Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I chose.

I was never a woman who intended to stay home after the birth of my son. I always ALWAYS thought I would be back to work, nose-to-the-grindstone and all that jazz. After the 14 weeks I had saved (self-employed) for maternity leave I had fully intended to return to my "regularly scheduled programming". Then around week 10 postpartum I asked my husband what he thought about the idea of me staying home and raising our son and then switching shifts so I could work nights and weekends since one income would not keep us afloat. My poor husband just sat there quietly thinking this must have been some sort of elaborate trick--since I had always been so adamant about returning to work. He finally spoke in questions: Is this what you want? Are you sure? ...are you feeling okay?

It was then that we decided that this would be our plan. He was on board, but this way MY idea and MY decision. I, an educated woman, adept at her job, was making the decision to choose my family first. And, this my friends does NOT/did NOT make me a "sell out".

This is the question that I have been asked a half a dozen times bluntly by former and current colleagues alike. "How does it feel to be a sell out?" "Are you at peace with selling out to be a stay-at-home mom?" And, there have been numerous others that have tip-toed around the topic asking the same questions.

...it caught me off guard...this notion that to want to stay home is "selling out" ..."giving up"..."quitting the game"...that this decision was disappointing to others...a let down...

I think this whole motherhood/work thing should be about respecting the paths that others have taken. Whether you choose to go back to work full-time, part-time or have to go back in order to keep a roof over your head and food on the table...or to choose to be a stay at home mom. All are viable choices and none have to work for anyone except for the family of the people directly involved.

So NO I do not feel like a "sell out"!

I feel incredibly lucky to be able to spend so much time with my son, to watch him grow and learn and to expose him to new things. I feel blessed to have a husband that was so supportive when my feelings on the matter changed so drastically.

And, two years later I am just as at peace with the decision as I was then.


  1. I don't at all even understand this comment from others. It is your decision and your family is comfortable with it. A perfect situation? Maybe not but you are both getting time to spend with your son who is your number 1 priority. Many people choose other paths and look back after their children are grown and wish they could have done it differently. Liam is very lucky to have you guys as parents.

    P.S Give him a hug from his Uncle Brian!

  2. I have never for a minute thought of you as a sell out. I have (and still do) admired the way that you have given of yourself fully in order to give Liam a wonderful childhood. He is blessed to have parents that make it work so that he can raised my you.

  3. WOW. I'm always amazed at the things people say. Someone once asked me if I'd retired. RETIRED. I was 31 at the time. Our situation is a weird one. I mostly stay at home, but I have about 2 busy weeks every other month, then a crazy, insane 6 weeks around the first of the year. (I"m freelance.) Other than that, I"m home. Financially, it's rough, but we've figured out a way to save money when I am working for those times when I'm not. And you know what? It works for US. At the end of the day, our son is fed, clothed, happy and loved. That's really all that matters, isn't it?
    Bravo to you for figuring out how to make it work for your family.

  4. I also can't believe people actually say this to your face. Do these same people have children? Hearts? ;) They obviously don't realize that motherhood is a full-time job, whether you work outside of the home or not. Our kids are only "kids" for a blink of an eye. Doing whatever you have to do to cherish every moment you have while they are kids isn't selling out, it's being a good parent.

  5. Thanks peeps. I really appreciate the love. I do appreciate in some small way the folks who said it to my face. I am proud of our choices and our family.

    @ Jen & Kelli: Your kiddos are super lucky to have such great moms!!

  6. I have been a stay-at-home mom, a working mom full-time and a working mom part-time at various times in my children's lives. By far, being the stay-at-home mom was the hardest one but also SO wonderful. I will not regret ANY of the situations I was in. It's ludicrous that anyone would equate staying at home with your child with "selling out"---I wish I could be more eloquent in expressing that thought---but it's just ludicrous.

  7. Do the people who say these comments have children?

    Crystal SIL

  8. The reason I ask is... If the people who are making these comments DON'T have children.. They really have no room to talk.
    Until your colleagues have babies, they lack in the crazy act of balancing "Work and a Baby." No one knows how they will feel until they're in the situation. It truly is up to what works for you three as a family, and not any of their business to question what you choose.

    I would say if the colleagues do have kids, I would definitely say that they are probably jealous of you. They more then likely make those comments to just try to hurt your feelings. They either can't handle being at home with their kids, or can't afford it. This is just my guess at it all. It's so crazy that people would even question your decision.

    You know that you are an awesome mommy to Liam. You both are mutually so lucky to have each other. If you worked like you use to (hours and shifts..) you would've missed so much. Liam will only be little for so long so I would do exactly as you are, and enjoy every minute of all of that Cuteness.


  9. Thanks for all the mamma love peeps. Much appreciated.


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