If you'd told me 5 years ago that I'd be a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) today, I would have laughed in your face and read you the riot act for suggesting such a preposterous thing about me. In fact, when The Hubs was merely The Boyfriend, he mentioned once that I should stay at home when we got married and had children. He said this as I was in the midst of studying for a construction management midterm in college and the discussion did not end in his favor. I remember telling him that I would never be able to find worth in staying at home. That I was getting my degree and that I would forever be a career woman. Yes, I wanted kids, but I did not see myself staying at home with them every day.
Even when I was pregnant and working, I was convinced that I would be counting down the minutes of my maternity leave to when I would get to return to the land of adult conversation, private bathroom breaks and alone time.
But then something changed...I had my son.
I went back to work when my son was 14 weeks old and I was miserable. I had been put on a project that was less than desirable. With a team of coworkers (all men) that were less than supportive. While pumping milk on a jobsite was uncomfortable, and adjusting to a new schedule was difficult nothing compared to the loss I felt day in and day out when I wasn't with my son.
I can remember coming home on several occasions crying to the hubs and telling him I wanted to quit my job. Every time, he would go through our finances with me and tell me that if I wanted to quit, we'd have to move and change a lot about our lives. And even though I was miserable, I didn't feel my misery justified uprooting my family from our great community. So I struggled on.
After being a working Mom for 1 year, my husband received word in early October that his company would be transferring him back home to the San Francisco Bay Area. For our family, this move meant that I was going to be able to stay home. This was the best news I'd ever received!
February 3rd will mark the beginning of my 3rd month as a SAHM and I have absolutely no regrets about making this career change. It does make me laugh, however, that this is where I am. That this is the life I chose. Who have I become? I'm the daughter of a very successful woman who started working when I was in 2nd grade and in my opinion she worked and mothered me and my brothers flawlessly. Having her as a role model led me to believe that I would have the same ability to do both roles successfully. But that was not the case for me.
I am so grateful to live in a time when women are allowed to choose what they want to do with their lives. I'm grateful that I had a mother who did both roles so well and encouraged me to get an education and be a working woman but who also supported me when I wanted to be a SAHM. I'm grateful for a husband who agreed that it would be best for our family to have me stay at home, and who works so hard so that I am able to stay at home.
The desire to stay at home was strong for me, and while the decision was easy to make, the reality of making it happen was difficult. Had The Hubs not been given a job offer in the bay area, I would probably still be working, but I don't know how long I could have lasted.
The life I'm living now is not the life I saw for myself 10 years ago, but it's definitely the life I see for myself for the long haul.