As you know, my last baby went to Kindergarten this year. And immediately the comments and questions started from friends, family, strangers….
“So when are you going back to work?”
“I bet you’re so happy that you can go back to work now.”
“Have you found a job yet?”
Sigh. I thought about it. Matt and I talked about it. We gave it some serious consideration. The extra money from my income would be nice and really help out. We weighed the pros and cons of what it would mean for me to go back to work full time. And in the end we decided that I would continue to be a stay home mom for the foreseeable future, for several reasons that are important to us.
1. Life is busier now than ever before. Seriously, I thought life was busy when the kids were little. Life is crazy busy now. With 4 kids in 3 different school systems this year with 3 different school schedules and calendars I don’t know how I could hold down a full time job.
2. We don’t want latch key kids. I like being here when my kids get home from school. I like helping them with their homework and talking with them about their day. I like knowing what they are doing afterschool. We have so few years left with them at home and I don’t want to miss any of it.
3. It makes our marriage easier. We don’t have to fight over who has to stay home when a kid is sick, or whose turn it is to make dinner, or who forgot to drop off the dry cleaning. We have very clear roles in the household. And everything runs smoothly.
4. I am always available. Even when Matt is not available to attend every school function, I am. I’ve never missed an award ceremony, honor roll celebration, school play, school party, football game, basketball game, soccer game, volleyball game….I volunteer at the schools, I take my turn as room mom, I chaperone field trips. I do all these things to be involved in my kids lives and to take some of the burden off of Matt.
5. It teaches a valuable lesson. We’re teaching our kids that everyone in the house plays a role and every role is important. Without Matt going to work every day we would be homeless. Without me staying home and taking care of everything else this whole house would literally fall apart.
I don’t know how many more years I’ll be at home but I would love to stay home until Zoey is at least in high school. I’m enjoying this time in our life and I don’t want to be stressed or rushed or feel guilty for missing out on stuff. On the flip side, that means we make sacrifices. We don’t take the big expensive vacations, we don’t spend $500 on new clothes every other month, we don’t eat out several times a week, we don’t buy big ticket items that we don’t need. We shop frugally, I cook 7 nights a week, and we stick to a strict budget. We make sacrifices so I can stay home and we’ll continue to do so. But people don’t see that. They see that all my kids are at school during the day and assume I must be sitting at home watching Dr. Phil and eating ice cream. I wish! I love me some Dr. Phil and mint chocolate chip is my favorite!