It is the first day after the big decision. You and your husband did the math and the numbers said that after taxes and expenses it was not worth it to pay other people to take care of your children while you go out to work. Money will be a little tight, but the children will enjoy your nurturing presence, and your husband can save money too, as you can pack a lunch bag for him, or better, he can come home for lunch and see you and the kids! His office is close enough! What a life! Or is it?
He leaves, you stay. No more second cup of coffee at your desk, no more manicure every Thursday, no more ‘my secret expenses’ budget allocation, no more ME, only THE MOM OF. Wasn’t it what you longed for when you were at your desk after leaving your baby at daycare? Going to the supermarket at midmorning, taking your baby to the doctor when there was not that many people, staying with your child when he is sick , making the baby his own vegetable soup and pureed fruit, playing and taking him to the park, going to visit your now fellow stay-at-home-mom friends ?
Being a stay at home parent is a choice, sometimes meditated and planned as a family, sometimes forced by circumstances. As all changes and challenges in life, staying at home with your children can be threatening and worrisome, but also is a unique opportunity to experience firsthand all your their development milestones, to be there when they need you must and to learn to live again by watching and sharing with them when they discover a world that has always been there for you but for them is totally new.