I stayed at home, I almost threw those kids at their dad by the time he got home! As with most things, it's all about finding what works best for you and finding the balance.

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  14. He's adorable. I can see why you want to stay home.

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