I have made the choice to stay home with my son.
Before he was born it was an easy choice. You know the one people commend you for and you have dreams of what it will be like to be at home with your perfect child. People told me I might get bored and I thought I might too. But I wasn’t worried I had books to read and friends to spend time with. But I didn’t understand what they were saying.
I just didn’t understand.
Then he was born. And the first few months, I hadn’t really committed to my choice to stay home. My commitment was up for serving in the military in October and he was born in June. I got 6 weeks maternity leave and if I had to go back to work full time I would have survived. It would have been tough to leave the baby I spent all my time with behind and with someone else. Luckily, I had enough time saved up I only had to work a few days a week. Those days gave me the taste of freedom and the challenge I needed to not have me realize what was coming. With my identity still lingering, one foot in the mommy world and the other unknowingly clinging to the person I used to be.
The choice to stay home
So October came and went and I struggled really hard with my choice to stay at home. I missed the social interaction. And I missed the feeling of importance that my job gave to me. I missed people’s awe at what I had accomplished. I went from Air Force Captain and Civil Engineer to Mom. No one said wow to that. I went from a job that had hours to a job that never ended. I was caught unaware on how hard this transition would be.
In my pre-baby life I would get accolades and awards for the work I had done. In my new life no one seemed to care how much work I had put in. Least of all the little baby who wanted and needed me. I often thought about going back to work. But on the horizon was a move to California and so finding a job just didn’t make sense.
So now, it is almost a year after I separated from the Air Force. The dust has almost settled and our move is complete. And I am so thankful I stuck with it and decided to stay at home. I still miss engineering and some days don’t go as planned (okay, most days), but my baby is turning into a toddler right in front of me. I don’t want to miss this time.
Maybe one day I will go back to being an Engineer, maybe I won’t. It will be a choice I have to make in the future. Not today. Today’s choice is celebrating staying home. It is where I need to be.
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