If you’d have known me in my adult youth, aka my 20s, you would never think I’d end up deciding to be a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t think my instincts were so great when it came to children. I definitely wanted children, but I loved the work I was doing and had planned to go back to work after my maternity leave.
I had my eldest daughter at 30. My husband and I were thrilled! After a healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery, we brought home a beautiful baby girl.
My beautiful baby cried a lot. She seemed uncomfortable. Our pediatrician told me she was fine. She was happiest when she was nursing, so I nursed around the clock. I also held her a lot, even when she slept (mostly because she would awaken and cry when I put her down).
As the weeks went by, I thought about sending her to daycare. I couldn’t see it. I knew that there was a specific way of comforting my baby that only I could provide. She wouldn’t get the full attention of the caregivers at daycare. There were other babies that needed love too. A nanny wouldn’t help with the comfort my baby received from nursing on demand. The only thing that made sense was for me to stay home with her for longer than the three months of maternity leave. My husband agreed. I wasn’t sure how long I would stay home, but I knew my baby would be with me as we both figured out what she needed.
My daughter started getting year-round ear infections at 18 months old. At two, she started getting strep infections repeatedly. She almost always seemed congested with no other cold symptoms. An ear, nose, and throat doctor was able to pin down her issue. She is in great shape after several natural therapies and one non-invasive surgery.
When I think back to how fussy she was as a baby, it all makes sense! She was uncomfortable because of physiological issues that weren’t confirmed until she was much older. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to stay home and cover her with love and comfort. I quickly responded to all of her physical and emotional needs. She missed school a lot. My husband and I had no worries about who would take care of her. We had the freedom to optimally provide in our respective ways.
In addition to immense gratitude, I also feel empowered by my intuition to be a stay-at-home mom. I trusted my baby and my gut to make a decision that has been invaluable for my family. Go me! Alhamdulilah!