Wednesday, October 20, 2004

staying home

When I was pregnant with Jacqui, I knew that I wanted to stay home with her for at least her first year of life. I went through an awful lot to get her here -- maybe one day I'll talk about Viviana in here, but anyone reading this is probably a friend and knows already -- and I wasn't going through all that in order to let someone else raise my baby.

Jacqui was very planned-for; that makes a huge difference. We knew that if we were careful, we could afford for me to stay home with her. Now she's seven months old and I'm still not making plans to go back to work. I'm loving the mommy-job, Jacqui is thriving; why mess with a good thing?

We talked about this briefly with Jacqui's pediatrician. She also chose to stay home when she had young children. Let me rephrase that: she stopped being a doctor to stay home and raise children. When she told her office of her decision, they didn't believe her. They took bets to see how soon she'd give in and come back to work -- they gave her 3 weeks, tops. She stayed home full-time for 4 years and now only works during the day until her kids get home from school.

She believes it's a parent's responsibility to raise a child. Phrased that way, how can I disagree? It goes back to that top paragraph: she's here because we caused her to be. What I want to do really doesn't matter anymore, unless what I want coincides with what's best for Jacqui.

It's a shift in priorities. We need to pay our mortgage and other bills. We need to eat. We need to take care of a baby and two dogs. Do we need toys for ourselves? Do we need to eat out? Do we need to go out to play with friends? (Well, we never really did that anyway. But if we did, we wouldn't be anymore.)

Jacqui is everything right now. I'm okay with that.