'Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night.' - P K Dick

March 13, 2008

I have slowly started to noodle around with the idea that as soon as the car payment goes away we might be able to survive on my (two-job) income alone, and Josh could stay home full-time with young Mr. E. There are some notable obstacles to overcome in this plan (most significantly the fact that Josh's job provides us with some really stellar health insurance), but I'm at the point where I've noodled it enough that I felt comfortable asking Josh how he felt about the idea.

"I'd feel inadequate," was his reply.

This was not the reply I'd expected, and I rushed to explain to him all the ways in which his not being the "breadwinner" for our family wouldn't be an issue for me.

"No, no, no," he clarified, "I'd feel inadequate to the job of staying home with him. I'm not sure what we would do and I'm afraid we would just end up with him sitting on my lap watching TV all day. Plus, I'd feel bad that he wouldn't get to spend time with other kids."

Well, I don't think that they'd spend up watching TV all day (although it might be more than I'd like), but the "other kids" point is an interesting one. One of the upsides of having E in daycare is that he gets to have two "sorta-siblings". M and H are both girls, and both about ten months older than E is, but he loves them and they love him, and being with them day in and day out does teach him things about interacting with other people that he couldn't learn by, say, just attending a "mommy and me" type exercise class for one or two days per week.

When I have the worst of my daycare angst, I must try to remember these sorts of things. That despite the fact I wish he were with me every moment of every day there are certain benefits from being "in care" that he just can't get at home.

3 comments:

Train Geek said...

I totally understand where Josh is coming from. When my wife works on the weekends (as she is today) I struggle very hard with what to do with the kids that is beneficial for them. I am not much of a TV watcher but I do like my computer, and I spend too much time on the computer when I should be playing with them.

I suppose if I were with them every day, I would develop a routine like my wife has done. Still, I think I am better as a breadwinner than as a stay-at-home parent. It takes a special set of skills to look after children and I am not the best at it.

Franny said...

This is precisely what I needed to read today. My daughter just started daycare at 12 months, and I felt so weird during the time she was there. I was in the office, dp was...wherever she was, probably running errands, and my kid was in the hands of strangers. All three of us separated from one another. I was feeling really guilty and trying to figure out how we could avoid daycare alltogether, when in fact, since she's an only child, it's exactly what she needs. Thanks for the reminder.

anastasiav said...

I was feeling really guilty and trying to figure out how we could avoid daycare alltogether, when in fact, since she's an only child, it's exactly what she needs. Thanks for the reminder.

Its a fine balance. I was an only child on a big farm and I feel like I never really learned how to relate to other kids (a huge problem in elementary school and beyond), so its important to me that E learn how to be a part of "the society of children". But it is hard for me to remember, as well, that there are benefits and problems with each course. We each only can do what is right and available to us.