I've been reading the posts in this forum with interest; the reason is that I now have a totally amazing 15 week old, and am going to be returning to work part-time in January. However, I'm really torn about going back to work right now; my part-time job is 4 days a week, and E. will be in daycare about 4 or so hours a day--not a ton of time, I know, but after spending all my time with her, it seems like a lot! Plus, there will be lots of other "extras" in my job that will most likely end up with me having to spend more time away from her. Finally, I'm not great about being able to compartmentalize the stresses of work, and I hate to think of work constantly intruding on my time with E.
Now, E.'s not an easy baby at all--she's definitely high-needs-ish, so I know it's not all unicorns and rainbows being home with baby. On top of that, DH works long hours; he's usually gone for about 12 hours a day, but that number is often higher. Plus, he usually has work to do once he gets home, and generally spends a sizable portion of the weekend working from home (but makes sure to spend every second he can being an involved husband and father). So if I did SAH, it's going to be a lot of hours doing it all by myself.
Like many of you have written in other threads, I'm worried about what staying at home will do for my sense of self. I have several advanced degrees, I've worked hard in my field, I'm proud of my accomplishments--and I never thought I'd have any desire to stay home after E. was born. I'm not sure I'm cut out to SAH, but at the same time, my heart breaks to think of leaving E while I go to work. I keep thinking it'd be great to stay home for her first year or two and then go back to work, but I'm just not sure that's what I really want. As you can see, I'm pretty confused right now...
So, this long-winded post is my way of giving a little bit of background on me as a preamble to asking y'all about your experiences as a SAHP. Why did you decide to become one? What are the most rewarding aspects of being a SAHP? What are the most challenging? Do you ever regret your decision to SAH? Did you change course and, after returning to work, decide to SAH? Do you have any advice for someone thinking about staying at home?
I'm really looking forward to reading about your experiences and perspectives, and hoping that in doing so I might be able to get some clarity on my own situation!