#StayAtHomeMoms: It Takes a Special Kind of Mama
#StayAtHomeMoms are special mothers that make a serious decision to put their child first. This is not to say that working mother’s don’t love their children. #StayAtHomeMoms are rare in this 21st century of career and ambition. Yes, it’s awesome if you can do both career and baby. Staying home with your child is way harder than going back to work, at least from personal experience. I’m not planning on doing it past my daughter’s first year, but one definitely can feel torn about it.
Many working mothers return to work after their baby is just three months old. This is partly due to the fact that the United States, Papua New Guinea, and Oman all have one thing in common. They’re the only countries that don’t offer paid family leave for mothers. Switzerland provides their mothers 480 days of paid family leave that mothers can use from the time their baby is born until the child is 8 years old.
Unfortunately, America is not even at the point of providing 3 months of paid family leave let alone shelling out 480 days of paid leave to new moms. Today, I listened to pundits on the news point out that currently, day care costs more per year than putting your kid through college! In my area, the minimum for a baby sitter is $15 an hour. Just check out care.com and see for yourself.
#StayAtHomeMoms need to know that aside from the financial costs of returning to work full-time, there are developmental benefits for your child in staying at home. Choosing your career vs. being there for your child, at least the first year, is a very personal choice.
#StayAtHomeMoms have three factors they consider before making the decision:
- Belief System and Prescribed School of Thought
You can pretty much fill in the details yourself with regards to each of these. Now, I’m no expert, but this is what I’ve noticed. I’ve spoken to and met many #StayAtHomeMoms through a mom’s group via meetup.com. Unanimously, the moms claimed that reason #3 is the biggest reason they stay home. It’s not a circumstantial/financial reason. #StayAtHomeMoms more than anything do NOT want to miss out on major firsts. Firsts such as their baby’s first step, first words, first birthday and being able to comfortably nurse their child for the year.
My daughter is very particular, she prefers to nurse from the source and not from a bottle. She still nurses at 11 months. I can’t imagine trying to pump, then store the milk during lunch time at work. For my family, we decided it was best to not miss out on bonding with our daughter. As I am just now in the process of transitioning back into full-time career mode, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to be with my daughter for her first year. I’ve been able to really bond, spend quality time, and completely be present for her. I see how alert, engaged, and happy she is and I know that being at home was the best decision we made. You can NOT get these days back. Once your child is grown, you can never ever regain any precious time lost. Our babies will one day grow up, go to college and have families of their own.
When it comes to making mistakes at work, you might get written up, suspended, or fired in extreme cases. But, you can always correct your error, learn from your mistakes and apply for another job. You can re-educate yourself and expand your skill set. If you’re playing a video game and you lose, hey, you can start again. If you’re in financial trouble and have to file for bankruptcy, you can rebuild your credit after 7 years. But when you make a mistake on a human, you don’t know what sort of impact you made until 18 years later and making a mistake on a human comes with dire ramifications.
You don’t get a “do over” when you’ve got a human life on your hands. Raising a child comes with immense responsibilities that I don’t take lightly, and many #StayAtHomeMoms I know feel the same. There are days when it’s hard and it would be easier handing her off to a sitter, then rushing off to work. I know I’ll look back and will never regret my decision to be with my daughter during her first year.