Thursday, December 6, 2012

In case you were wondering...

I did not have a job before Henry was born, and I will not have one any time soon... or maybe ever?

I get asked this question a lot when I see people now, and I totally get it that they're just curious. But as much as I resolutely believe in my decision to be at home with Henry, I tend to feel a bit self-conscious when I admit that I've basically retired from the workforce at 27. I am the only one of my close friends that currently has no income and is not building a career. If you're new around here, spoiler alert!... I really care what others think about me. And perhaps I am worried that someone will think I am spoiled or lazy because of my choice to be home. Or that maybe I am not smart or interesting. Let's be honest, I am both spoiled AND lazy, but the thought of someone assuming that I am not accomplished or intelligent absolutely kills me.

Before we were married, Thomas and I agreed that we wanted a stay-at-home parenting scenario when the time came. So we set up our finances and lifestyle to be dependent on only one income (his, obviously). I am so glad that we did this from the time we were married, because neither of us were planning on having a baby so quickly. We are really blessed that Thomas' income is enough to cover our expenses and my impulsive online shopping habits, but there are still a lot of things that we have to do without for the time being. I am extremely empathetic to any family or single parent that does not have the freedom to choose in this huge decision, and I can't imagine how hard it must be to go back to work after maternity leave. (ps - my thoughts on America's maternity leave laws are that our country shamefully devalues children... Canada gets a full year).

According to this article, being Henry's mom is worth $112,962 per year. (For working moms, the time you put in above a full workweek is worth $66,979). THOMAS, ARE YOU READING THIS? Who's the breadwinner, now? But it totally makes sense. Child care is expensive, and I am pretty sure that if I got a job, we would be losing money. I certainly know I would pay a nanny more than I made at my last job. I bet this number also factors in the labor cost of cooking and cleaning... which I eventually plan on doing.

So I'm not really sure why I wrote this, but now you know that I'll be a SAHM. If there was a greater purpose to this post it would be to demonstrate the act of choice. Back in the day, women were expected to stay at home. Now it seems that women, especially educated women, are expected to go back to work lest they "waste" their education or undermine the feminist movement. Mom and dad, I swear studying abroad and that extra year of college are really giving me a leg up in my new job.

On the clock...


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