Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fleeting...



The time we spend with our children in their early years is so very precious. I love watching Little One play with her toys and look at her books. I love listening to her tiny, angelic voice as she talks to her stuffed animals. I even love listening to her screech with excitement and yell at the cats and dog.

I never thought I would feel this way before.

It feels as though she's growing right before my eyes and I'm afraid to even blink because I don't want to miss a single minute.

This brings me to the subject of going back to work vs. taking care of my baby. It's been the source of many sleepless nights lately. Though I love ESL, having students and being in the class room all day would take away time spent with my daughter. Even if I subbed every now and then, the money I make would be enough to cover gas for my commutes and a babysitter. If I continued the ESL program we have here, that would mean we'd have students with us 24-7. There would be no "down time". I suppose that we could ask my parents and Hubby's mom to babysit. I'm sure they'd love to take care of Little One, since she is such an easy baby to take care of! We would compensate them too.

I just can't help but think that this time I have with Little One right now is just such a brief time in her life. It's something that we can never take back. I want to be there to share her firsts. I don't want to have someone else tell me that she used the potty on her own for the first time or she learned how to use a fork properly.
I know that millions of moms go through these exact emotions and millions of moms go back to work once their maternity leave is over. It is a very emotional time and for many, a difficult thing to do. I don't intend on giving up teaching or ESL. I actually have a few ESL jobs on the side (freelancing from my computer at home). While a few editing jobs, article writing, and reviews don't seem much, at least they pay for groceries, my vehicle, gas, household things and Little One's items (diapers, wipes, etc).
I've spoken to many people about my dilemma. I've spoken to Hubby, family, friends, and fellow mommies. Spending my days giving my attention to students, spending time preparing lessons plans and getting teaching material together, spending time correcting homework and doing other teaching related things just takes away from the needs of my own daughter.

Every mom is entitled to their own opinions, feelings and decisions regarding work and family. For some, being at work and coming home to their loving children in the afternoon makes them better parents. A happy mommy is a good mommy. Some moms need to be out of the house and some need to have time to themselves away from their kids. The bottom line is, whatever works best for your family is the right decision. There is no wrong decision.

For me, raising my daughter is my priority. We live frugally (most of the time) and we are happy. Little One is a very easy-going, smiley, happy child. I was torn between working outside of the home and taking care of her. I felt guilty for not working out of the home at first. I always knew that I wanted to teach and never once thought I'd want to be at home with my child. Everything changed when I gave birth to my daughter.

Now, I feel lucky that I am able to be with her and do a little freelance work on the side. She really is my priority right now and I'm fortunate that my husband feels the same way I do.

**This post was written a few weeks ago, but was never published because I was still deliberating. Thanks to an article written by a good friend of mine, I decided to share my thoughts and feelings.**

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh! I know all too well how you feel. I consider myself a very career oriented woman, but after my son was born, I just want to make being with him my job. I also do work from home. Thank god for the internet!

All the best. I know where you are coming from!

I'll be back to check out your blog again. I found you on Mom Central.

Frau Guten Tag said...

You know I never in a million years pictured myself being a SAHM. I certainly never thought I would WANT to be one. And now that I have little J everything has changed. I feel the same as what you've stated, plus more.

Being a nurse I work 12 hour shifts. So it's good in the sense that I only have to work 2-4 days in a given week, BUT it's bad in the sense that my whole day is gone. Little J would be asleep when I left for work & would be asleep when I got home. I just don't think I could handle that.

I also feel that no one else will ever take as good of care of your child as YOU (the parent) would. I don't care how great of a babysitter they are, it's just not the same IMO.

And lastly I feel that God gave us this job in raising them in His ways & he gave us such a limited time to do it in. We must not waste any of that IMO. Children are not our own, they are God's & He has entrusted us to raise them the right way. I take this duty VERY seriously & I am sure I always will. Does it mean our budget is different & changes have to be made? Absolutely! Money is very tight for us right now. But it's a temporary situation & a very important one at that.

Those are my thoughts on this subject. I don't judge anyone for their thoughts or choices, etc, I'm just saying this is how "I" feel & it's what's right for "us". Like you said, there is no one right answer for this type of thing. I don't know how long I will be able to stay at home raising my little J full time. At some point finances just might force me back into the working world, but we are praying that that is not the case. I am hoping to be able to homeschool little J as well.

Jackie said...

i am a SAHM and never looked back. Bob was wanting it too, so there really was no decision. We still have never left our kids with anyone but us or our parents.
i now work at the garage when i don't have my little one at home and work around school hours.. yep we budget and such is life... i worked too hard to have kids and waited too long to have anyone else experience my kids growing up except me.

Jackie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frau Guten Tag said...

I forgot to add that I have never left little J with anyone except my stepdaughter on handful of occasions.

C said...

Anon:
Thanks for popping by and commenting! Do you have a blog I can find you at? Maybe I'll see you at Mom Central!

C said...

Frau:
Oh! I'm SO glad you wrote that comment! Yes, by the time you get home from work (you being a nurse), that leaves little time with little J! I know how you feel, although my most recent job was (is?) teaching ESL students who live with us 24-7. I took the year off and was going to resume around now. The paper work and visas didn't go through in time, and I can't help but feel it may have been a blessing in disguise?

Sure, the extra income would be beneficial, but really...my child is more important to me right now.

I was talking with some old college friends and when I said I was on the fence about going back to work, one said "Oh! You would want to WASTE all those years of education?! What a WASTE to spend all that money on college and university!"

To me, being a mother to my child hardly constitutes "wasting" my education. I am doing jobs on the side via internet and I can always do what I was doing before when Little One is a bit older.

Thanks so much for your thoughts! I truly appreciate hearing what other moms think and what they've gone through.

C said...

Jackie:
Jackie, Jackie, Jackie, Jackie!!! You just about made me CRY with what you wrote!!! That is exactly how I feel!!

You know, we had a rough start. It took us 15 months to conceive Little One. HA! I thought you got married, had sex and then out popped a baby nine months later! Doesn't always happen that way or in that order!

When we did get pregnant, she ended up being born so soon. With her being in the NICU for the first 2 months of her life, of course I wanted only to spend as much time with her as possible. I think that's part of why I find it so hard to not be with her all the time. Know what I mean?

We've gone through so much in her young life that I can't bring myself to be away from her and not be there for her during the day.

C said...

Jackie:
That very last bit you wrote just makes me want to go over to the garage and give you a big hug! I totally hear you on that! :)

Jackie said...

ya, it took 3 years for us to have our first one.. IVF failed the first go around... not a fun time... more needles and tears then i care to remember.

Frau Guten Tag said...

yeah, one of my nephews asked me if I was going back to work & I told him not for a while & his comment was that I wasted all that time & money getting a college education. I hardly see it that way at all, but I guess to each his own.

Barbara said...

Such a huge decision. I think you are right that for some Mom's being out of the home does make them a better Mom. I was able to be a SAHM until my oldest went to private Kindergarten. I started working part time then but we were at the same school and schedule. I've been teaching at that preschool since then. I treasure the time I spent at home with my babies. We too lived frugally, still do actually. I would love to find a way to return to being a SAHM now that my children are moving into middle school. Maybe that will work out. We'll see.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this important subject.

Peace!

Karen MEG said...

C, this is such a personal decision with no wrong answers...only what's right for you. I can't believe that I've been working fulltime out of the home now for 6 months. What a huge adjustment after working from home only periodically for 5 years. It's actually quite surreal.

One thing I can tell you - those 5 years flew by, I can't believe my first baby is almost 10 now (and I was lucky as I went back to work knowing he was in the capable hands of my parents at 10 months of age); and my baby girl is 5. I don't regret one second of my time at home with them.

I'll admit - I still get the twinge of thinking about whether the two career thing is best for our family, probably because I feel overwhelmed a lot and the travelling (for both of us!) gets to me a bit. A 180 in a few months is life-jarring, really. Life gives you these opportunities though, and to walk back into my career exactly where I left off without missing a beat after five years - that's almost unheard of. But it's still a work in progress, I guess. I do feel a certain sense of finding myself again as well, so it's all a bit of give and take.

Keep treasuring this time with your Little one. As long as you can swing your work hours and jobs around your baby's schedule, and you are still being fulfilled for yourself, without getting overly exhausted (and I bet you are exhausted!)...all the more power to you. It's really the best of both worlds.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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