Before I had Monkey, it was always a "when we have a baby, I'll stay home until they're in school" Of course this had the expected clauses of financial viability and personal choice. We both believe that the first few years of a child's life are the building blocks of the future adult. It doesn't matter how much money you can throw at your child, if they don't have core values and a sense of family and belonging, they aren't going to appreciate anything.
So here I am - 30ish, bachelors degree in education, spent 4 years in special education settings and my days are spent with laundry, nappies, paint, toys, drawing and playing.
Here's the first challenge: How to stay sane.
Suddenly you are on your own with a baby... Daddy goes to work for 10 hours a day (with commute) and you have no one else to rely on. You have no one to talk to in the early days when you're trying to get bubs used to life in the outside world. You cry when people are nice to you at the shops as they are probably the only people you see ALL day. It is hard.
Coffee group helped me a LOT with staying sane. As we were going through similar stuff at similar times we could text each other at times of emergency and meet up at a park or each other's house. It helps socialise Bubs and saves your sanity. It also helps limit the anger you can feel to your own child, if you can swap out for 15 minutes. It's easier to be calm with someone else's child.
Even now, 30 odd months into it, we still need that break. That connection with another adult. Now though Monkey views it as a break for him, to see his friends. The fact that I am happy too, is just a bonus.