Honey, I'm Home!

Photo credit: 
subactive_photo on flickr
Coming home from work--and staying there

I had it all, as some would say--a loving husband, wonderful children and a successful career. As an executive at a large luxury hotel, I was rewarded with status, a healthy paycheck and a generous benefits package.

I still remember, so vividly, speaking to my boss on the phone to set the date that I would come back to work after my first baby, Amber, was born. This dreadful day was over twelve years ago when Amber was 14 weeks old. The incoming call from my boss caught me by surprise. I had forgotten that there was another world outside the bond between my daughter and me.

It was official. When my daughter turned 16 weeks old, the day would be noted as the day we would be taken away from each other. When reality sunk in, I cried as I had never cried before. My dream was ending and a short chapter in my life was closing. The precious baby who was with me 24/7 would spend approximately 50 hours per week with her grandmother.

As the woman who conceived and gave birth to Amber, I felt that it was my right to nurture and raise her on a full-time basis. Instead, I was forced out of the home and into a work environment that did not coincide with my new priority in life. Amber was a gift to me that I did not want to relinquish, and my overdeveloped maternal instinct was crushed.

I worked outside the home to supplement my husband's income, which allowed our family to enjoy such luxuries as food and utilities. Despite living in a two-income family, we were always broke and did not have much of a savings account established. If we were going to be broke anyway, why couldn't I just stay home?

I resented stay-at-home mothers immensely. I was downright jealous and the envy inside me scared me. All I wanted was to raise children, my children. Nothing else mattered to me. Feeling cheated in life, I realized that if I didn't do something to land my dream, it would never happen.

Somehow, other families were surviving on one income. It can be done and I knew that our family could do it. I don't need to spend money on exotic vacations or extended shopping sprees. If I were home, I could clean my own house instead of paying a housecleaner. Paid trips to the car wash would be obsolete because I would have the time to wash the car myself. No more dry cleaning bills or the need to update a business wardrobe. With the omission of the aforementioned expenses and some creative budgeting, I knew that I could follow my heart and give up my career.

The day came. I gave ample notice at my place of employment that I would be leaving to become a full-time mother. Some major changes occurred in my life to support my new status--mainly, moving.

My husband and I owned a beautiful home with a high mortgage. We could not afford the mortgage on one income, so we put the house up for rent. We now live in a house which we purchased as a bank repossession and our new mortgage is a fraction of what it once was. We didn't buy our new house because we liked it, we bought it because the price allowed me to stay home.

After a year of being home, I became pregnant with my fourth child. I was exhilarated with excitement knowing that after giving birth my new baby would be with me always, the way it should be. Now, I have to deal with the guilt that I feel for not being able to give my first three babies the time with me that they deserved.

My days of assuming that my children made it to school safe are over because I am there, with them, exchanging kisses at the gate. After school, I get to hear the day's events right away, instead of half-listening while preparing dinner after an exhausting day at work. Instead of wondering what my children are eating for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon, I am with them, pulling them in a wagon to our picnic site. I am fulfilled; I am a stay-at-home mother.

Sharon Waldrop is a stay-at-home mother of four children, married to a Deputy Sheriff. They live on a mountain. She is an active member of La Leche League and Moms Club, a PTA volunteer and Sunday school teacher.

Comments

Chris Terwilliger's picture

What a wonderful and inspiring story. I remember the day I came to that moment as well. As it turned out, the Lord has blessed me with only one child, I wanted at least four. . . but that being the case, once I learned that the chances for another baby were slim to none I loved and valued my son all the more. . he was all I had. .and I didn't want to miss a second of him growing up. That same year we moved into what some would call a "starter home". . .16 years later here we are! This "starter" home has served us well, so well in fact that I was able to only work the hours my son was in school until just recently when he started college! If I had not told him I went to work after I dropped him off at school everyday and was there until I picked him up, he would have never known! I was so blessed to have a job that provided me with the flexibility of taking care of my family and adding to the household income. I never missed an activity, field trip, sick day, or anything. . I can't imagine having too. He is living at home the first two years of college and will be transferring soon. Hard to believe he's practically grown up. I encourage other mothers to do the same. . BE THERE!! I learned more about his day on the rides home from school and as soon as he walked through the kitchen door in high school (he was driving by then) than I EVER would have if I wasn't coming home until after 6:00 PM. I see the fruits of that loving labor now, both in my son AND my husband. Being able to be there for them, have dinner on the table and just loving them daily in the little things. God bless every sacrifice you make for your children, you are rewarded 100 fold! That time goes by so fast, cherish every moment. I sure do, even with a college age child.
Enjoying this site!
Chris

jennye's picture

Ditto. I couldn't imagine not being a stay at home mom!

I had planned on possibly going back to work when the youngest started school. With stipulations. It would have to be as a teacher with the same hours my kids have. Well, as close as I could get. Most importantly, summers, weekends, and holidays off. But now, that may not be enough. I don't want to spend all my off time doing laundry, cleaning, and all my craft projects, plus DH needs me so much during the day to help him out (we are farmer/ranchers). And another thing has changed my decision as well.

I took the baby to have his pictures made at Sears the other day, and I ran into my hairdresser (shows how often I get my haircut, because I had NO IDEA the news she had!). She had become a grandmother over the summer. This woman, who is only a couple years older than me, and I'm 32, just became a GRANDMOTHER! Her daughter was a sophomore when she had the baby! I was then shocked to discover yet another woman who I used to work with, same age, had also become a grandmother.

So, I have made it my mission in life to be there at all times for my kids. Not only that, but to keep them so darn busy, they won't have time to THINK about sex or drugs! I don't want to do laundry and cleaning on weekends and after school. Until they start Junior High (3 years for my oldest), they can play soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter. The real crucial time will come though when JR. High starts. At our teeny tiny rural school, if you have any athletic ability at all, you play sports. And you play ALL sports. That means the girls will cheer, volleyball, basketball and track. And the boys will play football, basketball, and track. They will also be busy with FFA (future farmers of America) and 4-H. Maybe it sounds horrible to keep kids so busy. But at our school, and the school in town, the kids that get knocked up are the ones that aren't playing sports or doing other activities. It's the ones that are idle, and the ones whose parents both work.

But while the kids are in school (all of them), I am still going to work to better myself, but going back to college. It's important for me to finish my bachelors and get my master's degrees, just in case. What if my husband died in an accident. I need to be there to be able to earn the money as well if I have to.

Rambling here. This has bothered me for a few weeks. LOL! Glad I got it out of me and down on "paper". LOL!

Kerri's picture

but the good news is that 7 of them aren't mine and will be going to their own homes in about half an hour. I've recently started working after 10yrs, but it's our own company and whilst it is utterly hectic and a bit hit and miss I have so far managed to be a SAHM at the same time, sort of. The price I pay is sometimes having the noise from a whole tribe of kids whilst working, but at least mine are happy, occupied and close enough for me to know what they're doing. For much the same reasons as Jenny I want my kids to always be able to come to me with anything, to have open chats about any topic under the sun, and to not grow up too fast, nor too ignorant - it's a tall order, and I had no idea how much harder it was to throw a job into the mix as well, but I have a newfound appreciation of any WOHM mothers who are really trying to be full-time parents as well. It isn't always a choice thing.

and yes, I still walk both my kids (10 and 8) right to their school doors and they know I will still drop everything if needed. I also need to go cook their dinner now! ;)

Kerri.

Jilsyt's picture

I used to think I wanted to get out of the house as soon as I could put these 2 into school. Now, I'm actually considering homeschool (not sure yet though). Even if I don't I've decided that I will be home when they are, and available at all times. Last month, there was a case nearby where an 11 year old was attacked by approximately 20 15 year old boys. Scary. The town kept asking, "Where were the parents of all of these kids?" The answer? at work. It happened around 4 in the afternoon, not late at night as though she'd been out doing things past curfew. Our kids need us til they are safe on their own, and this *FINALLY* made me realize it.

Add new comment