I'm struggling with a really big case of "Want It All".
I never imagined it possible that I would want to be a stay at home mother, but here we are. I would give up so much to be at home with Baby Bird past a year, but it would mean selling our current house and giving up our second car (at the very least).
So I thought, that's okay, I can find part-time work and bring in enough for us to maintain our lifestyle. That would keep Bird out of daycare full-time, and it would also give me a bit more adult time outside of the home. Ideally, I'd love to start my business but I'm just not ready.
I told my husband, and he agreed. I pranced around feeling free like the wind and I wanted to tell the whole world. I wanted to shout from the rooftops.
Then it all came crashing down. We started talking about when we should try to have a second baby, and I realized that a second baby means a second maternity leave. And if we are just barely comfortable with me only bringing in a part-time income, then we wouldn't make it at 55% of that during a second maternity leave.
I came to grips with going back to work full-time for roughly a year until a second baby arrives (if we are so blessed). I thought that then I could take my second maternity leave and then do the part-time work thing after that.
Yet another problem popped up and my heart crashed again. With two in daycare, could we afford for me to work only part-time? God knows I don't want to work to pay for daycare.
So at this point, I guess I'll be a working mom. I'm told this is not the end of the world; that children survive and even thrive in daycare.
But, I have this niggling feeling. I didn't realize it until a few months ago, but I did not have children to let someone else raise them for 40 hours a week. I do not wish to be separated from my heart for 40 hours a week. I want to continue to watch him grow, to participate with him in life. I want to show him the world around him and see the wonder in his eyes. I want to be there when he skins a knee, to kiss him and tell him Mama loves him before each nap. I want to be there through the terrible twos to teach him about his emotions and how they can be safely & appropriately expressed.
I wish I could go back in time and tell Childless Kim that she would feel this way, so we could have avoided lifestyle inflation. We could have made sure we could live comfortably off one salary.
Now I just feel stuck in a situation there is no way out of, and it's not a good option for me or for Baby Bird. I feel like I am failing him by not figuring this out.
Mamas who work: talk me off the ledge.