Friday, January 14, 2011

Parenthood - Part 2: The Second Child

My wife went back to work when my son was a little more than 4 months old. Up until this point, we had never even considered the option of her staying home with the children. My wife has always been a strong, independent woman (she plans to pick a fight with the Apostle Paul when she sees him in Heaven.) It never occurred to us that either one of us would want her to stay home from work.

Almost immediately, we realized our mistake. Going back to work was going to be very painful for her. Despite the fact that she loved her job. She loved being a first-grade teacher. She loved the kids, as if they were her own. But every day at work, she was missing valuable time at home with our son. Not to mention the fact that after giving 11o% every day at school, she simply had little energy left to expend while at home.

When she went back to work after the birth of our son, we also found out that she was pregnant again (she was craving chocolate milk - which was the telltale sign.) This changed everything. Having already made the mistake of sending her back to work after the birth of our son, we weren't about to repeat the mistake.

Prior to the birth of our son, there was no way we could know how important it would be for her to be there for them at all times. Its funny, because both of our own mother's were home for us when we were young children, but in the generational gap, the importance was lost.

Secondly, we couldn't burden Grandma with having to watch two children at once. During the first year of parenthood, we relied heavily upon Grandma, but it would have been unfair to her to expect her to keep up with the Irish twins - a full time job for three adults.

Thirdly, the expense of childcare/daycare/babysitting almost cancels out the benefit of a two-income home. Beyond cost, there are a variety of reasons why I don't want my children spending their formative years in the midst of 10 other children and one adult who may or may not be able to keep up with them all - if they are even trying.

It quickly became a non-decision to have my wife step-down from teaching a dozen children that belonged to someone else, and give all of her energy and time to raising our own children. If and when she returns to "work" remains to be seen.

To be continued.....

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