Well, okay, I didn't love it, love it, but...it was so great for so many reasons. All in all, it was a positive experience.
So why am I not doing it again after kid #2?
I've been putting off writing this post mostly because I can't really answer this question very well. After mulling it around for some time, the best I can come up with is--it's an imperfect solution to an imperfect situation.
IDEALLY, I would be able to still work part-time.
Ideally, my part-time job would be interesting, stimulating, skill-building and never require me to work more than 20 hours a week (unless giving me waaaaaaay advance notice and even then, wouldn't require that many more hours).
Ideally, my commute would be 15 minutes or less.
Ideally, I could find really cheap top-notch child care so I never worry whether my kid is languishing away somewhere being totally ignored while propped in front of a tv screen.
And since I'm shooting for the moon here, I might as well throw in other crazy wishes like peace in the Middle East, a cure for all cancers, and a pony. Seriously, I would love a pony.
In REALITY, the best I could do is to go back to work part-time at my firm knowing that the work hours are ridiculously unpredictable and completely client-driven. Whether I work 0 hours or 20 hours on any given weekend was always up in the air.
I suppose I was willing to put up with the unpredictability for a little bit with one kid. But now that I have 2 little people to juggle, somehow it just seems a bit much. Obviously if I really really really wanted to make it work, there are ways. But add to that the unending stress, the gnawing mom-guilt, and the complete lack of down-time (you're either being beat down by kids or by work), and it tipped the scale over to no-thank-you-I'll-pass land.
I decided that--You know what? I'd like to cook healthier meals for my family (a la Michael Pollan). I want to socialize more (or heck, socialize, period). I want to exercise more than twice a year. And yes, I even want a little time to myself to watch some Netflix with a bowl of ice-cream every now and then.
And that is Why.
The How is much more simple.
A lot of people wonder how we can actually survive on just the spouse's income. Well, it boils down to two factors really.
First, we are hecka cheap. We own one tiny used car, never travel anywhere, never go to movies/concerts/games/anything really, and never eat out at nice places. Wow, did I just describe the funnest people on the planet or WHAT?!
But seriously we don't really mind it. All I need to be happy is a good hiking trail and all the spouse really wants is a good book (thank you Barnes and Noble for many a happy, "free" evenings of entertainment).
Second, I've been squirreling away my Biglaw salary for five years while living like the above. And if you're at all familiar with Biglaw salaries, you know that's a lot of nuts stored up for a financial winter, so to speak. Eventually those stores will be depleted, at which point I do see myself going back to work, but for now, we're okay.
Also, I figure I'm actually "earning" a lot of dough staying home with the kids. Heck, I'm taking on the job of a full-time private nanny. The going rate for nannies in our area is about $20/hr for 2 kids, so we're talkin' bout a $40k a year imputed income I'm making! Woohoo.
All that being said, I still have a ton of misgivings about the whole SAHM thing. But that's for another post to explore. In the meantime, I'm enjoying Noah's new found ability to sit up on his own!
And to chow down on solids like a beast.
|Forget the spoon mom, just dump it all in! Noah seriously has no patience for small quantities of food.|
|Finally El Gordito is satisfied after 3 bowls of rice cereal and 1 cube of avocado.|
And as always, pinching those nekkid chubby rolls.
|Mommy just can't stand my stinkin' cuteness!|