23 January 2011

Staying home

Before Michael and I had kids, we talked about what we wanted for those kids.  When I mean before, I mean we had this discussion back when I was 16 and he was 18, long before children were even a solid thought in our mind.  I loved to discuss my future with him, and he didn't seem to have any problems with it either, so we'd sit there holding hands and talking about our hopes and dreams, or we'd be laying down in a bed, cuddled together.  Like many things, Michael and I had different ideas.  Michael assumed I'd work, our kids would go to daycare, and then eventually school.  I assumed I'd be able to stay home with our children, at least until they went to school.  We did agree on the fact that we wanted many kids, but after having the kids, we had a couple of issues.  Michael's views though, were not solidified, he had them only because that's what he assumed all couples did.  I, even at that point being incredibly interested in childbirth and raising had other ideas.  I also wanted our children to have one parent stay home because that's what I had until my father's death.  My daddy stayed home with me.  I didn't come home to an empty house devoid of human contact, or go to the after-care center where I'd spend most of the evening until my Mom could pick me up, then rush me through dinner, then bed because it was getting late.  I came home, and spent time with my father, played games with him, and helped him make dinner most nights.  I wanted that for my kids, having someone home, knowing that they wouldn't have to be alone.  So after one conversation we agreed, that when we had kids, one of us would stay home, at least until they were in school.

Of course, as all well-laid plans do, it's not what happened.  We got pregnant out of wedlock, which you would think I'd be more upset about, but I'm not, and I was providing for myself.  I couldn't just quit my job at the time.  I worked as many hours as I could though, building up money for my maternity leave.  Since I'd been at the job for almost 2 1/2 years I knew I'd still have it when I got back, and they were willing to work with me on the fact that I'd be breastfeeding, which was awesome of them.  I ended up changing jobs, when my son was 6 months old, because I had an opportunity for better wages, and I loved my photography job, but we got pregnant again, and it was hard on my body.  I finally made the decision to quit my job, as Michael was making enough money to support us, and we were trying to get him enlisted.

That day in April of 05' was the last day I worked.  I haven't regretted it for one second.  Being home with my children brings me great joy (most of the time).  We've had to make some sacrifices sure, and there's been times that money has been tight, but when it comes down to it, money is just not important.  Michael and I feel that the security our children have, knowing that I'm always here for them is what is most important to us.  So like many things, when it comes to child-rearing, EBF, baby-wearing (which Michael took to quickly), homebirthing, and homeschooling, Michael was enlightened on the benefits, of each of these practices.  I feel blessed and lucky to have such a caring and wonderful husband, who supports me, and who does not ever make me feel like I'm taking *his* money just because I'm not working.  He's told me countless times that we're both earning *his* money because were both sacrificing, and we're both doing the jobs we were meant to do.

I love my husband.