I realise the title already has some hearts pounding a bit faster. You know I'm a stay at home mom and you're now thinking I'm gonna have a go at you for leaving your baby while you go out to work.
I am talking to you though.
Not you, who loves work, gets fulfilled by it and is a better mom because of it.
I'm talking to you, the one with the heavy heart every morning, the late night guilt, the mental box where you place that guilt when you are getting up and out and kissing your baby goodbye. Sniffing his head one last time, hoping he'll sleep a lot and not miss you
Maybe leaving him crying for you, in someone elses arms.
Cuz I did all that for 3 years.
I ran my own business and returned to work when my first son was 3 months old. I worked part time until he was 3, when I had my second son and knew that I'd never return to that job.
It was a constant heartache. It never got any easier. I'd drive away, my mood totally dependant on the happiness/sadness of the baby I'd left behind. All the goodbye rituals I invented never helped. Him getting older never changed it.
I'm blessed with a son who wants me around. He doesn't just want me, he needs me. I'm not going into his psychology here, ever, but let's just say he's led me to every attachment decision I've made.
Some kids are ok being left with a trusted caregiver, my son is not one of those kids and thats ok. It's meant I've had to rearrange my life around it, readjust the picture of what my life might be, and honour his needs.
I did this against a backdrop of being told I was spoiling him, giving in to him, letting him dictate my life etc. All the classic unhelpful comments which undermine you and make you question yourself and your motives. And question I did and still do, constantly, because I'm a perfectionist and an overachiever. But I still come back to one thing, that I'm making life choices depending on what my son needs.
Now I have no guilt. I am completely at peace with the current situation. I'm a stay at home mom and home educator, a role I never dreamed I'd be in, the antithesis of all I envisioned for my life. But my son is happy and I am happy.
We don't have much money, we get by. I cook from scratch. We watch our outgoings but can still enjoy the odd treat. But money has never kept me awake at night. Health and happiness do. I would happily downsize our lives even further if it meant I could continue to honour what my son needs. And I will continue to do so. That's the role I signed up for from the moment I planned his pregnancy, though I didn't realise it at the time.
That's all that matters.
I thought I'd share this part of my life story in case anyone out there is where I was a few years ago, and wonders whether to take the plunge and jack it all in. There is no question that this was the right decision for me . If it's a case of luxuries or my childs happiness I will take my child any day. And I know you will too. I just thought it might be good to share as there is such a silent force of stay at home moms out there who don't get to share their stories.
Please add yours below if you feel it may help too.