I am lucky enough to get to stay home with Will.
I remember vividly in sixth grade talking to a kid named Robbie about what we would be when we grew up. We were discussing the merits of staying home, and out of my mouth slipped the words, "I want to stay home with my kids." Until that moment I never realized it was something I wanted.
My mom was a teacher and then principal when I was growing up. She was also a single mom. Oh, and she earned her Master's degree taking night class and summer school. What a great role model, right? It was never a question I would go to college, and I am so thankful for that expectation. After the conversation with Robbie, I was with my grandfather one day, and I told him my plans about staying home. He said that was fine...as long as I had a degree and something, as he put it, to fall back on.
Well, fast forward about 20 years. It was finally my turn. We were expecting. We waited longer than most of our friends to start a family, but boy was he worth the wait! To top it off, we had just returned to our hometown after being gone since high school. I was one week and one day into my job here when we found out I was pregnant. Staying home didn't really enter my mind until I started looking at child care options. There just wasn't anywhere we felt completely comfortable. We tossed around the idea of me staying home, but it would be a stretch on our budget, I loved teaching, and I honestly was a little nervous about telling my mom. We reluctantly settled on a church daycare and put a deposit for baby boy's place the next fall.
Then when I was 34 weeks pregnant, we found out Will had a cleft lip. We were completely shocked. Everything had looked completely "normal" up to that point, and I was worried. What would he look like? How severe would the lip be? Would his palate be affected? I was worried about possible medical complications. I was worried some college girl working at the church wouldn't want to love my baby because his lip looked different.
We changed our decision that night. I would stay home with Will. It was the easiest and hardest decision.
I am so grateful to get to love on my baby every day. I am so grateful not to have to drop him off at daycare, although, I am now certain no one would be able to resist loving him. It hasn't been all easy. We are stretched financially, especially with added medical expenses. Some days are really long, and I will look for any excuse to get out of the house. But when Will gets fussy and falls asleep early, I can watch him sleeping and smile because I'm not missing out on my time with him.
I am living the dream and staying home with my baby.