I never imagined I would say this or want to quit my job. I had everything under control including a foolproof plan on what to do once my baby was born. I wasn't going to let anyone or anything change that (another one of those wishful thinking moments before motherhood jolts you awake). My friends (even colleagues) often questioned my decision and I 'shooed' them away with very indignant responses. I had my priorities lined up, I was in charge, who knew better than me! and then 'poof' it all vanished after my little son made his grand entrance.
As I settled in as a new mom and with every passing day, I began to dread going back to work. Everywhere I went I'd see mom's hanging out with their kids, sipping coffee and catching up with other moms (while their babies slept peacefully in prams). I constantly bumped into mom's who praised their choice of staying home to raise their kids. I secretly wished for the same and began to do the unthinkable. I started to compare. As the dreaded day approached, I began to get fidgety, cranky, upset. I knew this was coming and the only reason I got through that first day was because: 1) I lived five minutes away from my work place, 2) I had an extra one hour I could take with my lunch break to feed my baby (which gave me almost two hours with him). 3) I could be home in an instant, if required so no worry there. Unlike some mom's who adjust to their situation, I could not. Never in all my life did I feel so bad and so (after two whole months of all this drama) on a Friday afternoon, I made my choice. I interrupt this to give you a slight background of the situation. We live in another country so our support system was practically zero. Both our moms took turns and couldn't stay on due to visa rules. So it was either hired care, a nursery or an unknown family who would babysit our child. It's not that I did not want to leave my son but he was just a tiny four month old and as a mom, how could I? There were other options as well but I don't even want to go there. I know I'm not the only mom who had to face this. There are millions and some of them don't even have a choice. I'm not trying to be pompous with this article but simply state that both choices have very different outcomes. It's not easy to wake up one day and tell your husband ' Honey! I want to quit my job and stay home to raise our child so I hope that's okay with you'. There's so much at stake and so many questions like how will we manage bills or saving for our little one, who gets to do what? My decision has involved a lot of (make that infinite) sacrifices not on my part but most certainly on my other half and he has been more than supportive. Does that make it a happy ending? Well not really as we do have our occasional ups and downs and there are days when we wish we can reverse roles.
After almost a year (and half-ish) I can understand why most moms choose to go back to work and why some choose to stay home. As Newton's law goes 'every action has an opposite and equal (sometimes horrifying) reaction' and my journey so far has seen many such reactions (which I'll save for another blog post). For now, I'll just try not to surprise my husband with such statements.