Before ever becoming pregnant I knew that I wanted to take a break from working in order to stay home to raise my child. My intention was to work until my seventh or eighth month of pregnancy before leaving for good. I ended up quitting my job barely two months into my pregnancy due to several factors.
Quitting my job was difficult mentally and emotionally. I’ve always worked. I’ve always earned my own money so it was a little strange to no longer be contributing financially to our bottom line. I was initially too sick to dwell on this too much but as I started feeling better a little bit of panic set in. My routine had changed, I no longer lived my days based on having to be at work for a certain amount of hours. It was equally liberating and terrifying.
Diego is almost eight months old and I haven’t worked outside the home in over a year. I would like to wait until he is in preschool before looking for a job but I might need to do so sooner. While we are managing financially the pressure has my husband stressed and I know even the income of a part-time job would help ease his worries a little. Nothing is set in stone right now but it is something I’ve been doing some thinking on.
When I tell people that I am a stay-at-home mom I sense a few different responses that are not always verbalized but implied. Some people applaud this because they believe this is where I should be. I am a woman with a child so I best be raising that baby. Others look down upon it and wonder how I can give up my career only to stay home and be bored. Maybe I am assuming but I know small minded cretins exist out there.
The beauty of being a woman in this day and age is that I have choice! I choose to be home with Diego. I want this. I enjoy this. Do I get bored and feel lonely? Absolutely, but I also had moments when I felt this way when I was working full time. I cannot imagine handing him over to anybody for eight hours a day. I just can’t do it and thankfully I don’t have to.
If I had to go back to work for financial reasons I would do so with a heavy heart. That is how I feel about it. If I wanted to go back to work right now I would do just that. I don’t feel pressured into staying home out of some obligation dictated by my sex. I respect and salute women who for whatever reason go back to work within months of having a baby. Some choose to because they love their job and cannot imagine staying home, others need to because they would otherwise be unable to make ends meet. Whatever the reason, women have the right to make that choice. The choice that is right for them and their family.
Whenever people try to give me a backhanded compliment or belittle me for my choice I get angry for a second then I shrug it off because what they think of me is none of my business. The people who truly care about me won’t judge me for my choice.
I often think of the saying’The lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.’ When it comes to my life and how I live it I won’t listen to any negativity no matter where and who it comes from. Sometimes I feel as though I spend too much time caring about how others see my life. I am no less intellectual or productive now than I was before. I am constantly reading, researching and discussing things that interest me. I have more time and less time simultaneously.
I sleep less now than when I was holding down two jobs and going to graduate school. It’s a different kind of busy, one that challenges, teaches, and humbles me everyday.