I have decided to stay home with my girls. Enter your knee-jerk reactions.
Anytime I tell some one this in a 'real' conversation, unlike this hypothetical conversation (assuming people read my blog), there are two basic responses. One of them is "Wow, that will be a big change. How do you feel about your decision?", and the other is "Congratulations!". Sometimes I question the sincerity of those who say the latter. Do they say this because they feel it is the necessary response? I wonder if what they really want to say is, "What the heck are you thinking? You're in debt, you just finished your masters degree, and now you're staying home? What a waste."
Okay, sometimes that is what I'm thinking, and I think it has to be what others think, too. After all, that very label used to be something I would spit out of my mouth as soon as it entered. Sometimes I wonder if I should be contributing to the greater good of humankind in some other venue. Sometimes I wonder if home is the best place to start. Sometimes it feels a little self-indulgent. Sometimes it feels like the most selfless act I've ever done in my life. But, as soon as I say that, I guess it isn't really selfless, is it?
Lately I've noticed that most stay-at-home moms have something else going on-either a business run at home or another business held outside the home during evening hours. Now that I am one of these stay-at-homers, I feel the need to say, "But I am doing..." But what? What am I doing? As a person hoping to return to the 'professional' world after a few years, there actually is a need to do 'something'--and by 'something' I mean a position I could place on my resumé. I have played with a few ideas, but none of them seem to promise fulfillment, and none of them would look impressive on a resumé.
My conclusion is that I'm staying at home with my girls because I want to, because it seems like what needs to be done at the time. I know it will be trying on my patience and my pocketbook...and the almighty 'professional' resumé. But there is a beauty in the monotony, the simplicity of everyday life as a mother and nothing else. The last two nights, Zoe has awoke in the middle of the night for her feeding, but for some reason or another she has been unable to go back to sleep right away. In exhaustion and frustration, I have called on Scott to walk her around, but it always ends with me standing, rocking her in my arms, as she reaches up and strokes my hair and falls slowly back to sleep. That is why I'm staying home. There is nothing more beautiful and fulfilling than that.