When I first had kids, I kind of assumed I would be a stay-at-home mom—at least part of the time—because that’s how I was raised. My husband and I were both raised by stay-at-home moms in religious families in the 80s.
When I had my first son, I was working as a writer at home full-time. I took on the brunt of the childcare and still tried to work on projects part-time. It wasn’t working for me because I was completely stressed out. I felt like I was juggling two full-time jobs at once, which I was. But quitting writing completely was not an option.
First and foremost, I absolutely love what I do. Secondly, I don’t think I would be able to handle round-the-clock childcare without something to distract me. When my first son was a baby and I was working less, I was so freaking bored. I honestly didn’t understand how much time I was supposed to spend with my kid, and whether or not it was a good idea to work, or if I should quit working altogether.
Of course, everything about parenting is trial and error. And the good thing is that my husband is very supportive and considers us a team; one person’s job isn’t more important than the other. Since my husband and I both work from home now, we balance childcare 50/50. It’s not that easy since we have a toddler in half-day daycare and a baby at home all day long, but I can imagine that it is so much easier than trying to wrangle two or more kids as a SAHM.
Side note—my husband and I are really kind of spoiled because we are both home with the kids all day long. We each didn’t appreciate how truly hard it is to care for one or more kids alone, until I went out of town for the weekend and, later, my husband went out for an afternoon. SAHMs, it was hard! You have my utmost respect.
I know some stay-at-home moms are fulfilled and really enjoy what they do. I only enjoy full-time childcare a little bit, and I think spending all day with my kids without any distractions would drive me up the wall. I feel really fortunate to have the best of both worlds since I get to work at home and still spend a good amount of time with my kids.
But I would never under any circumstance consider quitting my job to be a full-time mom. Today, my kids are part of my identity, and I’m happy about that. My job is also a big part of my identity, and I am never giving it up.