As many of you know, I quit my full-time job in May in order to pursue my freelance writing and blogging career. And ever since then, people have just assumed that my kids are staying home with me. They often ask things like “aren’t you having a blast staying home with the kids?” Or, they say, “Greg must be relieved that you’re staying home with the kids now.” One older woman even told me that I would never regret leaving work to stay home with my kids. “They grow up so fast,” she said. “You’ll be so glad that you stayed home with them when you’re my age.” Ummmm…….okay. When this first started happening, I would just nod and smile and change the subject. However, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’ve decided that I am going to tell people the cold, hard truth.
“My kids go to daycare.”
Of course, I realize that people must find it really strange that my kids go to daycare while I work from home. After all, I should be able to watch them while I work, right? Isn’t that what all of the adorable stay-at-home moms in affluent communities do? You know, they’re watching the kids, working, making recipes straight off Pinterest, and scrapbooking…or something. At least that’s what they say on Facebook. And if that’s the truth, then it’s f#C*king amazing!
I’m Inadequate at Multi-Tasking
Unfortunately, I wasn’t made to multi-task at fembot level. And, I have found that I can only do a really good job when I do one thing at a time. I can’t work on a serious project while making snacks every 20 minutes, trying to keep my kids from hitting each other, and answering at least 25 questions per hour. So, I send my kids to daycare. And, although I miss them during the day occasionally, I don’t feel bad about it. Here’s why:
- I can earn more money if they’re at daycare- I could probably get some writing done if my kids stayed home. However, there is no way that I could complete anywhere near the number of projects that I work on during full-time hours. Since my kids go to daycare, I’m able to take on a lot of paid work and use that money to pay the bills. Working also allows me to save a lot of money for the future. As my kids get older, I know that they’re going to want things – big things – like cars, college degrees, and weddings. I want to be prepared when that day comes.
- I am able to get mundane chores done- Do you know what’s hard to do at my house? Laundry. My four-year-old enjoys unfolding clothes and my two-year-old thinks it’s fun to throw them in the air. The good news is that I’m now able to do dishes and laundry during the day when it’s much, much easier.
- I’m able to exercise- One of the best things about working from home is that I’m able to exercise on a daily basis. When I worked at my old 9-5 job, it was nearly impossible to get a reasonable amount of exercise in…if any at all. Working from home means that I’m able to drop what I’m doing and go on a brisk walk or jog at any time that I need a break.
- I have no desire to be a stay-at-home mom- I like working during the day and doing the “mom” thing on the evenings and weekends. Why? It allows me time to just…be me. I like having my own interests and time to pursue those interests. And while I do think that some women are naturally equipped to be with their children 24/7, I know that I’m not one of them. And, I’m okay with that.
- I love earning money- Life is so unpredictable and I love knowing that I would be able to make a living if something were to happen to Greg. There are so many things on my bucket list….and most of them cost a ton of cash. But, I have to start somewhere, right?
Choosing to stay at home with the kids or work is an entirely personal decision. And, there’s no “wrong” or “right” answer. Everyone just has to do what works best for their unique situation. And while the thought of staying home with my kids does sound rather appealing, I know from experience that the reality is quite different. A lot different. I sure do love my kiddos but I just don’t want to be with them 24/7, and that’s why I’m not a stay-at-home mom.
Have you ever wanted to be a stay-at-home parent? If so, why? If not, why not?