Updated: May 29
Now that I know I'll soon be a mom, I've had to make the very difficult decision of deciding what to do about my work situation. Should I keep working full-time? Switch to part-time?
Or stay at home with the baby?
I decided that the best thing for the baby, for me, and for our family would be for me to stay at home and care for the baby for the first few years. I love my job as a teacher, and leaving it makes me sad. However, I know that I want to be the primary caregiver for my child and be there for all those sweet moments that I'll never be able to get back.
When asked why I want to be a stay-at-home-mom, there are so many reasons: quality time with my child, taking the best care of them possible, devoting time to aid in their development, and so much more. But here are some "reasons" that others may assume, but that are actually NOT why I'm choosing to be a stay-at-home-mom.
1. I think that being a stay-at-home-mom is the best thing for every mom.
Since I'm choosing to stay home, you might think that I believe that's the best thing for every mother to do. However, I realize that every person is different, and that means that every mom is different. Some women prefer to return to work to feel fulfilled, to provide for their families, to maintain their identity outside of motherhood, or for many other possible reasons unique to their situations.
Every mom-to-be needs to decide for herself whether it will be in the best interest of her baby and herself: to return to work, or to stay at home. I have chosen to stay at home with baby for my own personal reasons. I understand that some moms will feel the same way as me, while others will think differently.
2. I think that staying at home will be easier than going back to work.
Stay-at-home-moms are often accused of being lazy for wanting to stay at home with their children. Someone from the outside could look at a mom who stays home all day and think she chose that lifestyle because it would be easy.
I have never had a mother tell me that motherhood is easy. i do not expect it to be.
I know that caring for a child is a HUGE job. It's 24/7. You don't get to clock in and clock out. Honestly, some moms probably want to return to work so that they can get some time away from their kids, which is totally understandable!
I know that being a stay-at-home-mom will be the hardest job I have ever done, but it will also be the best one. I expect to be exhausted, frustrated, and starved of alone time. And at the same time, I know that I will be love being with my little one, caring for them even when it's really hard.
3. I want to have more free time.
This one goes along with the "reason" above. Some people may assume that stay-at-home-moms like to have a lot of free time. It seems to make sense - if you're not going to a job 40 hours a week, then you must have a lot of free time!
I know that once baby is here, I will not have a lot of free time, if any. I will be nursing at least every couple of hours, changing diapers, doing baby's laudry, and trying to keep some semblance of order in my house.
If I wanted to have more free time, I would not be having a baby.
4. I'm not educated or ambitious enough to do any other job.
Some people assume that a woman would only stay at home with her child/children if she had no other options. For me, that is not the case. I have my Bachelor's Degree, I'm bilingual, and have had job experience in a variety of areas. I have always been hardworking and had ambitions to reach the educational and vocational goals I set for myself.
But now, I choose to make raising my child my goal.
5. I want to be judged by others for not working outside of the home.
In this modern age, it is not considered "normal" for a woman to stay home with her child/children. She is expected to be a perfect mom, keep a spotless house, cook delicious meals everyday, and work a full-time job. Stay-at-home-moms can be judged for not striving to follow that feminist American woman dream.
While I do not want to be judged for staying home, I know that it will happen. There is a societal pressure for women to work, just like men. While I think it's great that we have reached gender equality in the work place (or at least improved a lot), this doesn't mean that all women will want that lifestyle. Some women are very career-oriented, and others choose not to be for a certain time in life.
So please, understand that whatever choice a woman makes regarding her work and baby, she has her reasons. Don't wrongly assume what those may be.