Do you ever worry whether you’ve made the right choice about being a stay-at-home-mom? On good days, you don’t, right? But other days, well, it’s easy to second-guess your decision to stay at home.
You see Facebook posts from friends who are “leaning in” and feel jealous of their professional lives. You miss the respect and intellectual stimulation. You miss the connections with smart and funny colleagues.
Then you read the posts from honest friends who are trying so hard to do it all, and, if you were ever a working mom, you remember the stress. You remember the stress and the mommy guilt. You remember the feeling of never being able to do anything as well as you wanted (okay, perfectionism
may remain a challenge.)
The Fastest Chapter
We have to remind ourselves: life isn’t a picture book. It’s a long novel. It’s War and Peace. This chapter is just a small part of the whole.
When I was working full time, I had the feeling that if I blinked, I’d miss my kids’ childhoods.
The pages of their lives would flip past, never to be read again.
In fact, the first couple years of my twins’ lives are pretty much a blur in my memory. I blame some of it on sleep deprivation, but the rest? Well, how much can you remember when you’re off working 50-60+ hours per week?
Of course we all want to be available to our kids for all the usual reasons.
I have to admit something else, though. This time of being a stay-at-home-mom is as much for me as it is for the kids.
I want to be able to relish their childhood before it slips away. I want to “read” slowly so that I can remember every detail when we move on to the next chapter in our lives.
A long time before I had kids I made a bucket list of 50 things I wanted to do someday. In between “dive the Great Barrier Reef” (still haven’t done that) and “see the Taj Mahal” (check!), one other item on the list was to have children and stay at home with them for a few years.
I’m living the dream!!! (Someone remind me of this when we’re all crabby and I’ve had ENOUGH.)
Happily Ever After
Being a stay-at-home parent challenges you in all sorts of new ways. You have no choice but to rise
to the occasion and become stronger.
Yes, you make professional sacrifices when you choose to leave the workforce for a while. Is it worth it? For me it is.
The book-that-is-my-life may be written differently now, but I think it has become a more satisfying story.