Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Baby's Happier with Mom at Home

By: Heather Pohlabel

Money. I love it. I need it. We all do. However, I am choosing to do without it. On purpose!

I have chosen to stay at home with my baby and to not go back to my job. I am making my family my job by choice. I am broke, but I am happy, and so is my baby.

For years, I have worked part time jobs and raised my family at the same time. While I got to enjoy my children most of the time, I still had a boss to please as well, and if I was needed on a day I really did not want to go to work or on a special occasion such as a field trip or play, I had a tough choice to make. Do I stay home and make my child happy and risk losing my job or go to work and miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity? Too many times I faced that dilemma, thinking that if I do one thing for this child this month and one thing for the other the next month, that it would all be even and all would work out well. And it did. I canĂ‚’t go beating myself up over the past. But I can change the present. No more choosing for me. My new boss is my lovely baby daughter.

Sure, I had to make the decision on giving up a paycheck. I would no longer have any consumer power. I would have to go through my husband for all purchases and I would have to learn to budget better, creatively finance, and sometimes downright lie to get the money I needed for the things that I wanted or needed because face it, moms have needs too! We need our hair cut every now and again. We like to have a semi modern wardrobe at least, and once in awhile, we like to have very our own special delicious treat hiding out in the kitchen. Instead on relying on an employerr to cut me that cash, I was going to have to prove to my husband that I was worth all that without leaving the house to work.

It is a good thing he thinks I am a wonderful mother or he may have had a bigger problem with my choice to stay home. Some women say they simply do not have the choice, but I do not know that many husbands who MAKE their wives work. I am sure they exist, but in our town, men seem to be pretty supportive of their wives staying home and raising the children. And the children are happy. My baby is no exception.

At only two months old, my baby only cries to express hunger or pain. She does not cry for any other reason. I know when she is hungry or when she is uncomfortable.

She has crafted her own vocabulary to communicate with me, and since I am with her all the time, I know what she is saying. When she has a wet diaper, she says "NGA" without crying. If I do not change her immediately, she will try two or three more times, increasing in volume. She does not like to be wet and will sometimes ask to be changed simply so she can go again in a fresh new diaper! "NGA" again. I happily oblige. I do not have to worry about her not getting changed immediately or when needed. She has yet to have a diaper rash. She is pretty happy about that. And so are dad and I.

When baby is happy, everyone is happy. This is the golden rule. A baby's smile is more contagious than the common cold. As soon as one person catches the baby smiling, everyone is over trying to get a glimpse and making nice little happy sounds at the baby and conversing wonderfully with each other. She really likes that. We all do!

I think staying home was the best choice for our family. This baby is perhaps one of the most pleasant people I have ever met, and it shows. We get comments all the time on her demeanor and how "perfect" she is. Of course we love this, but we know it is because she gets the time and attention that she needs and deserves at home.

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