I have a secret to tell you. For 8 months I have been the sole breadwinner in our household. My wonderful husband has been staying home with our son. Here's the secret... I wasn't always the most grateful for him. I thought he could help out around the house SO much more than he was, and I often nagged him when I got home from work that nothing in the house was clean and I couldn't do it all myself! He would remind me it didn't need to get done and I would begrudgingly run around the house cleaning everything instead of spending time with my son. I thought the solution was for him to return to work and we both work on the house.We moved back to our home state and my husband found a wonderful job. A job with FREE childcare. I thought it was finally the perfect answer! I wasn't the only one bringing in a paycheck anymore and we could save for a house with free childcare! Then, we slowly started transitioning our son to the new daycare (the school my husband was running so he would be there all day with him)... and he HATED IT! We thought it would take a week for him to get used to it. It almost killed me though. For the first time since my husband quit his job, I found myself thinking that maybe we didn't need to be in a house next year, maybe we just don't end up with the savings for the new baby we were hoping for...anything to end my son's misery at day care.
My husband stayed in his new position for 4 weeks and resigned last Sunday. It wasn't because of our son's difficulty with the transition, there were things about that job that were not a good fit for him and his career goals, but the overwhelming sense of relief I felt shocked me. I realized how much I didn't care that the house was clean, or that our budget is significantly tighter on my single income, I just wanted my son to be happy, and he wasn't at that school. This isn't to say that parents who put their children in daycare aren't doing what's best for them. That's not it at ALL! We will end up putting our son in daycare again soon and hopefully find one that he enjoys more than that particular center. My point of this is a message to the person who makes it possible for me to be a working mom. For you, that might be your daycare or childcare provider. It might be your mom or in laws who take your children so you can bring in the income you need or want. For me, my career wouldn't be possible without my husband. Now that we live near family again, there's a very large pool of people I could thank for all they do for us, but for 9 months now, my husband has spent day in and day out with my son. Taken overnight feedings because he knew I had to go to work early. Many days he woke up early with the baby because I needed that last hour before going into the office. He's been patient with me when I've been angry with
him about the house being dirty when I get home. What a silly thing I cared about! He was caring for our son. Helping him grow and develop, and the measure in which I used to measure a "successful" day for him was if the dishes got done. There's probably a lot of stay at home moms reading this and thinking that their working husbands might have been in my shoes and have asked the dreaded question of "what did you do all day" when they walked in the door. I promised myself I wouldn't be that working mom, and yet...I had those days where work was grueling and seeing the dishes piled up when I got home just sent me over the edge.