I really worried that I'd feel unfulfilled while staying at home. The financial side of things has been harder - while we certainly haven't struggled, we haven't had a lot of disposable income either and I will have to catch up on my contributions to our wedding account that I would have made in the time I had off (about $1500). What surprised me is how little not working mattered to my sense of self.
A few of my friends who have had children lately feel a loss of a sense of self when not working - that who they are in their job is a large part of their identity and an identity that they can no longer affiliate themselves with. I haven't felt the same. While I love teaching, it isn't as much of my identity as I thought and the desire to teach flows out in different ways when I'm not in a classroom.
This got me to thinking about the future. We hope that we're blessed enough to be able to have children. We've always assumed that I will stay home if financially possible because we both had SAHM/WAHM mothers when we were young. This time has made me realize that I would be blissfully happy to do that if we have the opportunity; something my thirteen-year old self would have been horrified by.
As modern women we can have it all, or we can have the parts we want. Part of me wants to be a 50s housewife staying home with my (possible future) children, cleaning and cooking lovely meals for my man and that should be no less judged than the woman who choses to go back to work.
Scribblettes, when you look into your future, what do you see?