March for Babies

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

WOHM-Guilty Justification

So I am looking into childcare centers near where I work. I know. This makes me a bad mother right from the start does it not? I shall be a WOHM. Working Out of the Home Mother. Good Lord, what will my child do? Light Blue shall be handed over to some stranger to be raised. Why bother having a kid at all if I am only going to ship him/her off to someone else and go on about my life as if I did not even have a child? What the Hell is wrong with me that I am so selfish as to bring a child into the world if I do not plan to raise it myself? I do not even have what I would call a career. It is just a very long-term (8+ years so far) job that I enjoy and pays well and the people make me laugh on a daily basis. Selfish any way you cut it.

Or is it?

Here is the thing. If I stop working we will starve, lose our house and die on the streets. I am not the major breadwinner in our family but I contribute almost half of our household income and we are going to take a big hit this next summer when I am off work for 8 weeks. I could return to work on a part-time basis and we could probably get by financially, but it would suck and our lifestyle would drastically decline. Not what we want for our child. If T were to suddenly be laid off (not out of the question in his line of work as in all things industry, when things get slow the workers go home unpaid. It has not happened yet but that does not mean it couldn't in the future.) we would lose our health insurance and other benefits. If I am working part-time when/if this might happen then we would not be eligible for those benefits at my company. If I work full-time we are.

I will take 8 weeks off after the birth and then return to work full-time. Ready or not, here we come! The child will go to daycare while I am at work. I shall take Light Blue in when I go to work, I can stop by and visit or to nurse during the day and will pick him/her up on my way home at night. Once home we shall share some quality time as a family before bed and do it all over again the next day. It will be long and stressful and tiring and I will probably miss first smiles and steps and rolling over and the like but you know what? I am doing what I need to do to support and raise my child in the best way I know how. I know the firsts are so amazing and important but the ones he/she does at home at night or on the weekends will but just as thrilling the first time WE see them.

It will not be easy and I am dreading it already but I also know that I can do it, we all can do it so it will be done. If we refinance the house (as we were supposed to do last fall) and get rid of my car payment (will be paid off in June) then maybe I could think about staying home. But you know what? I do not really want to do that either. If I am a SAHM T will expect the house sparkling clean, the laundry done, the shopping done, the dishes done and dinner made and I am just NOT a domestic goddess. I would probably not get those things accomplished without a baby to take care of.

I just do not do “housewife”.

So, I have narrowed my search for childcare down to three centers. (Centers vs. in a private home since the homes are not inspected or properly governed around here and the centers are.) Two are very convenient and close-by my office and one (where my niece goes) is all the way across town and completely out of my way but a good place. The others are good as well so I am leaning in the direction of convenient and good and should neither of those work out I can always use the across town one as a back up.

*Sigh* There are so many decisions to make and I feel as though I am running out of time to make them. 19 weeks tomorrow and in the next couple of weeks we will find out whether Light Blue will be wearing pink or blue the first day of daycare.


b said...

Should I ever get pregnant, I will be in the same boat. Trust me, it does not make you a bad mom. A bad mom is neglectful, you will ensure light blue has the care and attention s/he needs while you provide to keep a roof over head.

Jen P said...

What I've learned of motherhood is that no matter the decision you make, someone will take issue with it and someone will make you feel bad about it. If you're a SAHM people accuse you of not working, not contributing to taxes or society, bringing another child into the world to rob the existing tax and benefit packages, and if you DO work people accuse you of neglecting your child.

Fuck em.

You do what's right for your family first and foremost. And if you look after YOU, T and your nest, your little Blue will feel that love and devotion.

I'd say the first 4 months aren't that incredibly 'important' (I use the word because I can't think of another one) in that it's basically eat, poo, eat, poo, sometimes there's sleep, sometimes there is play and it's taxing. And the time you spend with him/her will be absolutely cherished. And if will give you heaps of time to work out how things are working for you guys and it's such a learning curve.

Lots of luck with choosing the centre and best wishes!

Anonymous said...

I was c-sectioned, never breast fed, and essentially raised by day-care. However did I manage to become a well adjusted and successful young woman?!?

Seriously, don't listen to the holier-than-thou comments of others. A working mother is not any less a 'mom'. She's a mom-plus.