Monday, July 18, 2011

Why stay at home? A very personal decision.

Today was a tough day. As a stay at home mommy, sick days do not exist, rather they become focused on survival & safety for the most part. Allergies, sinus infection, whatever it is, has me down for the count and I stumbled through this day with the help of nickelodeon, netflix, and leapfrog. However, this isn't the main focus of my thoughts tonight. My focus is on why I became a stay at home mom.

Rewind to the morning after Colton was born. I had been in & out of an eclamptic coma, and could only remember bits & pieces of the night before. I had a headache, I lost my vision (completely), I was at the hospital getting an epidural, my midwife was talking to me about my cesarean during the procedure, intense pressure on my stomach, they delivered the baby, BUT did NOT put him in my arms, or tell me he was ok. I remember thinking, "can you tie those tubes while you're in there", but couldn't muster the words & knew it wouldn't matter anyway.

As I came to the next morning, blood pressure lowered, pharmaceutical haze lightened, the first thought I had was, "Is he alive? Am I ok? I didn't have enough time."

I didn't have enough time.

Over & over again I heard it. I felt it, it rang loudly in my head, even through the the first words I remember my husband saying. "He is alive, but he is very small." (Apparently a much kinder version than he heard!)

As lucidity came back to me, I felt shaken. I had always wanted to be the one to raise my own children, to be there when they walked, talked, and to watch the miracle of their learning. I mourned the time I felt I had wasted at work. I wished I had spent it with Ty, and taken more value in it. My heart wasn't at work. I wanted my work to be my family. I wanted my children, good & bad, and I felt that all the time I had been spending trying to help provide for them, was time I'd wasted. (Not that providing isn't it own sort of support, it just wasn't where I wanted my focus if it could be changed with sacrifice.)

I told Dan, our priorities needed to change, and he agreed immediately. He has always supported the idea of me being home if I wished to do so, but now we were willing to "take destiny by the horns" a make it happen. If we had to move to a smaller house, go down to one car, sell our TVs, we were going to make it happen.

Although we all have those moments where we are brutally shown our time with each other is finite, I had never considered that my time with my children was finite as well. (duh?) My first child was 3 years old, and I felt like I was almost taken from him. What had I missed in the name of making sure he had all the toys and trips his greedy little toddler heart could want? How silly. As a parent, I missed that one of the best things for him, was quality time with me, his father, and his family. How had I failed to take that to heart?

Things changed. We scrutinized our money. Focused on paying down our bills. Figured where the breaking point was, and almost moved to Bloomington for a job that would have given Dan enough of a raise to let me stay home. (Thank you Purdue for fighting for him.)

The decision was very personal to me. As an english major, I'm capable if spouting off quotes till my little heart is content. During the whole situation I kept thinking of Thoreau's Walden. "I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life ... to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

Up until that point, I had not lived the life I wanted to live. I faced a moment of realization. I almost lost it all, and hadn't even tried very hard to be home to raise my children. (This is all a very selfish endeavor isn't it! Haha!)

How invigorating to get that out.

So here I am. Sucking the marrow from life. A mother without conflict. Dedicated completely to her family & husband. Someday I may answer dreams to be a great career woman, with a successful power house career, but for now, I'm right where I get the most satisfaction, and where I believe my children need me. (covered in spit up & teaching a 4 year old to be a gentleman... )

I have no judgments for others who cannot or do not wish to be home.  I am purely answering to my own heart and living the way I wish to. And when I come to die, I will have lived exactly the way I wanted, deliberately, wholeheartedly, and true to the desires of myself and (hopefully) my family.

Look at that. I'd been struggling with finding a blog name, and I just found it.

Living Deliberately.

Thanks for reading, go live deliberately.


  1. This topic is one that is debated by so many but you're right, it's a very personal decision.

    I look forward to reading more posts, Melissa!

  2. Hi Missy, i loved your blogg! I'll be coming back to check it out! Stay at home is a very good decision, you won't regret! I'm happy to see that your little guy is doing so good! Gives me a little hope that my little guy will get there too, is going to be a bumpy road!!!!
    I'll talk to you soon, keep posting!
    Kesia Gunter

  3. Natalie, your are right, it is sort if a sensitive subject, but I don't think it should be. Every mother should have the right to choose what is for her & her family. I would never judge a mother who felt the best place for her was providing for her family. it is all about how a family wishes to live and their priorities.

    Kesia, so glad to see you holding little Eli. It will be a bumpy road, but you will just appreciate everything so much more! Those little babies are tough, and although they may not always feel it, their mommies are even tougher, just for them! Keep us posted!