About Stay-at-Home Mom Status
I never thought I wold just be a stay-at-home mom before my first child was born. I went to college, I started a career, I did move to the other side of the world when I was 25, but even here, I started a job that seemed that could have led to a career.
But I was open. I honestly didn't know how I would feel once I became a mother, so I left it all open. I was lucky enough to have a choice.
When I first held my baby in my arms I knew that if at all possible, I wanted to stay home with him. For the first time I considered being a stay-at-home mom. I did it with my first one, and with the other two after. I always felt good about my decision, although I had to defend it constantly. Being a stay-at-home mom you become a nobody, it seemed. I was perfectly fine with that. I didn't need to be "somebody", I was a mom. It was enough, it was the best thing ever!
Now, nineteen years later I started questioning my decision that seemed so natural, so right at the time.
My kids are all old enough that they don't need me here with them all the time. Even my youngest is ten, so I started looking for a job. But after so much time out of the work force, it is a daunting task. I don't really have anything to put on my resume. Sure, I went to college, in another country, twenty+ years ago. No one cares. Sure, I volunteered for almost twenty years in a bunch of different schools, after school programs, etc. It doesn't count, no one cares. I did some translations and I wrote occasionally, while staying at home. I can put that on my resume, right? I did. Guess what? No one cares. So yes, I am frustrated. I always wanted to be a writer, and I can finally say that I have time for it now. But I can't make money doing that. Not until I am "somebody", until (and if) I make a name for myself. In the meantime.... yes, I am discouraged. I am frustrated, and feel that maybe I should have stayed in the work force. My kids are no better or worse than those whose parents worked through them growing up.
But then I think of all the years that I was able to spend with them, to be there for them, with them. They were the best time of my life. I'm not sure how much of a difference it made, if any, for them that I was home. But for me it was worth every second. My teenagers are rarely ever home, and they rarely ever talk to me, though they assure me that they talk to me a lot more than their friends talk to their parents. I don't know. When they need a shoulder to cry on, they still come to me. And that needs to be enough. My youngest one is still my baby at ten. She still wants to spend time with me. So she is my priority. I am still glad I didn't find a job. I only want to work part time when she is in school anyway. I still want to be here when she's home, I still want to be able to drive her to after school activities.
Putting things in perspective, I realized that I didn't become a stay-at-home mother just for my kids. I did it for myself, for my own enjoyment. Feeling guilty about it now? I have no reason to. I was fortunate enough to be able to do it. If given a chance, I would do the same.
Kids grow up no matter what we do. Spending time with them while I could was worth every second. Being able to be here when they came home from school, to spend time with them when they were on vacation, traveling with them all over the place was worth everything.
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