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Saturday, May 10, 2008

OK peps, so I've been fortunate to spend the last 14 months at home with my beautiful baby boy. Bush's economic stimulus is not stimulating my household economy enough, so I'm considering getting out there and landing a gig. I'm putting myself in the middle of the great debate - working Mom vs. Stay at Home. Don't get me wrong, I'm no doctor's wife sipping tea on a hill. There's no nanny or house help. Cleaning, laundry, dishes, disinfecting - the duties are time consuming and there is no glory given. My perks of staying at home have little to do with living a life of leisure and days at the spa. The joys are in the moments I share with my son, the simple pleasure of watching him try to catch the wind as we stroll through the neighborhood on a breezy day. I love being there when he wakes up from a nap. I'm tickled as he makes new friends at the playground. These precious moments, being able to bear witness to a multitude of firsts, these moments can't be replaced.

It's only fair to say I am no stranger to the working world. Since 15 I've held down at least one and sometimes two jobs at a time. I'm a college grad and am currently pursing my MA. I have personal and career goals for sure, but there's a little person around now who's always had me right there when he needs me. And its not just him I'm concerned about. My separation anxiety would be just as bad as his. The thought of dropping my baby at daycare at 7am and not kissing his little face until 6pm makes my heart skip a beat. I wonder if I could even concentrate! Would the teachers know he likes his back patted not rubbed when it's time for nap? Would they encourage kindness and curiosity the way I do? Would they give him apples and cheese for his favorite afternoon snack? I hope they dilute his juice and filter the water... How about his sensitive skin, is everything clean enough? I better not hear of anyone spanking my baby! Would they be patient enough to learn his favorite made-up games? Will he get the attention and TLC he deserves with all of those other kids? All those germy little kids...

So the question becomes where can your influence and contribution to your family be most felt. Its a tricky question with an answer that can only be answered by individual moms from their families' perspective. The realities are different each of us. How much money is needed to live comfortably? Is your salary or your time most beneficial to your children? Are you satisfied with your personal choices and achievements? Where do you see yourself and your family in the future? Is the time right to stay or go? I'm asking these questions of myself. The problem is I get a different answer almost every time.

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