A friend of mine called me in tears this morning. Her daughter is 2 months old and she just dropped her off with the nanny for her first day back at work. She is not happy to be going back. Unfortunatly at this time they need her paycheck so she needs to. I didn't know what to sy, i wanted to cry for her and with her but I knew that wouldn't help. So I listened, said some things that I hope are comforting and tried to be what she needed.
Then she stunned me.
She told me she is jealous of me.
When she said that I realized again just how lucky I am. I have the choice to be a stay at home mom. No one is forcing me to do it, and we are lucky to not need a full time paycheck from me. It takes work to keep our budget in order, and I do work part time (10 hours a week for 7 1/2 months of the year). We definatly go without somethings we would have if I worked full time- a bigger house, more vacations, eating out more often. But honestly those are things that are not nearly as important as staying at home with my kids and being the one who gets to watch their development and spend this precious time with them.
I do miss working, I miss my classroom and my first graders. But not nearly as much as I would miss my kids. Every day I look at M and O and realize just how quickly this time goes by. And then I want to have another baby (but that is another story).
I could go back to work. Jon would support it if that is what I truly wanted. He loves that I am able to stay at home. He loves that we are financially better off then some poeple he knows who are double income families. He loves that he comes home to a happy wife and kids (well, most days he does, I am no saint!) But he also knows that I need to be happy doing this in order for our life to work. And he wants us both to be happy. If I went back to work I believe he would stay at home with our children. That is what is right for us.
But hearing my friend near tears telling me that she is jealous of me and that she was trying to figure out ways so that she could stay home really reminded me of how lucky I am. The next time I am going crazy over M and O fighting for the umpteenth time over a toy they haven't played with in months, or trying to budget the new muffler my car needs while not taking from savings, or some other little thing that is driving me crazy, I will remember this. I hope that over time going back to work gets easier for my friend. I hope that she enjoys her job and is happy with her life. But I will remember that I am one of the lucky ones who has the choice to do what I love. And that is the biggest blessing of all.