I've been a full-time SAHP now for 2 months, before that I worked 20 hrs/weekend for 10 mos and for 2 years before that I worked 32hrs with a baby and LOTS of pumping. DS has always stayed at home, my poor tired DH works nights and stayed with him days while I was at work.
Last April my DS was dx'd with Autism and was eligible for SSI. I harbored outrageous hatred for my job and then my DH was offered an exciting new job but the hours conflicted with mine, so I left my job. DS is 3.5 and there are no plans to have other children.
I never thought twice about mothers who stayed at home with one child, but now that I am one, I'm a little off-balance, I feel a little self-conscious about it, like the whole "eating bonbons" thing. My DS goes to preschool 8:30 to 11:30 am M-F, during that time I go to the gym, one of his teachers mentioned what a luxury it is that I stay home, but it's not as though it's not really tight.
Staying home with an infant makes all the sense in the world, and staying home with 2+ makes all kinds of sense, why do I feel like a "slacker" for staying home with one? He is considered disabled, but I don't advertise that part. Do you feel that others--SAHPs, those in the work force, therapists, retirees, everyone---look down on those who stay home with just one child? Would I feel different if we were involved with more activities?
I think if people are going to look down on others, they will find a reason. I don't think there's anything wrong with staying home with one child, I think it's great and it really is nobody's business but you and your immediate family. I stay home with my 22-month old and he goes to "school" two days a week. I felt horrifically guilty about it at first and at times have little guilt storms, but honestly I'm such a better mom and wife with that "me time". And it's good for my son to know he can be cared for by someone besides me.
I always worry about what other people think, so I know how it feels, but truly, it's no one's business. I try to remind myself that I'm just somewhere on the continuum of all the different ways to parent.
But even if it were the most unpopular choice in the whole world, I'd still stay home with my one child all over again. Other people's opinions just don't matter to me, and this has only become more evident as my child(ren) grow. Others aren't living my life or raising my child and they don't get a vote, so their thoughts about the way I'm doing things go in one ear and out the other. I'm too busy to notice what some nosy parker thinks about how luxurious my life is!
Hold your head high, mama. You're doing what's best for your family and no one gets to tell you differently.
Loving wife and mama to my sweet little son (Fall 2008) and a beautiful baby girl (Fall 2010)
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw
Thanks so much for these replies. My DH thinks I'm a goddess for being so hands-on with DS and he's delighted with how he's turning out, I will worry about his opinion only, no one else's. My chin is up, thanks a bunch!!
I think it sounds pretty great. You get to stay home, but still get some regular time to yourself.
Don't feel guilty.
Having time to yourself refreshes your batteries and makes you a better parent in the end.
And bon bons are yummy!
I started SAH when I found out I was pregnant with #1 and never looked back. I've been SAH for 12 years now, even though both kids have been in full-time school for more than 4 years (DD is 11, DS is 10). I've been lucky, I suppose, as I rarely find anyone who finds my SAH to be anything less than great. And if people don't like it... I couldn't care less. This is my life and my family, which means it is OUR decision. I have never regretted SAH but I KNOW if I hadn't been a SAHM, or stopped now, I would regret it forever. I just don't feel as though bringing home a paycheck validates me more than the things I do do - volunteering at the kids' school (multiple times/week), cleaning, cooking, baking, time to sew, garden, etc. I am a mom, it's all I've ever wanted and I am going to enjoy it to the fullest.
Good luck, OP.
Gone but not fogotten.
While sometimes the day to day gets monotonous, I wouldn't have it any other way. I do feel blessed to be able to stay at home. I know there are people out there that simply cannot afford for one parent to be at home(I mean truly not afford basic needs, food clothing, etc..not the parents that have that way of living that they've gotten used to and don't want to give up). I know there are probably people that believe I sit around all day and do nothing with only one child to care for, an easy one at that, but it's far from that. I manage to get the house clean, make healthy meals, have some "me" time, do a good job disciplining, etc, but that's about it. I know I won't be that on top of everything when the second LO arrives! ha ha. Don't feel bad..it's a good thing!
DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)
I just wanted to say that children need to be taken care of. So, it's someone else who may not even care about your kid, or you. At minimum, you are a caregiver and educator to you little ones.
You don't have to be employed to have an impact on society!
Momma to a weaning nursling DS1 (8/10) and expecting #2 (EDD 9/12). DS1 currently Milk, Soy, Egg, Peas, Peanut, & Tree Nut Free (hives/vomiting).