I know the old adage "It takes a village to raise a child". And I agree that there is probably some truth to it. But as my daughter nears six months old - halfway through my maternity/ parental leave - I am thinking more and more about how I am supposed to be heading back to work, and leave my precious daughter in the care of a stranger. I just can't do it.
I have told my husband a number of times now that I want to stay home and raise my daughter. I want to be the village. I need more ammunition to convince him that these months and early years with our daughter are more important than the tens of thousands of dollars I would be bringing in to our household. I can do without upgrades to the camp, the toys at the camp, going out for suppers, travelling to the east coast and even to visit our families... I can't 'do with' leaving someone else to pick up my daughter and comfort her when she hurts herself or is sick. I can't 'do with' someone else feeding her and teaching her songs and her ABCs and how to count and say 'I love you'. I'm her mommy. She has been the answer to my childhood dreams.
I would feel like a complete failure if I give her to someone else to raise. I won't be happy with only spending a half hour with her in the morning, and just supper and bathtime in the evening during the week, and then just having the pleasure of her company during the weekends. What would make me happy is knowing that all the good things and bad things that she learns will come from me. This is not at all to say that I would keep her isolated in our house. There are all sorts of mommy-baby playgroups that we can go to. There are free activities at the library and free access to the pool. And we have the wonderful great outdoors available to us.
I can do this. I just need a plan to present to my husband. And I need to stand firm that this is what is best for our family.