First, an update on Bird. He's awesome. Just bloody awesome. I mean, he's a two-year-old, so obviously life is not always sunshine and roses, but on the whole, he's just blossoming beyond all imagination.
He has this enormous personality to match his enormous vocabulary.
- He loves vacuum cleaners, mops, pretending to drive the cars, his sandbox, the playground, his gymnastics class, etc.
- He still enjoys his "Mookie-za-zas" from me (yay breastfeeding!)
- He now sleeps in his Big Boy Bed (his crib-turned-toddler-bed) and no longer needs to be rocked to sleep - not even for naps. We have experienced some mild growing pains when he figured out how to use the door knob, but over all, he is really good and will just go to sleep when it's time. I realize this is subject to change.
- He takes Parent and Tot gymnastics classes because we wanted to encourage him to be more confident in his physical abilities. It worked. He climbs and runs like other children his age now.
- He speaks in full sentences, and his memory is scary. Like so scary. He can tell you exactly what he did a week ago if it stood out to him.
- He is full of silliness - he has recently taken to telling "jokes" which are hilarious statements such as, "Daddy says pork chop!" He loves to laugh and giggle now.
Now onto other things. When Bird was a year old, neither he nor I were ready for me to go back to a full-time job. I didn't think he was ready to be in care full-time (although in retrospect, he would have been fine), and I certainly did not want to return to a job I wasn't passionate about. We were able to financially make it work for me to stay home, but only just barely. It has been tight. I temporarily had a home business selling tea, have been doing some odds and ends from home, and every cent that comes into our house has been put to good use.
A year later, it feels different. Bird is older and more like his peers now in terms of how he gets to sleep, etc. He is way less dependent on exclusively Mama or Daddy. I can see him being able to adjust well to full-time care. And as for me, well, I'd sleep better at night if I knew we were saving toward some of our bigger upcoming financial goals, such as a newer car, home improvements, and let's face it, an eventual posting for my husband which would mean selling this house and buying in an unknown market elsewhere. Finally, I don't want to kid myself here - I love being home with Bird but it's not easy, and a big part of me misses working toward my career goals. Ideally, I'd be able to work part-time, but there aren't many part-time jobs in line with what I want from a career.
As wholly as I know being home with Bird is ideal for him, I also know that we have to do what is best for our whole family. Our finances and my personal goals are part of the family so they deserve consideration as well. No matter what I choose to do, ultimately, it will be in the best interest of our family. At this point, I am job searching actively, but I have the luxury of time to be picky about what I choose. So for now, I'm still Bird's stay-at-home parent, with the knowledge that this could change at any time.
I hope that no matter what happens, we can all find some degree of balance as a family. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't extremely sad to see my face time with Bird diminish greatly as it likely will.