By: Amy Gentry
In the last year, I bought a house and moved my family of five across town, I lost two jobs and my father passed away suddenly. This all happened within a span of 8 months.
I know stress. I’m able to compartmentalize quite well in order to function solidly in most given situations no matter what the stress level may be.
So why does my heart pound at the very thought of staying home full-time with my kids?
I know these little humans. They are mine. And yet my blood pressure is rising just writing about the 24-7 care concept.
I have actually never done it. Stayed home full-time with my kids, that is.
Of course, I had my very precious maternity leave with all three of them (a ridiculous three weeks with my third kid), and I cover many activities on weekends and holidays, but I have never been a full-time stay-at-home mother. Now that I am on my eighth month of unemployment, we’re on the cusp of making the decision for me to keep our two boys (two + three) home with me during the day, rather than paying the expense of daycare.
And I am sweating this.
First of all, I’m concerned about teaching them all they’re learning in preschool. When my two year old can suddenly point to all parts of his body when prompted and count to five in Spanish, I realize that I am going to seriously need to up my game.
Secondly, I am genuinely concerned that I may not be capable of filling a day with toddler entertainment. I can already envision carefully setting out the finger paints so each boy has the same amount of primary colors, attempting to have them create shapes, clouds and sunshine with their fingers, and all of it ending after ten minutes with most of the paint on the floor and in their mouths. And then being at a loss about what the next activity should be.
I know many people are fantastic stay-at-home parents, and while I imagine still stressful, they have managed to create a schedule and a command of the situation that makes it look completely doable. I know there are many people who are working full-time and wish they could be home all day with their kids. I feel guilty that I’m anxious about the idea for myself. I also know that as soon as a job comes through for me, I will be wishing I had the opportunity to have more time with these guys.
Until I know, which way I’m going, I’ll find a bit more confidence in my full-time parenting skills, take a few deep breaths and probably organize some finger paints.
Amy Gentry is a very average human, woman, wife and mother, starting a journey to a healthier life, while trying to figure out what she wants to be if she ever grows up. You can follow more of her adventures on Average Joe Mama.