There came a point this year where I could no longer deny that two full time working parents was not working for my family. I could pretend it worked most of the time. I could say the very little money after child care costs made a huge difference. I could say that we had a healthy work life balance. Sometimes those things were true.
I like working, I didn’t like staying home and I loved our child care center.
I’ll even admit that the first time the legitimate idea of staying home full time came after a minute amount of micromanagement that had me thinking, “I don’t make enough money to be talked to this way”.
In February, my kids were sick for a total of three weeks, off and on. That somehow, my husband and I had to scramble with our combined 10 days of sick leave or use vacation days that we would need when school was out for spring and then summer break (then fall, then winter!).
Once I started thinking of all the benefits of staying home I had an overwhelming sense of peace. No more rushing in the morning, no more seeing the kids for 2 hours before bed time, no struggling for care during illnesses and breaks, no tuition payments!
My husband reminded me that I always tout that I have no interest in staying home. That I get bored and impatient. Yes, but it is time to do and be better. Time to put aside my own needs and desires and do what the family as a collective needs me to do.
Staying home comes with notable sacrifices, the biggest of which is financial. I’m balancing two side hustles to make up for the loss of income (do I even get to say I’m a SAHM?). I’m a social person, and I need to be very intentional about how to stay connected when I’m not seeing many other people every few days.
Then I think into the long term, my kids will be in school in the next few years, but unless I go back into teaching I’m still going to run into the problem of school not lining up with work hours, breaks and sick leave. I feel like my future will be a constant balance until my children are old enough to stay home by themselves.
So I’ll just do what everyone does, I’ll make it work. Right now, this works.