Even after I quit my job last October, I still thought of myself as a work-out-of-the-house woman. I was just taking a few months’ break from cubicle life, but would be ready to jump back in with both feet, as soon as corporate America and a strong cup of coffee called me back. This past Spring my days were balanced precariously between caring for my newly-mobile daughter and desperate snatches of free time trawling the web for potential employment. Would I freelance? Would I go back part-time to publishing? Would I start a new career altogether? The options seemed limitless, distracting, and more a bit stressful. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t exactly feel like a great parent, with half my brain trained to my email, and Linkedin, and Twitter.
So, shortly after Charlotte’s first birthday, and after talking it over with The Husband, I made a kind-of-sort-of decision: I’m now a stay-at-home mom. Sure, I’ll head back to work in an office someday. I love the capitalist zing of receiving a paycheck, earning a bonus, and making a sale, and someday (probably sooner rather than later), I’ll run back to my cubicle with joy and abandon. But, for the time being, I’ve realized I just need to concentrate on this whole parenting thing.
That’s also why I’ve been absent from the blog for the last month or so: reevaluating my priorities has led to much mad writing, but somehow it needed to be in pen, on paper, between two covers.
As I’ve written about in the past, I never thought I’d be making this decision. I’ve loved working for money since the day I discovered the concept, and I always said I’d be a work-out-of-the-house mom, just like my mother before me. As a child I was proud of my two-working-parent household, and when I became a mother I planned to carry on that tradition.
So, what’s changed? Maybe it’s the summertime air, or feel of mud between my toes, or the hum of dragonflies. Or maybe I’ve really become one of those people who believe that “everything changes once you have kids.” Suddenly, making money doesn’t seem as urgent as sliding around, fully clothed, in a grimy kiddie pool, or eating herbs out of the garden, or doing an impromptu rain dance on the front lawn, or visiting my grandparents with their newest great-grandchild in tow.
I may still feel a bit ambivalent, deep down, but these days I’m too busy to worry too much about my working-vs-parenting identity. And that’s pretty liberating.
So, for the time-being, here I am.