Man, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that while pregnant with this child, I could have quit my job and been a Stay at Home Mom. And I totally agree.
But what people don't tell you (or maybe they forget because life gets busier along the way) is that it changes in such amazingly good ways that you cannot fathom until your child is born. Or maybe you can't even fathom it until your baby is a little older and a little less needy. When he crawls over to your husband, pulls up to stand in front of him, and opens his little mouth like a bird waiting for Daddy to share his breakfast.
I am one of the lucky moms: I have tons of trustworthy family in the area that practically are begging to babysit, yet my husband and I feel like we get so little time with Little Man due to two full time jobs that our problem is letting him out of our sight enough to satisfy said family. People ask me all the time when they will get to babysit, and I think about the Strawberry Festival I want to take him to that weekend before giving an answer. Still, every now and then I get a surge of "rat-race" emotions and I just wish I could have a night off (this usually comes on a Tuesday afternoon when there is no one volunteering to babysit).
Twice since he has been born (nearly nine months ago) I have thought about life without baby in a somewhat rosy way. The most recent was when a co-worker bought lunch and mentioned that her husband was out of town, so she would be going home to leftover take-out, her lapdog, and a bottle of wine. What freedom, I thought. I forget what it's like to go home and have the house to yourself, enjoying Indian food (which my hubby can't stand) and a chick flick all by myself. Staying up until 2AM because I had no intention of waking up until after 9. When I was pregnant, I was afraid of what would happen when I didn't have any of those nights to myself anymore. Could I live like that? I tend to be a person who likes to have some "alone time" at least twice a week. My husband and I already fought about the times when he wanted me with him and I wanted to be selfish, soaking in the tub for an hour or two with a book.
Well, I drove home from work slightly jealous until I got to daycare. And my little boy beamed at me with such joy and pride that any feelings of "me time" just slipped away and I instantly slipped back into full-on MOM mode. As I played with him for the tiny hour I could, fed him his dinner, and nursed him to sleep around 8:30, I couldn't help but feel as though I was the luckiest woman on earth. And I laughed a little at myself. Because, honestly, a glass of wine and take-out could never compare to the feeling I get when I'm rocking quietly with a little being that likes to reach back and stroke my hand where it's cupping his little body next to mine.