I was reading this post from yesterday by Notes From a Red Pill Girl and it made me think about when my kids were young. The post outlines research and a book that states babies need their mothers home with them. I wonder how we got to the point where this is question and research needs to be done to prove it. Although now two of my kids are adults, and one is in high school, it seems like time has flown by. However, I remember going through the decision process of what to do about daycare, and if it should be done at all for our children.
My wife is a medical professional who made more money than I did when the kids were young. We decided, with a lot of angst, to place our first daughter in daycare after a minimal maternity leave for my wife. After about two weeks, we knew that was a mistake. However, our lifestyle was forcing my wife to work to keep us going. When I found out how upset she was over the daycare situation, without hesitation I told her to quit and stay home with our daughter. I sold our recently purchased “dream” pool home, I sold my 1966 Mustang. I sold her 4wd Ford Explorer, and we made it work by cutting costs. It wasn’t easy, but it was what was best. We downsized in house, we purchased a 1988 Ford Bronco for cash, and I did without the toys, hunting clubs etc… I was used to. Looking back, all 100% worth it.
The thing is, policemen (and firemen) are notorious for toys such as giant diesel trucks, Harley’s, campers, boats, hunting clubs, expensive hobbies, and numerous ex-wives. I guess it’s the type drawn to a profession where you don’t know if you will come home every evening, especially if you work in a larger city. We tend to live like there’s no tomorrow, for some there isn’t, so you buy the crap you want and enjoy life as much as you can. I gave up all the “fun” to do my duty as the leader of my family. I got a lot of grief for “letting my wife stay home” and giving up the toys. I heard things like, “Why does she need to stay home and lay around the house?”, “My wife is not going to sit around and watch tv all day.”, I need the money so I can hunt, she needs to work.” These are all things that were said to me after making my decision.
I was raised in a home where my dad worked (also a cop) and my mother was a stay at home mom and never worked outside the home. The things these guys said surprised me. I was never comfortable with my wife working, and actually tried to talk her out of going to college when we graduated from high school. After all, I had a “forklift license” and worked at Scotty’s Hardware Store. I could support us, I got this! She didn’t listen…
To me, the decision was easy, family came first and we brought the kids into this world, I owed it to them to give them my best. My best hasn’t always been the best, but it was always my best. During the grammar school years, after we had no more at home full time, she worked PRN when they were in school, but always was home in time to pick them up. We sent them to Catholic private school, also a financial burden, but seeing them later thrive in public high school classes, and the base they received in behavior and morality, I find it was money well spent. I don’t regret a thing.
We bought an older, used, pop up camper while they were young and took them camping at least once a month, sometimes twice, for years. The memories made on those trips will last a lifetime. We vacationed at our local beach, renting condos each summer. I joined a local hunting club with some buddies, few and small deer, but I got the bug out of my system each fall. I never (and still don’t) had a decent truck, but I’ve always had a 4wd. The kids made fun of it, I was always fixing it, but I loved it and it was paid for. At the club, my buddies had brand new F150s and didn’t want to take them into the woods to work on the stands etc… we always loaded up my chevy and it never let us down. I’d love to have a new truck, but what’s the point if you are afraid to use it?
My point is you only have one crack at your kids. Your time with them is fleeting, and if you fuck it up,there are no do overs. Kids need their moms at home, especially when they are young. No daycare worker or sitter will care for your babies like their momma.
Things to think about that when you are facing this decision. The right thing isn’t always the easiest or most comfortable. However, if you choose the right thing, you will be able to look back on your life with no regrets.