I've probably got nothing to say on this subject that hasn't been said a hundred times by hundreds of women. But I still feel compelled to think through this conflict here on "paper."
In May I made a decision not to sign my 2011-2012 teaching contract. It was honestly the hardest decision I've ever made. I knew without a doubt that I wanted to stay home with Scoot, but I didn't want to do my family a disservice by withdrawing my income. I didn't want to put the extra stress of being the sole bread winner on hubby. I tried to talk about it with hubby. That went no where. Hubby didn't want to sway me either way so that I wouldn't be able to blame him later if I didn't like the decision made. I understand his point, but it made me feel really isolated and lonely in my struggle. I finally made the decision to quit based on the theory that I'd always be able to get another job later, but my sweet baby would only be little once.
I LOVE being home with her! I love not having to wake her up in the morning and shuffle her off to the babysitter. I love knowing what she's doing all day. I love being in control of what she eats & when she naps. I love being able to take her to play dates, story time, and lunch dates. I love being the one who watches and helps her learn about the world. I love being the one to kiss her boo-boos. Being her mommy is by far the best job I've ever had!
So, if it's so wonderful, why do I miss my job so much? I know that I've got this rose tinted memory of what it was like to go to work every day. Kinda like how I don't really remember how painful labor was. But I miss having a classroom full of kiddos that love me. I miss having my co-workers close by all day. I miss doing fun projects with the kids and I miss seeing them light up when they learn something new. I miss seeing them get so proud of themselves with a new discovery. I miss feeling important and needed. I miss having an outside purpose. I miss being appreciated and having someone tell me that I'm doing a good job. I miss the paycheck.
I don't miss all the paperwork and dealing with crazy new rules that change every other week. I don't miss getting up at 4:30 every morning. I don't miss all the planning and work that I had to bring home with my every night. I don't miss the drama. I don't miss packing a lunch every day and then trying to eat it in 20 minutes. I don't miss crying on the way to work some days because I hated dropping off my baby.
I'm harder on myself about how I'm doing as a wife, housekeeper, and mommy. I have all this time during the day that I didn't have before, so in theory I should be a much better housekeeper. The dishes and clothes should always be clean, dinner should always be planned, the groceries stocked, the floors vacuumed, toilets scrubbed, and beds made. I should be singing educational songs to Scoot all day, not letting her watch any TV, playing games, reading books, teaching her letters, numbers & colors, making sure she gets plenty of interaction with other kids and outside play time. I should have extra time for my husband and making sure that all his needs are met since he's taking care of us. It's a lot of pressure, and I'm not living up to these crazy standards at all!
I'm pretty sure I'll feel some kind of guilt no matter what I'm doing. Whether I'm home enjoying my sweet girl or working I'll feel like I'm missing something. I know deep down in my heart that I made the right decision. Scoot (and Roo) will only be little once and I'm much rather look back on my life and have missed some professional moments that to have missed a day with them. If I can't have it all, then I'd rather have my kids! I just hope that someday I won't feel such guilt over my choices. I hope it gets easier and I won't always feel so torn.