This blog symbolizes the start of a new era for my family and I.
Let’s back up a little bit and lay the ground work for where I am coming from, shall we? Almost three years ago, I gave birth to my eldest daughter.
I had an unplanned c section so I didn’t get to hold her right away; but the second they brought her over to me and let me touch her and give her a kiss before they whisked her away, I knew I was doomed. No one had ever impacted me so much in such a short span of time. In that moment, I realized that my heart’s desire was to stay home with her and teach her the things she needed to know.
Fast forward six months and I had to go back to work. We put her in day care and the first day that I had to walk away from her, get in my car, and drive 20 miles to work, I almost had a breakdown. Day care wasn’t working out so, thankfully, God allowed my dad to watch my Peanut while I worked. Going to work got easier, but it was never fun. I missed moments that I can never get back. As she got older, she began to realize that I was leaving to go to work. There is nothing more heartbreaking than for your toddler to cling to you and cry, saying “No, no, no, no…” over and over again as you’re getting ready to leave for work. We made it work…because we had to.
Imagine our surprise when, on October 17, 2011, we found out we had another little blessing coming our way! With our Peanut, we had been trying, but this was completely unexpected and, to be honest, I was devastated. I knew every baby was a blessing from God, but I did not want another child. I was in love with my daughter and didn’t need another baby to share the love with. And, financially…well, let’s just say, we weren’t in the best place. Thankfully, my husband had a good job and was getting ready to get a raise. I was working, making decent money, and we knew it would be tight, but we knew we just had to do it.
October 18th, I was at work and got a phone call from my husband. “They laid me off” were the words that I heard right before my heart plummeted down to my feet. What were we going to do? A two year old and another child on the way was not the greatest situation to be in at that particular moment. For the next month, while he struggled to find work, I battled with anger, fear, and regret. I was starting to love the little jelly bean that was growing inside of me, but was also having a hard time allowing myself to be excited.
In February, things started looking up a little bit and we found out we were having another girl. As much as I wanted my husband to be able to have his boy, my heart leapt in joy to hear it was a girl. As the months went on, I got more excited about our coming bundle of joy, but I still wasn’t sure how I could love this little one like I loved my oldest daughter. On some level, I think I almost thought that she would know she wasn’t planned and that I didn’t connect with her like I did her sister during that pregnancy. This then led to the rationale that she would not love me like my oldest did, or that she wouldn’t even like me. I still wasn’t entirely convinced that I could love a second like I loved my first.
The morning of my c section, I was excited and nervous as we prepared to go into the operating room. I felt a mini panic attack as I waited for the nurses to come get me. I looked at my husband and whispered, “I can’t do this”.
When my Sweet Pea was born, she came out screaming. She screamed the whole time they were cleaning her up and whatever other nonsense they do. Just before they took her from the OR, they brought her to me and laid her in the crook of my arm. I put my cheek against hers and said, “Hi, baby girl.” The moment the sound of my voice reached her ears, her screams ceased. My eyes filled with tears as I realized that she recognized my voice (that was something that didn’t come til later with my first). After a moment of me talking to her, the nurse took her away. As soon as I stopped talking, my little Sweet Pea started crying again. As they left the room, love that I had been trying to conjure up for the last nine months filled my heart without any effort on my part.
I had resigned from my job the month before and, due to our current financial situation, I knew I would have to start looking for another job soon. The thought of leaving my two angels at home while I worked with strangers all day broke my heart…but it had to be done. The six weeks following the birth of Sweet Pea were amazing. I got to spend time with my daughters. I got to hear the new words my Peanut was learning. I was (am) exhausted, but cherished every moment with my girls. The day came that I knew was going to come sooner than what I wanted. I got a call for a job interview. I killed it in the interview and two days later they called me with a job offer. I accepted the offer with a heavy heart. I knew we needed the money, but my heart was breaking. I was excited to be contributing financially again, but I wondered what the cost of lost time with my girls would be.
A week before my job was set to start, my husband picked up a second job. With his new hours, all he has time to do is work and sleep. There is no time for him to watch the girls while I’m at work and he’s making almost three times more at the second job than I would be making. After running some numbers, I went to him with a dilemma. By the time we paid a babysitter for the two girls, we would be paying out $150 a month for me to work and be away from my children. That’s right…$150 more a month than what I would be bringing in. The choice was obvious and fairly simple to make. I struggled with fear of the stigma that surrounds stay at home moms. I worried about not contributing financially. In the long run, it makes more sense this way, and we both feel at peace about our decision. Now, if a job that pays $30 an hour comes up, I will probably be all over it, but in the mean time, we are waiting and doing what we feel is best for us and our family.
From the moment our oldest was born to the decision made just days ago was a long journey that was filled with many events and happenings, but my dream of being a stay at home mommy has finally become a reality. Let the fun begin!