Monday, March 22, 2010

6 month check-up

I have delayed writing this post for awhile. It is passed due for my 6 month check-up.

It has been a little over 6 months since I started staying home with Eli as a stay-at-home mom. Honestly, I have put off writing about this because I think about it a lot. Should I stay at home? When do I want to go back to work? Am I really making a difference in Eli’s life by staying home? These questions circulate in my head on almost a daily basis. For those of you that haven’t had to make this decision, I have to tell you, it is a really hard one to make. Sometimes I am jealous that my husband gets to have his career and that I will wait years to start mine. Sometimes I feel guilty that I am not “contributing” by making money. Other times I think about how quickly we could be paying off our house and building our savings if I were working. Sometimes I just miss people, having my opinion heard, and having people ask me about my work….has anyone else noticed that when someone finds out you stay at home, their conversation with you goes nowhere quickly, and instead they start asking your husband about their day? Oh, is that just me? Bummer.

Is staying at home what I thought it would be? For the most part, yes. I didn't think that my days would be glamorous or easy to begin with. The days can be really long, especially when Chris is working late. I get tired of Eli and he gets tired of me. My days are filled with cooking, cleaning, errand running and Eli.

Am I going to go back to work? Without hesitation, yes. I will go back to work someday. That day, (right now) however will not come unless I have to, or all of our kiddos are in school. I love what I do. I worked hard to get my Master's degree and I have every intent to actually use it!

Do I still want to have a ton of kids? God-willing, yes! I still want my 4-5 kiddo family. I can’t wait for the day when I get to announce that we are expecting again!

How has it affected my relationship with Chris? It would be wrong of me to say that my staying at home hasn’t affected our relationship. We try very hard to grow together as our world around us changes so much...we just talked about that last night, as a matter of fact. Merging his work life and my stay-at-home life is diffcult at times. There are expectations that are different now that I stay at home, and rightly so. I am sure that it is hard for him to miss these moments with Eli, so I try to give them alone time too. I have just started taking over all of our money accounts, so that is helping me see where our money goes and what we can and cant afford.

Am I fulfilled? As a mom and a wife, yes, I am fulfilled- my husband is utterly amazing and Eli is just incredible. Yet, there is some part of me that wants to go volunteer in a Chinese orphanage or go on a mission trip for 3 weeks. I know that there is no way that can happen at this stage in my life, and I am looking forward to the day that it can happen.

Let me add that I am very grateful to have this opportunity. Very grateful. I know that there are mothers and fathers alike that would love to stay at home with their children. I also know that Chris and I make sacrifices for me to stay at home. Actually, this is all part of a big plan that we had when Chris quit his band directing career. We both knew that there were scary sacrifices that we had to make to make this opportunity happen and we did it. We still make sacrifices so that I can stay home…I know, I know, I am sure that all of you thought that Chris made a ton of money and everything was peaches and cream for us, right? We are, very, very blessed, but I think that you would be surprised to know just how much the average lawyer makes these days. We budget, watch our spending, and save like crazy. We say “no” to a lot of “wants”. We all make choices, I guess.

Some days I feel like I am wasting time. I want to have all of our children, get them in school and get back into my career. Then there are other days when I am sorting though Eli’s baby clothes and I can’t believe how fast this all has gone by.

Does this post seem a little bitter or negative?
I don’t mean for it to. I am just honestly telling how I feel. I know that I could apply for a job today and go back to work and Chris would support me either way and Eli would do just fine in daycare.

There are these moments that I stick around for, these moments that take my breath away and make me wonder what I could have done to deserve this amazing gift. The moments when Eli runs to me with the biggest smile on his face holding his favorite book trying to climb in my lap so that I can read to him, or when he is so proud of himself for learning something new. The way he just beams when I go into his room to see if he is up from his nap…I would hate to have those moments taken away all because I wanted to go back to work a few years earlier.


Cory and Sena said...

Tif, I think it is wonderful how thoughtful and reflective you are about being a stay-at-home-mom. And to hear your honest take on it was especially helpful to me right now. I have the opportunity to also stay home once our little one arrives, and although the decision to do so wasn't a difficult one (a future post will explain it all, when the time is right), I find myself wondering what it will really be like. I know it won't be glamorous. I also know that I've worked really hard to get a Master's degree that I fully intend to put to use even though I don't know when I'll get the chance again. I'm sure you can relate to that. I just wanted to say thank you for your openness!! I look forward to experiencing many of the same joys of being a stay-at-home-mom that you mentioned and cling to the fact that I won't be alone on the days when I'll wonder if I'm doing the right thing.

Nick and Marianne said...

Wow, if I didn't know any better I would think you were following me around all day. Literally, I could cut and paste this to my blog and say it was how I am feeling. Thank you for sharing this, it really helps me feel like I am not alone. It is such a blessing to get to stay home with our sweet boys, but the say will come where we can go back to work. I guess there is a season for everything. Hope you are all doing well!

amandaranda said...

Tiffany - Although I haven't seen you in years, I love to keep up with you on your blog. You're such an amazing mother and wife and I aspire to be more like you. Thank you for sharing your love of your family on this blog - it's a very strong witnessing tool. Love you, girl!

Anonymous said...

Tiffany, I truely believe you should stay at home with all of the babies you have. If you can I think it's the best thing for them. I am so thankful that I got to do it with all four of my children. I wouldn't change it. Besides you can put Eli in a little preschool for 3 hours a day twice a week. Just embrace the moments you get to share with him everyday. Because one day....they are gone!