This topic has been jingling around in my mind for quite some time. I don't know how else to introduce my post than to say that I want to weigh in on one of the most hotly debated questions for women of my generation. One day my daughters will face the question of wether to work or stay home and maybe they'll want to know what I was thinking, "back then."
I started my first job when I was 15, I could not wait to have a job. I wanted to build a resume. I wanted the freedom that only comes from cold hard cash. I wanted to impress my parents, siblings, friends and teachers. I wanted a life outside of home and school. I worked at the local movie theater, then became a lifeguard (motivated by my sun worship and interest in buff guys), then worked for a small resort in Utah called The Wintergreen at Midway marketing timeshares, managed a few DownEast Outfitters, managed a few Seagull Books, directed the marketing for Cedar Fort, published a few books, directed the marketing for Millennial Press, managed the advertising needs for all the KFC's in California for a brief stint and then chucked my promising career in marketing to teach English in Japan. I honestly loved every job on that list.
In the middle of all that ladder climbing I married the man of my dreams, bought a house, had two daughters within a year, finished a degree in Communications/Public Relations at Brigham Young University and managed to hang on to a few brave souls who were crazy enough to want to be my friends.
Sometimes I look at those things and think, "Yeah ! I did that! What a GREAT career! How awesome am I?!!!" Then there are the other times, the more honest times. During those times I think, "I was totally out of my mind! I have been burning the candle at both ends big time! How could I possibly have thought that was a good idea??!!"
So I'm not telling anyone what they ought to do. The decision to work or stay home has so many implications no one else can make that choice for you. It wouldn't be possible. But I've been home with my daughters now for the better part of seven months and I choose them. As one of my friends told me once, "My kids need me and I need them." I was managing millions of dollars in marketing budgets at that point, so I totally didn't understand what she was talking about, but I do now.
My days are filled with real meals at the kitchen table, story time, walks, movies, snuggling, correcting bad behavior and praising good behavior. For me, no other job could compete with this.
My career can wait. Whatever stuff I thought I wanted to buy with my extra income can wait. My daughters don't have to wait anymore. They've waited long enough.
I embrace the life of a stay-at-home-mom. I love having time for myself, my man, and my kids. I don't miss the suits, the travel, fine dining, prestige, power, or parties. I was so afraid I would, but I don't.
Being home with my daughters has changed me. I don't run around like a chicken with my head chopped off anymore. I don't rely on my husband for day-to-day household tasks. I have time to think about stuff I didn't before like what Mia should learn before she starts kindergarten. I take better care of myself...mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I help other people with my time and attention, rather than paying my way out of helping others. I feel much more peace and balance.
I know it's a tough choice, no matter what you choose, but for me, for now, I choose to stay home.