To Go Back or Not to Go Back?

To Go Back or Not to go Back?I knew this day was going to come.

It was easy to avoid when I was pregnant because it seemed so far away. And it continued to be easy to avoid during the first half of my maternity leave. Even at my son’s six-month birthday I was able to trick myself into thinking that we were only halfway there, I had another half a year left – that’s ages! But now two months later, I’m being forced to face the big decision: to go back, or not to go back?

I know that I’m fortunate enough to have the choice. Don’t get me wrong, things would be tight. That family vacation probably won’t happen, but we wouldn’t go without food on the table or a roof over our head. I know that so many mothers don’t have this option, so I’m grateful for even being able to consider staying home with my son. Am I being selfish?

I always knew that I was going to love being a mom. My instincts told me that I was going to love staying home with my kids too. And I was right, I do love it. With a baby, three step kids, two dogs and a husband that works long hours, I’m far from bored. But I can’t help but wonder, will this be enough?

I think back to those years I put into the career that I worked so hard for. Nine years of post-secondary education and many dedicated hours at the hospital. I enjoy my job. I find it fulfilling and I like the people I work with.

Unfortunately part-time isn’t an option at my work. The thought of resume writing, job hunting, and interviewing right now does not excite me. Part of the reason I love my job is because of the set-up I have there, which I may or may not be able to find elsewhere. In other words, this isn’t the ‘start-over’ that I want to dive into.

So now I’m finding myself in a position that is well known to most career women who become mothers. Do I give it all up? Just like that?

I’ve made a pros and cons list, thinking that would help. But it didn’t get me any further along, as I will feel guilty either way. If I choose work, I will feel like I’m abandoning my son and giving up those precious moments that I can never get back. If I choose to stay home, I will question why I bothered to put in 9 years of post secondary education…the time, the hard work, the money (I just paid off my student loans last year for Heaven sakes!). Would I feel fulfilled both emotionally and mentally? Would losing my professional-identity jeopardize my self-identity?

I think back to my childhood, growing up with a stay-at-home mom. She was there to wake us in the morning, pack our lunches, drive us to school, pick us up, make dinner, help with homework, and tuck us into bed. I have very fond memories of growing up. It makes me want to provide the same sort of environment for my children.

Then there’s the childcare and the separation anxiety to consider. Both of our extended families live on opposite sides of the country so we do not have the luxury of leaving our son with his grandparents if I return to work. So it’s daycare versus a nanny….a whole topic in itself.

I’ve looked to my husband for support and guidance, as ultimately, my decision will effect our whole family. Although he won’t come out and say it, I think he would prefer that I stay home with the kids. However, he thinks it is more important that I choose whatever is going to make me happy. He’s said on a few occasions, “A happy mom, makes for a happy baby…and a happy husband.” He is right.  I am grateful for his support. But it leaves me to decide.

So I realize that I have to block everything else out, and ask myself one simple question….when I wake up each morning, what will I be happier doing?

In order to answer this question honestly, I have to let go of all the preconceived notions that I have built up over the years. All of the expectations that others have put on me, that I have put on myself, and that society has helped shape.

So my honest answer to that simple question? I’d be happier staying home and raising my son.

There it is, I’ve decided not to go back to work. I’m going to say goodbye both to the job that I’ve had for the past five years and the career that I’ve worked towards since high school. It’s decided, I won’t return to work (gosh that looks scarier in print).

However, that’s not the end of the story. As they say, when one door closes another one opens, so I’m thrilled to say that I’m going to be a WAHM! It truly is the best of both worlds to be able to be at home with my son and not miss out on those precious milestones that he seems to hit almost every day now. And at the same time if I work from home I’ll still be able to keep my mind stimulated and contribute financially.

Follow me in my newfound journey of becoming a WAHM. I guarantee it will be an adventure!

 

To Go Back or Not to Go Back? Author Busy Babies

Comments

  1. As your story above, I have gone through the exact same thing, now I am just stuck at trying to find work at home.

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