As mentioned on Thursday, I’ve been considering this post for a long time. If you so choose, read on with an open mind and please remember these are my opinions, only. I don’t expect you to agree with me or even like what I have to say. All that’s important here is that you respect my opinion and I will respect yours, whatever it may be. Feel free to comment…just don’t be bitchy, mmmkay?
Buckle in and grab some corn. It’s gonna be a long one.
For what it’s worth, my mom was a Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM). Both my Mom and Dad worked insanely hard to provide the life that my siblings and I had. And make no bones about it – we were a normal, middle class family. No silver spoons here. But, we traveled all over the world. We took dance lessons. All three of us went to college. We had a beautiful home. My parents were at every honors assembly, every soccer game, every concert. Somehow, they made it work while making the best possible decisions, always choosing what was right for our family.
Now that I’m living it, I can honestly tell you that I have no idea how they did it. Not a freaking clue. And I don’t know that I can ever truly express my gratitude for the life I lived and the things I enjoyed. They gave up so much for us. I suppose the only way I can actually repay them is to pay it forward and pray that Joe and I can raise our family with that same mindset.
I’m trying. Really hard.
That said, I’ve lived the life of both a working Mom and a SAHM. It’s no secret that I was blessed to be able to stay home for the first 4 ½ months of Alex’s little life. But I was thrown back into the swirling, whirling world of corporate America on Sept. 1. By choice, mind you.
Let’s just first get it right out in the open that I would LOVE to stay home with Alex. And, to be honest, we could totally swing it. Sure, we’d have to be a little savvier with our spending, but we could do it. Some might argue that a few less vacations or fancy dinners are worth sacrificing to be a SAHM, and someday I might agree. For now, I don’t. Life is too uncertain.
When I look at Alex’s little face, I see the person I want him to become. I see the places I want to take him. I see the things I want him to experience. And I know that the life I envision for him is (more) possible as a 2 income family. I want to take him to Disney. I want him to experience different cultures. I want him to take soccerfootballhockeypianodance lessons. I want him to get a car for his 16th birthday. I want him to attend the college of his choice without the stress of also working a full time job.
So to do all of that, I choose to work. I choose to be a working Mom. I choose to do what I can to ensure that our life as a family is as bright and fulfilled as it possibly can be.
Some Moms (or Dads) choose not to work. I applaud them and their decision and with a little bit of envy still absolutely believe that their children will get to experience everything Alex will. Maybe more, who knows? And to them I *clink* a glass of champagne and say, “Congrats and good for you!”
What absolutely infuriates me to the point of ripping out my hair strand by strand are the moms that actually complain about staying home with their kids. “I never get to talk to adults.” “All I do is play peek-a-boo all day.” “There’s crusty spit-up on my sweatpants every day.” Blah blah blah. Are these women serious? Do they understand that they made that choice? Or that they should count their blessings that they can spend every waking moment with their children? Or that there are moms everywhere (single Moms, preach!) that would give anything to trade in their business suits for stained sweatpants? And, let’s face it, the pressure of your psychotic, power-tripping boss breathing fire down your neck re: the 2 p.m. deadline for the approved global content for the press release launch on Market Wire is just a leeeeeeetle more stressful than your 2-year old asking you repeatedly why the sky is blue all day long. And no matter how shitty the economy is, you don’t have to constantly live in fear of being fired from your Mommyhood. It’s called perspective. And IMO, those Moms need to get some. ASAP.
And while I do complain about my situation from time to time, I assure you it’s mostly just for dramatic effect. As already mentioned, I’ve made what I believe to be the best choice for my family at this moment in time. Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I want to throw my computer out the window and never, ever enter this office again. And to be honest, it’s nice to know that I have that option.
And look at it this way, should that little dream of mine ever come true, it will make for great blog material.