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Monday, September 28, 2009

Stay At Home Parent

I want to first acknowledge that not all moms desire to stay at home. I totally get it. You not only have no desire to stay at home but you cannot understand even for a second why anyone would want to. I get it. This is a post about those of us who are or want to be stay at home parents. I do however think you could benefit from reading on since you never know about what your children may choose to do and you may see another side of things.

Why is it that when we are young no one ever tells us that “hey one day you might have kids and if you do you might feel the desire to stay at home with them, and well, if you do it is OK and maybe even natural?” Seriously, did anyone ever say anything like that to you when you were growing up? If so, did you benefit from that? I certainly could have. No one ever even mentioned to me this possibility. I think that is kind of HUGE. This information may have influenced decisions I made educationally and otherwise. How about with you? If you are a stay at home mom who used to work outside of the home how do you feel about the importance of such information. And don’t get me wrong, I realize that the number of stay at home dads continues to rise but since I am a mom who once had a very successful career outside of my home I am interested in their thoughts. I am not discriminating though, if you are a stay at home dad who wants a share of voice please speak up too.

I was raised in a house where education was pretty much the most important thing in our lives. My dad was a physician (he is now retired) and therefore he and my mom placed a great deal of emphasis on academics, especially math and science. I can in no way say that my parents did anything wrong, it is just that my upbringing is very relevant to this post. I am also the oldest of four siblings and all three of my younger brothers are physicians or on their way to becoming physicians. I myself went to school for science and have a strong science background. Even in my career in the pharmaceutical industry I never thought in a million years that I would feel the way I started feeling when our second child was born. I had a drive for work that words cannot describe and coupled with my burning desire to be number one at what I did I was the best of the best. I was going to be CEO and nothing was going to stop me. Right? Wrong. I had children and everything about me changed. Ultimately money did not matter to me because although I tried to go back to work after Inara was born I only lasted 20 months. My heart was always at home. And it was not that I did not have good childcare as their grandmothers were the main ones in charge of them when I was working. It was that I literally ached not to be with my girls. I wanted to do everything with them and that desire only grew to the point that it finally outgrew the importance of money in our lives. My husband and I both wanted for me to stay at home with our girls so much that I just walked away from what was probably the best and most flexible job a mother could ever have to stay at home with my girls. I have not looked back since.

Was there a way for someone to be able to prepare me for these feelings? And if so then the next step would have been to consider a plan. Like perhaps looking at careers that mothers can have that might facilitate them being with their kids. For example, a woman can be a nurse and work a full weekend while hubbie is at home with the kiddos and then you trade during the week. Or like a career as a Physician’s Assistant which can allow you to pick and choose your times so you can literally work only a few hours a day while your babies are at a mother’s morning out or something. Even teaching school can be the perfect gig for a mother as you are at home when they are.

Just a thought. What do you think?

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