Friday, December 01, 2006

Becoming a SAHM

Big talk going on in the Mammacheryl household. As you all know, we're working on having a second child next year. We doubt daycare can give us a really steep discount (oh why can't it be two-for-the-price-of-one?), and it doesn't make sense for me to keep working if daycare costs eat up 80% of my earnings.

The concept of me becoming a stay-at-home mom has been in the background since before we got married. It was always my intention to be a SAHM. Having to work after Ben was born wasn't what I initially wanted, but at that point, we couldn't afford to lose my income. A few months ago, though, Chester got a promotion, and although it was only three dollars more an hour, it definitely makes our lives easier. With some tough budget cuts being implemented, we should be able to actually start saving money. What a concept.

Two babies in daycare is ridiculous, so I'll be quitting my job sometime next year when I'm in my third trimester. Yesterday, I emailed my best friend Lexi about it, since she recently made the leap into the great abyss and became a working-from-the-home mommy. Lexi called me almost immediately, since that kind of conversation is better over the phone. She says she'd never want to go back to working in an office, but she's lonely.

That's just the thing. I am by nature a private person. I have been for a few years. (Life got really chaotic and upsetting near the end of my college career, and I purposefully dropped myself off of the social grid. I needed to repair and restore my soul. Haven't really ventured back out there yet. Still in protective mode.) If I'm given the option between staying at home and going out and visiting people, I will fight tooth and nail to stay home. Social situations make me uncomfortable. I rarely have anything to say, and I hate being the wallflower, the one who just sits on the sofa with a smile on her face, eavesdropping on everyone else's lives. So I stay home.

Work is my social outlet. I'm not exactly a social butterfly around here, but I've made friends and I'm nice to people and people are nice to me. And even though I don't relish all the social situations, I think I'll miss it when I'm gone. It's tough to imagine me going out of my way to get out of the house when I don't have to. Even Lexi knows that when Chester invites her over (because I never get around to doing it), I'll inevitably cancel and feign illness. I've told her to just ignore me and come over anyway. If I'm actually sick, oh well.

On the Ben and Baby front, I also worry that they'll be bored out of their precious little minds. The Wisconsin winters are long and cold, and even if the weather was nice, we don't live in the kind of neighborhood where we can just go outside and play on the sidewalk easily. I won't have a car at my disposal every day, so I can't just pack up the runts and go to the family resource center where they have a play group every afternoon. Hauling a toddler and a baby... and then two toddlers onto the city bus sounds like an excruciating experience.

That all being said, I'm still going to do it. At the end of next summer (if I get knocked up right away), I'll be quitting my job and Ben will be saying good-bye to the ladies at daycare.

I see one of two things happening. I'll either give up the fight and become a couch potato who watches soap operas all day or I'll become Little Miss Suzy Homemaker and be buzzing around the house cleaning and baking. Since I've always wanted to be the latter, that's what I'll be striving for.