I am grateful that I get to be a stay-at-home mom.
In eighth grade I told my friend that when I grew up I would be a lawyer and would not have children until I could afford a nanny for them. I would not become a stay at home mom as I had witnessed the cartoon in my house: a step-mother vacuuming during the day with her zip-up bathrobe, curlers in her hair, cigarette hanging out of her mouth, talking to her girlfriend on the phone (cigarette precariously about to fall to the ground) while the kids were banished from view. Quite lovely huh?!
No, that would not be me (and it isn’t for the record). I saw education as the ladder out of this world into the world where women dressed up for work, kissed her husband and children good bye and went off to do something important in the world. I would never be dependent on anyone for anything. I can do it myself, thank you very much. I went on to college with the drive of a herd of elephants. No time for fun. No time for new friendships. I graduated with a job at a time where there were no jobs, worked for 5 years and went to graduate school in business (just as I had planned). Upon finishing graduate school, I was pregnant with my first daughter. There was a move to North Jersey, promotions, a wedding, etc. in there too.
After 9/11 my husband and I needed to get out of the Tri-State area for obvious reasons and managed to get back to Washington State by way of a job change for my husband right after my daughter was born.
Now I have worked my tail off since I was about 10 and now I am 32 suddenly transported from NY to suburbia with my extremely colicky baby, no friends, no job, no purpose and my husband was traveling quite often. AAAAAHHHHHHH! Talk about scary…
I began to devour child development books in order to wrap my brain around this new world I was suddenly flung into (with bad visuals about what could happen to a person) and found that WOW there is a lot going on in a tiny person’s brain from the ages of 0-5 – not just sleeping… “I cannot leave her with anyone!”, I thought. For the first time it was not about me anymore. How could I go back to work which was about my survival, my needs and leave her, when her needs were far more important? Her needs were about building her brain at breakneck speed and it would be permanent. This realization has a lot to do with how I was mothered or more importantly un-mothered as my own left when I was 4 years old. It was devote all of me to my job or devote all of me to my daughter. There was no in between for me. There was no choice for me.
How thankful I am for that lack of choice. For two years I would fret about never getting a job again, how will I get a job again, how will I ever be marketable again… Then something happened. I started to find myself, my true self. I found a new path to take that was previously so hidden that I didn’t even know it existed. I have taken side roads; started a business, worked part time, consulted and done volunteer work but all these diversions have taken me back to the path that I started on when Ellie was born. This path has gotten wider, brighter and more lush the deeper I have traveled.
So thankful to be a stay-at-home mom, thankful to my husband for taking on the extra pressure of providing for our family, thankful that God has allowed me to trust that things will work out if you follow your true path.