Kslim13: (Sorry in advance for my super LONG reply here.)
I never expected to become a stay-at-home mom. All the way through DH and I dating, being engaged, and then (literally) years of trying to get pregnant, I always said I would go back to work after having children. DH was super sweet and basically took the position that he didn’t have any opinion on it at all. He was fine either way.
It took us sooooo long to get pregnant. (4 years!) And, right when I finally did get pregnant, we had moved from one state to another. I was a lawyer in my previous career. The state I moved to didn’t offer licensing reciprocity with any other states, so I would have had to take a whole new bar exam to get licensed. DH was making really good money (still is), so we talked about it again and decided it made the most sense for me to stay at home with our daughter. And so that’s what I did.
Would I still do it the same way? Yes, I think I would. For us, it makes sense to do it this way. My husband works very long hours — often he doesn’t get home until 9 or 10 at night, and he travels a lot for work, too. If both of us worked, because we were both in the same type of career, our hours would likely be similar. In our minds, it didn’t feel do-able to handle things that way. For others, I’m sure it works out just fine. I’m only talking about what worked for us in our particular situation. I am so grateful for all the time I have for DD. I love that she knows someone is always home and waiting for her or available if she needs them. This is the way I grew up, and the way DH did too. So that, also, makes it feel like the right choice for us.
But it isn’t a perfect situation, either. There are downsides. DH and I both miss having two incomes, particularly since we live in an expensive part of the country. We would be able to travel more and have a much bigger house if I worked. And, even though I hated my career, it is HARD and often depressing not to work. In our society, it seems a person’s whole value is wrapped up in what kind of job they have. It’s all people want to hear about, and it’s typically the first thing anyone asks when you first meet. This is especially true where I currently live, because people are very competitive here. (And there are a LOT of jerks, too.) So not working outside the home sometimes makes me feel like I don’t really exist in other people’s opinions and minds. I’m also not well-suited to the whole staying home thing. I am the least domestic person in the universe. I don’t enjoy cleaning or laundry or cooking or shopping for the food or running the errands or … (all of it). I do all of it. But I don’t love it. Also, I can feel scared and nervous about not working, particularly since I have been out of the workforce for a LONG time (DD just turned 11). It scares me to think what might happen if, Heaven forbid, something happens to DH or if we separated. We have a very, very strong marriage and relationship. We’ve been married for 16 years but together for 24, total. But you never know what might happen. The world is a crazy place and life can be crazy, too.
So, yeah … there are good parts to it. But there are bad parts, too. It’s really not an easy decision. And it can feel like a big sacrifice, all around. (Meaning on the part of both parties involved in the decision.)