Thursday, July 2, 2009

"What do you do?"

"Oh, I just stay at home with the girls," I say. Why do I say it like that? Maybe because I did not envision my life this way.

I did not envision my daily conversations consisting of "Momma? Momma? Momma? Momma?" "WHAT???" I did not envision endless piles of laundry and dirty dishes. Toys that always seem to creep back into the living room, my bedroom, the kitchen...anywhere really that they are not supposed to be. Wall "art" in the form of scribbles and stick figures. A minivan...What I did envision was a career. Then after I married at 25, had children at 29, I would effortlessly return back to the workforce after each child. I would easily juggle it all.

Well, I guess you could say God had other plans! I married the love of my life at age 21 before finishing my degree, much to my parents' dismay. Four months later I was pregnant with Ms. M. We then moved to Italy for three years (again, unhappy parents) where I worked part-time and on finishing my degree. Finally finished the degree in 2006 (check in the box) while I was pregnant with No. 2, Ms. K. I worked part-time from home (pretty miserably I might add) until last summer. This was when I finally became comfortable in my skin, as a mom.

I was brought up in a very estrogen-centric environment, to say the least. My poor father had three girls (a trend that may continue with our little family...if we choose to have more children). Feminism was rampant, which I personally don't think is a terrible thing. Women need to be in the workforce, they need to have the options they have today, there needs to be a woman president sooner rather than later, etc. But for me, these widely accepted expectations have tended to stifle my natural tendencies to want to be a stay-at-home mom (something I suspect my mother struggled with since she sometimes stayed home and sometimes worked part-time). And please don't get me wrong, I know my choice is not for everyone.

I guess the reason I struggle with the "What do you do?" question has to do with a woman's choice to stay at home not being a viable and smart option in the opinions of others. Fortunately, I have several circles of friends that do find it acceptable. However in most circles, women are expected to work. Especially, if they went to college. A woman wouldn't want to "waste" her education, would she? That isn't the way I see it. I believe my education is used everyday, just not used in order to make money. It is used when I carry out the family budget, fix booboos, and manage my time. I have the time to explore things like Crossfit, this blog, politics, and crafts with the kids that I would not have time to do otherwise.

Now, I don't want to give the impression that I think all families should be like mine. And I don't want anyone to think that I live in some sort of fairytale. Staying at home with the kids down right sucks sometimes. And I cry about it sometimes. Especially recently, since soon I will be a single stay-at-home mom (talk about a double whammy!). But, there are more days that do not suck than days that do. Days when I know I would cry if I had to go to work. Days when the conclusion of the conversation goes like this:

"Momma? Momma? Momma? Momma?"


"I love you."

"I love you too, sweetheart."

Thank you, God, for my family and blessed life.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant. :) You've said something I've often thought...although more eloquently than I think I could have.