With parenting comes these huge decisions. Tough ones. Ones that seemingly test you. One of the more challenging decisions is deciding who is going to stay home with baby. You, husband, family, child care? No matter what you choose, rest assured there will be guilty, doubt, and worry that you should be doing something different. These decisions aren't solely based on economic status either. Sometimes both parents have to work in order to pay the bills and hiring a caretaker is the only route to go. Having a nanny or any type of child care doesn't automatically mean you're rolling in the dough. Same goes for the mom or dad who is able to stay home with their child. Having a kid is pricey no matter what.
When I read that Giuliana Rancic is debating becoming a stay-at-home mom, I wanted to tell her to do it. It's one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Being a SAHM isn't for everyone and you won't get any judgement from me on what you choose to do because I have done both. We do what we have to do, what we want to do, what's best for us and our family. For the first two years of my twins' life, I had child care, a nanny actually, because having a nanny was less expensive than putting two babies in daycare in NYC. And having child care doesn't make you less of a mom. It was tough though, on many levels, but it was working for us, until it wasn't. After living in a small Brooklyn apartment with twins, we wanted to move and I wanted to be home with the kids. I was lucky enough to go from a full time position to freelance on a very part-time level so I was able to bring in a little bit of money to help make ends meet. And keep up with my career, which was something important to me.
It's been a year now and I feel exactly how a few moms told me I'd feel. You may regret working and being away from your kids, but you'll never regret staying home with your kids. So true. I don't regret it.
I think Giuliana should do it. Stay home with her son. When she talked about going back to work and said she wasn't ready on a recent episode of Giuliana & Bill, I felt her concern. "Maybe I should quit right now!" she said. "I don't want to go." I think all new moms can relate to that no matter how long or short (or non-existent) their maternity leave is. It's so hard to go back to work when you are in the hazy, sleep-deprived but beautiful bliss of new motherhood. You prefer coos over conference calls and poop diapers over powerpoint presentations. Everything is just so new and beautiful even with the spit-up and baby dinosaur-sounding cries.
Those moments will be gone before we know it, and if you can and of course want to, why not stay home with the kids. If you are in a position where it can work, and you can try, like I think Giuliana is in, why not. If there is regret, try working yourself back into the work force again. But that time you spend with your baby, maybe you even into toddlerhood, all that time, all those firsts you get to see first, all those kiss it to make it betters, all those snuggles, all those moments you're teaching your child and your child teaches you, they are worth even the times where you feel like you will crumble if you don't get a break. Because being the CEO of the house is hard work without any private bathroom breaks, sometimes without the ability to shower, without lunch break shopping, without getting dressed up in heels and pretty dresses. It's a full time job with overtime. It's one of the most important "jobs" in the world.
And it's worth it.
Did you make the decision to be a SAHM? How are you feeling about your decision?
Image via Michele Zipp