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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Writer's Workshop: work vs. stay at home

My oldest child will soon be thirteen, which continues to boggle my mind. She' on the far right in the picture above.

When we were expecting, my husband really wanted me to stay home after our baby arrived. I will be honest with you, I wasn't really excited about the idea. The thought of being alone all day long with an infant depending on me for her survival sounded terrifying. Little did I know that the infant part was the easy part.

We were 6 hours away from our closest family. My husband's mom stayed home throughout most of his childhood. My mom always worked. I don't remember her staying at home. I remember my grandmother caring for us until we were school aged.

I think if I would have actually liked my job, the decision may have been harder. I think if I had actually made enough money to justify childcare than perhaps I would have put up more of an argument, but alas I stopped working 4 days before I had my oldest.

The first month was ok. My hubby was off the first week. We were invaded by company and then they all left. Hubby went to work. Family returned home. Our infant seldom slept.

After about three months of complete isolation and lack of sleep I needed medication. Post pardom depression. My doctor also recommended a mother's group. I needed to get out and be with other mommies. I needed to stop the isolation.

Thirteen years later that mommy group spans multiple states. I still value the opinions of those women and there is little I wouldn't do for them.

During the decade I stayed home, I had my ups and I had my downs. What I came to understand is that it has to be your choice. I have friends who could not stay at home and that's okay. I have friends who still stay home and that's okay too.

I think we have to learn to respect each other enough to realize that this is a personal choice and can only be made by the person facing it.

Did you work or stay at home? Why?

7 random thoughts:

Wendy said...

What a great post. I do work as we can not financially afford for me not to work. I am lucky though that I get to work from home. I guess you can say it's the best of both worlds...most days!

Recovering Supermom said...

Great post, and I appreciate your openness about PPD. I worked half time after our first baby, but then had to return full time. I agree, everyone needs to do what's best for them and their family. Who's to judge whether every mom should stay home or work?

~Wendy said...

I worked weekends while my husband worked during the week. It sucked. I worked two fourteen hour shifts so...I put Kate to bed Friday night and really didn't see her again until Monday morning. I worked in a hospital which meant I couldn't even be guaranteed to walk out the door at the end of my shift. I would do it again though ... it was good for her and her dad to have that time together and he got to see a little bit of what my week was like. As Kate got older I was able to work in education so we had many of the same holidays. Now she is in college and I am heading back to the medical field where there will most likely be long, unpredictable hours...

becca said...

agree it's a personal choice

Pat said...

My kids are grown now, but when they were little I worked part-time jobs, usually was off summers. But when I went through a divorce I had to work full-time and my daughter less than a year and my son was 2. I agree that stay at home or working would be wonderful if it were a CHOICE; nowadays I think that's pretty rare. Regardless; people should accept others decisions.

Becca said...

I really enjoy reading and seeing pictures of your kiddos when they were babies. I agree with you that it is a personal choice and each family must do what works for them. I can't stand when mothers get into ridiculous arguments about which is better. So childish.

Jenners said...

Love the photo!
And you're so right … it is personal choice that will depend on the family making the deicison. Neither choice is any better.

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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