Back in 1998 I graduated from Baylor with my RN and I signed a 2 year commitment with my hospital to become a pediatric RN. But my first daughter was due about 6 weeks before the commitment was up. No big deal, I thought, I’ll go back after maternity leave and finish the 4 weeks and then stay home. My husband’s job did not have health insurance so we planned to buy private insurance.
Fast forward to when my daughter was 31 days old. We were admitted to Children’s Hospital for 8 days with Pertussis (whooping cough). Praise God for my hospital health insurance, but now she didn’t qualify for private insurance. And as a nurse I said, “We have to have insurance!” So I cut my hours to the minimum that would still provide insurance and kept working two 12 hour night shifts a week. Now I wonder if that was a lack of faith in God to provide on my part, but that was how I made the decision to keep working as a nurse.
Now, at first I was shocked that it didn’t just kill me to leave my baby. I actually enjoyed going to work. And I eventually found a great Christian drop in day care. I read all the studies I could find about kids with working moms. And basically, I interpreted them all to say “it depends on if the mom is happy”. A mom who is leaving her kids and hates it has kids who suffer from her leaving. And a mom who stays home and hates it has kids who suffer from her being home. I haven’t looked at any of the current research so I’m not sure if they have recently found anything different for little kids. But around the time my second daughter was born I read an article about teenage girls. NONE of the girls ages 12-15 who had a mom at home were smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or having sex. Not all of the girls who had a working mom were doing those things, but NONE of the girls with a mom at home were participating in those risky behaviors. (So far I can’t find that article, but I will keep looking for it and I will check over the weekend for what the current research says about stay at home moms.) My husband and I decided that one of us would need to be home after school when our daughters were 12-15 year old.
And now, its 2012 and our daughter is 12 and started Middle School this fall. And I’m home. It doesn’t hurt at all that my husband finished his Master’s and got his first job with health insurance. Or that we just had our fourth and I get to stay home with him and our three year old son. I am thinking God had a plan all along.