A stay-at-home mom of two boys under the age of 5 told me today, "This (working in a library) is my dream job - so quiet and orderly." Well, for the most part it is that. But it got me thinking about how I sometimes envy the stay-at-home moms who come in frequently with their small children, and how the grass is always greener on the other side. I know from my all-too-brief fifteen weeks of maternity leave with Baby J that staying at home can be lonely, boring, and maddening. I don't know if I really could be a stay-at-home mom, even if our money situation allowed for it. In my perfect dream world, I would work part-time (say 20 hours a week) and still retain our family's health benefits. But that's unlikely to happen.
Some days it kills me to leave home in the morning. Baby J is all smiles and funny shrieks, rested and fed and happy to play in his jumper or on the floor. My husband, wonderful father and spouse that he is, stays home with him for most of the day and then goes in to work around 4 or 5. He has a loooong day. I do too, in that I assume baby duties when I get home and all night long, should J wake up in the middle of the night. We are making it work with the help of our mothers and fathers and my aunt. It really DOES take a village, if you want to keep your baby out of daycare. When J is a bit older, say about 18 months, we'll reevaluate the situation.
Sometimes I'm irrationally angry that I can't stay home, and sometimes I feel so grateful to have a job that provides for our family and that I enjoy - just like the mom who came in today must sometimes love to be at home and sometimes wish for adult conversation. There is no perfect solution, there is no perfect life. There is only my imperfect, beautiful, crazy, untidy, blissful life, and all the blessings therein.