Today is the day, had I stuck with my job, my maternity leave would have ended and I would have ridden the bus, then the metro, and then drudged through the urine soaked passage into the elevator, and finally sat down at my cubicle to start another day of work. Instead, I am at home with my 11 month old son.
It sounds blissful, doesn’t it? Well, typing it I think it should sound blissful. But it’s not all bliss. It’s hard work. He’s still not a great sleeper, the days are cold outside (sometimes too cold for walking) and hours upon hours spent with a baby are not always easy. It can be isolating, especially when the weather is so cold that I don’t even want to heat up the car to get outside.
I was at Melons & Clementines the other day, and saw the above quote. I almost started crying. Yes, I thought, every mother is a working mother. No matter what you do, you are working hard, damn hard. I wondered to myself then why if it was such hard work I didn’t just head back to the cube. And the answer came fairly easy. Working at some job to achieve some arbitrary bottom line for a massive corporation can be pretty soul sucking, but when I look at my baby and he smiles I know it’s all worth it. Sounds cliché but it’s coming from the heart. And I know for me, it’s what’s right for me and my family right now.
I recently read Lake Jane’s post about her decision not to work, and it struck so many chords with me. One in particular was justifying the decision to others which she wrote is just about projecting her own insecurities. I realized that this is what I do every time I justify my choice. I recently had to fill out a form asking occupation, and I just wrote ‘Mom’ and felt a bit mortified. We define ourselves in this society so much by our career, and saying your a stay at home mom is a bit of a conversation ender (even more so than saying you are in insurance!) But I need to get over that, and stick to my guns. This is what I want, this is my choice, and this is what makes me and my family happy and makes it all work. Still, it’s tough… but I suppose every change, every hard decision is tough, even if it is the right decision.