There is big news to share today! After much deliberation, back and forth wavering, T-chart making, and thoughts of “What the $#%# am I doing?”, Steve and I made a decision that will change our lives. I put in my resignation at work. I am officially a stay-at-home mom. Wow. If you knew me 5 years ago (or even last year) – you know that this was never on my radar. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be a stay-at-home mom. I’m a “worker.” I thrive off of projects and deadlines. I like professional conversations. I feel a sense of accomplishment by checking things off my list.
Not to mention, I think there is a stigma about stay-at-home moms.
Chelsea Fagan says in her blog “There is a message being conveyed relentlessly that if I am intelligent, fun, interesting, and worth talking to — I shouldn’t be wasting my time raising children. I should be in the working world, actually doing something with my life.”
Most people were happy I have the opportunity to do this for Jax. (Steve was behind me 100%.) But, I did come across some resistance. People would say things like “Well, can’t you just work a couple of hours a day?” or “What will you do all day?” It’s like a SAHM isn’t as good as the professional mom who can work 40 hours a week, keep the house clean, go out with friends, and then find time to spend with the kids. (I know a lot of awesome mama’s who do just this and I’m proud of them!) I felt like they were trying to tell me that “stay-at-home moms are taking the easy way out…”
This was not an easy decision to make.
Could we afford it? How will I make sure my brain does not turn to mush? How could I leave an organization that has been a part of my life for the last 13 years? Would I be letting my bosses and co-workers down by not returning to work? Would I lose my identity by not having a career? How would I make the transition from the workforce to the home front? Did I even want to make this transition?
Would I be taking the easy way out?
But, really, why shouldn’t I have time to focus 100% on Jaxson? We (well, he) worked so hard to get home. He did everything we asked him to do: breathe, eat, regulate his heartbeat. Day after day, he fought for his life. But, we still left him alone each night at that hospital. For the first three months of Jax’s life, he had doctors and nurses, and machines, and tubes, and pokes, and scratchy blankets.
For the first three months, he did not have home.
The more I thought about it, the more it became clear to me. Jax deserves this! After sharing laughs and smiles with him since he’s been home, I know in my heart I made the right decision to be his primary caregiver.
But in all actuality, there wasn’t much of a choice anyway. I have no options. Lockdown restrictions have eliminated the possibility of putting Jax into daycare. There is no way we can afford skilled 1:1 care, which Jax needs because of his Chronic Lung Disease and oxygen support. Jax has 4 – 6 doctors appointments per week – taking that much time off of work would be impossible to coordinate and manage. Steve’s job provides us with health insurance, and we absolutely needed that, so having him stop work isn’t reasonable. I had only one option: quit my job of 13 years to become Jax’s full-time caregiver.
I can manage his medical appointments and follow-ups. I can manage his insurance claims and hospital bills. I can manage and track his developmental progress. But most of all, I can teach him about love, and family, and respect, and fun. I can teach him to sing. When the weather gets nicer, I can teach him to appreciate the feel of the warm sun on his face and the dirt in his hands. I can show him all day, everyday how much I love him.
I can teach him what it means to be home.