|One of my favorite places in the whole wide world.|
I recently spent a weekend with a group of alumni from my (increasingly distant) university days. It's just me and about 30 Ph.D's. Very bright people. Nice, too.
Have you ever been in a group like this? One where everyone is introducing themselves with statements like, "I teach engineering at such-and-such University," and "I'm finishing my dissertation in biophysics," and "I just got back from Hogwart's and next week I am going to Cambodia to study developing economies." Maybe you used to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a social worker, or an administrative assistant. Whatever you were before you had kids, have you been in a group of people who still...are?
Then you introduce yourself and say, "I stay home with my children."
I kinda hate myself for this, but I couldn't help feeling less than in that environment, wondering if others were judging me for my choices. I couldn't help wishing I was still working. And it's hard. Harder still because I thought I was so over this. I mean, it's been five years since I "quit working" (a funny phrase really, as if I don't work my behind off now).
And for a year or so after my son was born I was all "who am I?" Then I got over it. Or so I thought, before I was confronted with a bunch of awesome people doing awesome stuff that I miss doing. Truth is, I have never questioned my decision to become a stay-at-home mom. Just sort of wish I could do it all.
So, things I am trying to remember:
- I chose to stay home with my children and consider it a blessing. It was my family's decision and the right one for us. And its a blessing many people don't enjoy, so man, do I feel like Whiney McWhinerson just writing this post!
- Uh...oh yeah, I can't read other people's minds. No one said I'm stupid for wasting my education, so I gotta stop wondering if that's what people are thinking. And (more importantly) stop caring.
- I can't get these years back with my children, but I can work again someday.
- I knew what I was doing, and I considered losing career momentum a worthy trade-off for being at home.
- My success in this endeavor cannot be measured...certainly not in terms of money or position or awards. Perhaps in snuggles?