Growing up, my mother was a stay-at-home mother (SAHM). Even after all of us had started school full-time.
I thought she was crazy pants. I couldn’t imagine being bored at home all day, so dependent on my spouse financially, or have my entire existence defined by parenthood.
My dad was in the Navy and deployed on 6-month cruises periodically, so it actually made perfect sense for our family to have a dedicated adult on stand-by to deal with the absurdity of school schedules, after-school activities, medical appointments, and general child-rearing for the three of us girls.
To SAHM or Not to SAHM?
Still, even when I had my own children, I could not imagine becoming a SAHM.
Maybe that was the right move for other families, but not for mine.
I had friends who felt a horrible sense of grief and guilt returning to work after childbirth. Other friends chose to stay home with their newborns. Some were forced to stay home or continue working against their inclination due to family circumstances.
It wouldn’t have been ideal financially (like anything ever is involving children), but I probably could have budgeted to stay home, if I had wanted that.
I had moderate post-partum depression (PPD) after both of my boys were born, and going back to work after taking a 6-week recovery period was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
It was the best thing for me, and I got to pass those benefits of my health and happiness to my children. People really undervalue how much the well-being of the parents affect that of their children.
It made sense for our family at the time.
Changes in the Wind
But times change.
So, now, after many years of being a work-outside-the-home mother (WOHM), my family has made the decision together for me to become a SAHM.
Will I now become that minivan-owning, PTO mom who clips Box Tops, drives kids to soccer practice multiple times a week, and keeps a stash of art supplies in the house for rainy day entertainment?
I already was (Except for the minivan thing…those are expensive!).
To be honest, I am not sure how the shoe is going to fit me when I take it out of the box for the first time…
We will find out!