The past few days Matt and I have been discussing a lot of post-preggo plans. We've discussed our careers, and I am elated that the possibility exists I could be a stay at home mama. We basically realized if I did find work, my entire paycheck would be for day care anyway, and that doesn't really make sense to me.
I've found conflicting opinions concerning this notion, so I thought I'd look at the pros and cons of not going back to work.
- Adult interaction. I know how crazy I go if I don't have human contact for an extended period of time. Matt worked all last weekend and even my grandmother wasn't picking up her phone. By the time Matt got home from the office I had decorated a volleyball with Sharpie eyes and spaghetti hair, stuck it to the top of the broom and named my new friend Cheryl. She knew all my secrets.
Ok, not really. But that is an example of how loony I feel without adult interaction. So the idea of hearing baby coo's and cries all day interrupted only by the dialogue of daytime television worries me a bit. Stay at home = con.
- The sleep factor. I am fully aware I will never sleep a full night ever again, apparently. So the idea of heading out to 8 hours of uninterrupted work after being up all night with a screaming kiddo isn't terribly appealing.I have visions of falling asleep at my desk, full on drooling, with wet spots on the front of my shirt from the awkward milk leakage.
I know staying home is no walk in the park either, but it would at least allow for a few more rest periods during the day than being in an office environment. I could live in sweatpants and not feel obligated to wash my hair as often. Stay at home = Pro.
- Money. Kids are expensive. We learned that quick. And while I would likely be contributing the majority of my paycheck to day care, I might have a little left over for me-money. And if not, how would I get any spending money? I would have to ask Matt for an allowance or something and that is too wierd for me.
If I want to head to the mall and buy a new pair of heels, I feel I shouldn't have to justify that purchase to anyone. I'd rather be one of those wives who has her own secret visa and tells her husband every new dress she buys was "Totally on sale!" (Cough, ahem, MOM.) The idea of not having my own money to spend as I please is frightening because it's a freedom I've always have. Stay at home = con
- It's time I can never get back. My mom told me this the other day. She stayed at home with all three of us kids. She was always able to volunteer for school clubs and projects. We always were able to have dinner as a family and when I got sick, she was always there to baby me as I stayed home from school. As an infant, I don't want to miss my daughter's milestones and the major changes in her first year of life. But even beyond that, I cherished having my mom so involved with my life because she wasn't distracted by a full-time job.
Stay at home = pro.
For now, I think I am leaning toward staying at home. Because if I change my mind I can always go back to work later. But my mom is right- I will never get that time back if I give it up now.