From time to time I find myself wondering just how different my life would be if I stayed at home/did not work outside the home. Would it be drastically different? Would I be happier? More frustrated? Overwhelmed? Prepared? Blissful? Would I manage a cleaner house and better meals? Would I have more children if working full-time outside of the home was not a factor?
Sometimes I do not feel things would be that different. I am the same person. I know what things overwhelm me or what my husband and I agreed upon before we were even married. I like to think I would be as structured at home as I am at work. Maybe I would be as good at meal planning as I am at meeting deadlines. Maybe I would be more than happy to have my little boy and my little girl and divide my time fairly easily between the two and their activities as they are getting older and more involved.
Other times I struggle with deciding whether I would have wanted more children if I stayed at home. I would have loved for each of my children to have a sibling of the same gender, especially my very energetic, mischievous son. My daughter would love to mother/baby/boss a baby brother or sister. We have one of each so buying more clothes is not much of an issue. Am I anxious about having more solely because I spend a lot of my time outside of the home? Do working moms in general have to have smaller families because of the division of priorities (note: ”division” not misplacement. I think family should still be “the” priority.)
I don’t know. I don’t know many working moms that have huge families. However, big families don’t seem quite as common near me. Two or three children is quite common. Four or five is much more noticeable and stands out here. I do think that moms that have a strong desire to specifically have a big family probably do make sure that they are able to stay at home. After all, the cost of childcare for 4+ kids is a good chunk of change.
Here is the real answer:
Here is what is most important:
it doesn’t matter!!!
It is so easy for me to get caught up in the what ifs. What if I did have a bigger family? What if I stayed at home but struggle with infertility? What if I couldn’t afford fertility treatments because we had poor insurance?? The grass is greener for almost all of us, and even if I had two or three more children if I stayed home, I do know that the two children I have are the biggest, most amazing gifts from God! Yes, every child is a gift from God. Yes, each child blesses the family again, but I am already blessed beyond measure! There is absolutely no point in dwelling on what if I stayed home. Yes, my life would be different, but it might not be what I am imagining it could be. I am so happy to be where I am, and I don’t what to think where I might be if my life were so totally different.
So for now, go hug your children! Don’t worry about how much working will impact your further children. Live here and now. Know that it is possible to be happy and at peace with at least two children
Not easy–but happy!!