“Do you plan to stay home with your baby once she is born?”
It’s one of the most commonly asked questions for a momma-to-be.
And no one contemplates the answer more than Momma herself.
There are so many things to consider…
Can we afford for me to stay home?
Can we afford daycare?
Do I want to continue my career?
What is the best thing for my baby? My spouse? For me?
What kind of example do I want to set for my child?
Do I even HAVE options?
Thinking about all these things can cause more anxiety than what happens in the delivery room.
I felt this way while I was pregnant with Lil’ AC. And I’ll never forget the best advice I ever got.
We struck up friendly conversation. She talked me through the Great Diaper Debate, and being that I had just left work, the topic of career came up organically. I think she could literally see my mental Pro/Con list, and she said ever so gently,
“Take one year at a time.”
Simple, right? But so profound.
The woman who stood before me had 4 grown children and her “career life” changed about as many times as she had to clean poop off the walls. (Seven. She told me that number was seven. Bless.)
She encouraged me to evaluate my situation year by year. What did my heart tell me? What did my little one need? What did the finances look like? How did my spouse feel? What were my dreams for myself?
She asked herself these questions each year, and she revealed that every year was starkly different.
Some years she stayed home with her babies. Other years she worked part time. And there were a couple of years when she worked full time outside of the home.
She confided to me, “When I was pregnant with my first baby, I thought I wanted nothing more than to stay home with him full time until he graduated high school and moved out to go to college. But I was scared to death. What if I changed my mind? Was I making a ‘forever’ decision?”
She did change her mind, she told me. A lot. And each time it was what was best for her and her family. She just took one year at a time.
Lil’ AC is 17 months old now, and I smile as I recall “Target Lady’s” perfect advice. Even in these last 2 years, my thoughts, needs and ideas about my career have changed, shifted, and grown.
If this is something weighing on your heart, I hope I can pass that peace along to you. Even if you have been a mommy for a while and this is a decision you are currently facing, I encourage you to pray and remember the best advice I ever got…
Take one year at a time.