Thoughts of a Stay at Home Parent

Long before, I said that if I ever had kids, I would like to stay at home and take care of them at least during the early years. Perhaps that is from the fondness I have for the days I spent with my mummy until I was kindergarten. Though I can’t remember what I normally do during the day when my siblings are in school. I know I like to follow my mum around the house when she does chores. I’ll help with peeling the vegetables. I kinda remember hanging up the wet laundry but that must have been when I was older or I wouldn’t have been able to reach the clothes line. I remember too waiting for the school bus in the afternoon with my mum for my brother and sister to return. I used to read a lot of the chinese books and comic books that were lying around though I can’t tell what age I was then. When it boils down to it, I’m not exactly sure why I thought that way and still think so. Maybe it’s an innate distrust of other people to teach my child the way I want. I hope against hope that he/she will pick up my values. All in all, it’s probably a narcissistic reason.

Now that I’m older and I’ve actually done both the taking care of him full time and leaving him in daycare, I came away feeling that it is the right choice to be a stay at home mum. The few months when we were both working and he had to attend childcare was pretty tough. He was sick all the time and I really literally mean all the time. Not more than one day would pass before he came back with another drippy nose. He didn’t eat very well and looked very small indeed. It is certainly wonderful that I can watch him as he progresses through his early life. At daycare, I didn’t feel like I know what’s going on with him at all. And most importantly, now that I’m cooking, he’s been eating very well even though he’s entering a faddish stage – some meals he’ll eat only meat; some meals only vegetables etc and it would seem like he’s been growing well. He started preschool being much small than the other children (he is after all the youngest) but recently, he’s starting to look like he’s of comparable size. And most of all, I want to cherish the time when he wants to spend time with me (even if it means we’ll “fight” sometimes because I’m too tired to be patient with him). When he’s older, he’ll probably start to drift away and feel embarrassed to be seen with his parents. I’m dreading the teenage grunt-osaur years already…

Honestly, I wonder if I have the courage to have a second child. Not only are the first few months difficult, I’m worried about having another premature baby. It was a harrowing experience to have him stay at the hospital for a month before he could come home. We drove everyday so we could see him for an hour or so. Seeing him hooked up with a feeding tube and other contraptions, it was hard not to feel guilty that I put him through all that suffering.

 

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