“Why can’t someone else watch him?”
The question hung there for a moment – I was unsure how to answer. Not because I didn’t know the answer, but because I wasn’t sure what would satisfy the person who asked.
I’m a new mom of a 4-month old, and I’d just told a client at my job that I was leaving to stay home with my son. It was a hard decision to make, and the honest answer of why is simply because I want to – I want to have the privilege of staying home with my son to watch him grow and learn.
It was hard to answer that question, though, because I loved my job (well, most days I loved it). I felt it was meaningful work, paid well, and had good benefits. I liked the office I worked in and enjoyed the time with my coworkers. I feel I was lucky this way. Why wouldn’t I stay?
I know many parents don’t get the choice like I had. Many parents have to go back to work. Some parents do have a choice and want to go back to work. I’d always thought I would be one of those parents, but at some point during my maternity leave, I started to wonder…
I got to spend 12 full weeks on leave to care for my son. It was hard adjusting to life with a newborn – the first few weeks especially. So much harder than I was prepared for (not that anything can really prepare a new parent for all the challenges a newborn brings). But, then it seemed to get a bit easier, little-by-little, as we settled into a routine.
Now, while I know it was so hard, I cling to all the sweet moments – it’s amazing to think how much this little person has grown and changed in just four short months.
I still struggled with the decision to stay at work or stay at home, but ultimately I knew what I had to do. I submitted my notice, and now I’m staying at home to raise my son.
I’m a bit nervous about this decision. It’s such a huge change. But, I like to look at this time I get to spend with my son as a gift. I’m so new at what this all means for my life, and unsure a lot of the time. I anticipate that routines are going to constantly be changing and I’m going to learn a lot as my little one grows. And I’ll need to find ways to find personal worth outside of a job – I didn’t know how much a job meant personal value to me until I didn’t have one anymore.
Ultimately, my hope for this blog is to preserve the memories I make during this time. Also, to share my experiences with the hope that it will help another parent out there who is perhaps new at this, too.
Eventually, I’ll go into deeper detail about the decision making process I went through and my experiences so far as a new mom. Please feel free to reach out and share your experiences, too. I welcome the feedback and discussion.
In the meantime, take care.