I had my beautiful twins December of 2010. I worked in retail management so I wasn’t making any serious cash, but I was doing okay for myself. Together, the Fiance and I grossed around $65,000 per year, which is nothing to brag about, but at the time, with it just being the two of us, we were able to do fun things on occasion. Once the twins were born, things got hard. I was paying $700 a month for childcare – and that’s considered very inexpensive for two babies. My commute to work was almost an hour each way. (I know – I was crazy.) The gas alone was almost breaking us. Combine that with the childcare, and we were beyond “broke like a joke”… That sh*t wasn’t funny.
Together, the husband and I decided that it would be better financially… and emotionally for me to quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom. We would lose a chunk, but by the time you factored in the money that we would save from me not eating out every week (you get hungry when your commute is two hours a day) things balanced themselves out.
Things have been going pretty well. For all intents and purposes, I’m a “work-at-home-mom”. I make a pretty decent living off of my graphic design, (Check me out if you’ve got some time. Coko Creations in the house! Whoomp, whoomp!) and the time that I get to spend with my little ones has proven to be invaluable.
Deep down inside though, I’m scared sh*tless. In the back of my mind, there’s a little voice that continues to ask the logical questions: What if you and the soon-to-be husband split up? What about saving for the kid’s college education? What about my retirement? What in the hell are you doing??!!
This is what I tell that voice: The childhood that I am giving my twins could for all intents and purposes be considered a true gift. Their lives with mommy are full of adventures and treasured memories. During my children’s first few months while I was still working full time, my life was a blur of sleepless nights, exhausting days, and short periods of time with my children; and I clearly remember never going to work with a shirt free of spit-up. I’d wake up at 4am, was out of the house by 6, at the sitters by 8 (yes, I seriously worked that far away from my house) and I’d make it to work by 9. I’d be off by 5, home by 7 and dinner was on the table by 8. Once the babies were tucked in for the night, I realized that I’d only spent a few fleeting moments with them… and then everything started all over again. In my eyes, that just wasn’t going to cut it.
There are so many women who believe that if they have to work, I should too. Tons of articles can be found that scold women for choosing motherhood over full time work. Ultimately, the choice is mine. Am I a Saint? Not even. Will I pay the price later? Probably. But I’ve always believed in living for the moment. The gratification that I receive when I wake up each morning and see my little crusty-faced twins smiling faces is worth any trial that I may have to face later.
So if you’re weighing the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home mom, here’s my take: while they’re little, it’s the best thing in the world. The probability that I’ll have to pay for the sacrifice later is high… but right now… at this very moment… while I watch my baby girl spin around in circles and giggle with delight… I don’t give a crap.