The big day is almost here and soon we will be parents to an angelic child who will fill up our lives with cute gurgles and chubby smiles. And in preparation for this huge moment, I have taken the biggest decision of my life.
I have quit my job to become a stay at home mom.
I have been measuring the pros and cons of this decision for many months now. And believe me, it is the biggest risk that I am taking. I am not worried financially, I know you will handle it. I am worried about the storm of change that I am throwing myself into, and I am not sure that I can manage it if you are not on the same page.
Being a first-time parent isn’t easy. It’s like appearing for an exam with no defined syllabus.
Luckily, I have my mother and my mother in law, and the neighbor aunty, that lady with two kids in the next building, numerous moms in the park and not to mention the infinite number of websites, social network groups, and apps who will guide me through this journey.
But what about you?
Whom will you ask about the green potty that your kid will pass? Imagine you calling up your dad to ask about it. He probably might answer, “Eh?!?!? Here, talk to your mom.” Will your friends be able to help you with some tricks in making your kid write B and D properly? But most of all, can they help you handle your wife’s erratic, irritable mood?
Trust me, a ‘father community’ to discuss parenting issues is not that popular yet.
That’s because raising a kid has always been the woman’s department as it is believed that girls are born with a motherly instinct – the warmth, the protectiveness, the understanding, the foresightedness. It’s kind of genetically ingrained in us. But I believe that fathers have a bigger role than they are attributed.
So, while everybody is preparing me for the pregnancy and the life after a kid, let me tell you what you can expect life to be with me as a stay at home mom.
Be ready for a radical change in my life
I am as educated as you are and I have spent an almost equal number of years in the corporate world as you have. I have dreamed, aimed, and slogged to reach the position, just as you have. Leaving my job to be a stay at home mother is not a ‘sacrifice’ that I am making.
I have taken this step to give the best to our child. But, my life is going to change completely. I will not have a good night’s rest for many years. Instead of getting ready every morning to go to the office, I will hardly find time to comb my hair once every three days. I will step out of the home, not to reach office but to the park or grocery store.
The main question of my life will be – ‘What should I cook today?”. The only music to my ears will be the nonstop screaming and crying of the kid. And most importantly, my human interaction will come down to you, the kid and my maid (who will eventually become my best friend).
It certainly is a radical change. And I need you to hold me tight from losing myself and my sanity.
Be ready to live with an irritable wife
Please expect me to be in an irritable and annoyed mood for the next couple of decades. After that, we will both be too old to change or to bother. If you find me in an irritable mood, please, I request you, never ask, “Are you on chums?” That question makes me want to punch you in the face. I do not menstruate 365 days a year and PMS will become the least annoying thing in my life going forward.
This irritability will come from many factors – weariness, stress, tension, or just plain tired and pressure from all quarters of life. But mainly because of the loneliness that will creep into my life- the lack of human faces to see and interact with. I want you to be the face of the many faces that I am leaving behind.
I want you to talk, interact, make intelligent conversations, discuss world politics, the debate over the new government. Just talk, so that my grey cells don’t dry up in the trivialities of life.
Please grow up now
Gone are your babu, shona, sweetu days when you behaved like a baby and I happily indulged you. I have a real baby who needs my attention and I cannot handle more than that. So please, grow up.
Don’t expect me to keep the tea-cup in the sink, or tolerate watching you take an amazing Sunday afternoon nap while the kid uses my tummy for bungee jumping. Don’t tell me that you get just one day to relax, because I get none!! Instead, lend me a helping hand.
This house, this kid is not mine alone. It’s yours too. So, share the load. I will be exhausted- mentally, physically and emotionally. I need you to be my backbone.
There will be fights. Endless fights. So much, that we will stop talking to each other for days. But understand this. While you will have the option to step out of the house, go to office, smoke out your worries, lighten up your mood with a chai, I will be here, trapped in the same four walls, engulfed by the wails of an infant who understands nothing, and have no way to release my pain and worries in thin air.
Every time we fight, I will coil in me a little. So just listen to me. Let me cry, let me complain, don’t judge me, don’t jump to a conclusion. Just try a little harder to understand where is this volcano erupting from. It exploded succumbing to the pressure of layers and layers of miscommunication, no- communication and total silence. So, instead of pushing away the issue by presenting an expensive gift or a candle-light dinner, sit with me and listen.
Romance will be the last thing on my mind. But don’t give up on me too soon. A little cuddle, a few kisses might do the trick.
Play your role
Remember you jokingly say that you have done your task by giving your sperms? I hope you won’t take that seriously. Parenthood has two important entities- the mother and the father. So, putting your soldiers to work is just the first step, there is a long journey ahead, and I cannot travel through this part without your support.
I know you will be exhausted when you come home from work. But instead of watching TV, spend some quality time with your kid. Instead of silencing the wailing child by handing over the phone, go to the park, play a real game. I know you will be there by me at every doctor’s visit and school PTM, but let me not be the only one asking questions. Your participation is more important than your passive presence.
This will help you avoid a huge question I am going to ask- “Why is everything my responsibility alone?” This is not to pick up a fight, but because I will feel over-burdened, overworked, under-rested. Once the child comes in, this pocket-sized powerhouse will squeeze out every ounce of energy from me. It will mean a world to me if you play a bigger role.
Did I scare you already? I am scared to death too.
As a stay at home mother, there will be days when I will feel worthless, and insignificant when I see other women climbing the ladders to success while I fold the daily laundry. There will be times when I cry myself throughout the night, wake up with red eyes and sullen face thinking that this was a mistake, but when you ask me what happened, I will say, “Nothing”, too guilty to even think of putting my career ambitions over our child’s wellbeing. There will be time, when I am pepped up by the thought that the kid is now day-care ready and I can start job-hunting, only to be rejected by every company I apply to.
These are the moments I need you the most. While I bring a life to this world, nurture it, protect it, take care of it; I want you to take care of us both.
With all the love in my heart,
You might also like:
- 5 Reasons – Why You & I Can Never Be The Perfect Daughter-In-Law
- Her Honest Confession About The Pressure Of Being A Perfect Mom
- This Full-Time Mom Shared Her Struggle To Be More Than Just A Mother
Do you have a similar inspirational story or a video that you would like to be featured on I FOR HER? E-mail it to our editors at [email protected]. If we find your story worth inspiring our audience, we would invite you to publish it on our platform.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of I for Her. Authors are responsible for any omissions or errors. And, I for Her does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.