The decision to stay at home or to work outside of the home is one that seems much simpler before you have children. If you had asked me in 2003 B.C.. (before children!), the year I was working as an editorial assistant at Houghton Mifflin in Boston, and living in a great apartment in Cambridge, the year I got married to my boyfriend of 3 years (now husband of 6!), and had time to workout and run 4-5 times a week, and read at my leisure, and, well do anything my whims designed…if you had asked me then I would have told you “of course I will work when I have kids! I don’t know if it will be full-time, but I will definitely work! I’d go crazy if I stayed home all day long!”
Oh, doesn’t perspective change quickly.
Fast-forward four years to 2007 when we had our first daughter. We had moved into our first house about 45 minutes outside of the city (a town closer to my husband’s job), I had just finished a year and a half as a high-school English teacher at a small private school and knew it was not a job I wanted to continue doing full-time with children at home. So, I finished the school year, they found a replacement and in June of 2007 I found myself a full-time SAHM…not on maternity leave, not with the possibility of going back, but full-time SAHM.
I sometimes feel like I more fell into the role than deliberately choosing it. Maybe the timing was meant to be because God knew if I had a job I really loved I might have loved it too much to leave; whatever the case, with mixed emotions I was and have been home pretty much full-time.
I did teach two courses at a local college while I was preggo with baby #2 and loved the balance of working two part-time days and being home three. I’d still love to find a good freelancing gig. I’ve done some writing for smaller newspapers and magazines, and would love to keep doing so—if only I could find the time (that is a whole other post!).
Although, the question of how or when I’ll work again is an ongoing one in my mind the following quotes from Dr.Kevin Leman’s book, “First Time Mom”, helped to reaffirm why I am making this sacrifice of career to be at home cleaning up cheerios crushed into the rug by my dancing toddler:
“Someday, that child you’re holding is going to be in his fifties…When someone asks him to remember something about his childhood, will he talk about the childcare worker who bandaged his knee? Will he talk about being tied into a line as he and fifteen other two-year-olds walked to the park with the worker—of—the month? Or will he talk about autumn afternoons and drinking a cup of hot chocolate while Mommy read his favorite book? Will your children think of home as a warm place if they are raised in continual daycare?”
Well, for as much as I don’t know, the one thing I do know is that, even though I feel like I am going crazy many days, I want my girls to be thinking of warm cocoa and books. So, for now, I’m going to work on being content and grateful for the opportunity to be able to be at home with them because if there is one thing EVERY mother I’ve ever talked to has said, “The time goes fast. Enjoy them while they’re young.”