Even though Baby Taco is everything to us, she was not planned. ST and I are spontaneous like that. Since we were both well established in our careers and doing well, we figured we’d be okay in terms of providing for the needs of our child.
Fortunately, there were many aspects of having a child that didn’t require lots of planning: Baby Taco’s precious little tushie is swathed in the best biodegradable, eco-friendly diapers I could find. She has an adorable nursery that she has taken exactly three naps in. She has a plethora of toys and various modes of distraction. She even has a tiny replica of her Aunt Melody’s car. Most importantly, she has a family members around the country that love her to bits and pieces.
And then there were the setbacks that we encountered due to our lack of planning; because I took leave in the middle of the year, I forfeited my raise. We had to pay out-of-pocket for a doctor’s visit because I didn’t realize that FMLA began as soon as I went on maternity leave. Additionally, since summer pay is pro-rated based on the hours you work during the school year, we were unexpectedly out $1,300 for the summer. I’m not complaining though – through overtime opportunities and the generosity of my family, we are fine.
Planning would have helped to alleviate these issues though.
When this past school year ended, I was really excited about my new job and finishing graduate school. I allowed myself to be distracted and busied with writing papers, conferencing with my new colleagues, and arranging play dates. Meanwhile, a black cloud was looming over me: who will take care of Baby Taco once ST and I went back to work in September? We got a few leads here and there, but no one was committed and I didn’t mind because well, that was Future Carol’s problem. Present Carol was all about having fun:
Well Future Carol is now Present Carol and she is having a slight freak out. You follow?
The thing is, I would give anything to be able to stay at home with Baby Taco. A typical summer day includes waking up by cuddling and playing on the bed. Then, I feed her apple sauce and teething cookies for breakfast while we watch an episode of Sesame Street or Baby Sign Language. Then, we meet up with aunties or a play date and have fun until ST comes home from work. I truly am so blessed to be this little girl’s mother. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for her.
But I have landed my dream job.
I am so excited to get started in my new role. My new principal and colleagues are wonderful people. Did I mention Kim was also hired?! Yes, I get to work with my sister, one of my best friends. What an amazing and divine opportunity. I worked through my third trimester, maternity leave, and half of this precious summer to get to this point. I am thrilled to embark on this journey and make a real impact in the lives of students and teachers.
But then there is her.
She is everything. How can I leave her? And with who?
I have so much respect for all moms (and dads too!) – the ones that leave their children with nannies, the ones that drop their kiddos off at daycare, the ones that stay at home with their little ones; ALL of them. No matter what choice you make, it is a huge sacrifice. My mom recalled when she stayed at home for a few years to raise me and my sisters. Money was tight during those times and my mom did what she could to help my dad keep us afloat financially. She sacrificed so much for us and continues to do so, to this day. It is very difficult to stay at home and take care of a child full time. I did it for 15 weeks and it was really tough; thank God for my family who helped keep those baby blues at bay.
It breaks my heart to think that ST and I may miss Baby Taco’s first steps, first words, and many more firsts while we’re at work. But we need to hustle.
Would it have mattered if ST and I had planned to get pregnant in the beginning of the school year, to minimize my leave from work? Would it have mattered if we’d planned to have Baby Taco two years from now, when my mom retires from work? Who knows and who cares? She’s here now and I would not trade that for anything.
I can’t say I agree with Hillary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. To be fair, Rosen was responding to Mitt Romney’s statement that his wife, Ann, is his advisor about “women’s issues.” I think we’ve established that Mitt Romney is a stupid person who says ridiculous things, am I right?
It was an outrageous statement – the very notion that the Romneys understand the plight of us peasants is a joke. Ann Romney herself admitted that she didn’t have to deal with the same socioeconomic issues as most moms. She is as clueless as her robotic husband about the struggles of the working class. However, Rosen took a cheap shot to get her point across – not very classy or, most importantly, effective. I expect stupid things about women to freely flow from Nikki Haley’s mouth but Rosen should have thought it through before she spoke.
My cousin gave me insight about being a SAHM when she left her career in finance to raise two children. Watching her cook, clean, educate, discipline, and entertain everyday showed me that being a SAHM is a challenging and mostly thankless job. While I love these two rambunctious and hilarious little people, I simply cannot spend more than a few hours with them.
They’re not bad kids at all – it’s just that the amount of energy I expend while with them utterly exhausts me. I love them, but it feels like they suck the life out of me.
ST and I even agreed that if one of us had to stay at home, it would be him.
Every mom works hard and deserves respect – yes, even Park Slope moms. There is nothing to gain in stating that a SAHM “has never worked a day in her life.” If I had five – FIVE! – sons and millions of dollars, I’d hire servants too.
Presuming Ann Romney wasn’t a mother because she had hired help is tangential and ignorant. Yes, they’re millionaires – get over it. Let’s focus on how the GOP is trying to take America back to the early 1900s, better known as the Golden Age of Old White Men.