When I was little, there were only two things I wanted to be when I grew up – an actress and a mom. I spent my childhood taking drama classes, going to drama camp and majoring in theater in college. But, when it was time to choose a career for myself, I realized that having a family and being a mom was more important to me.
Some people would frown on that choice, I suppose. Everyone knows that a woman can do everything today, right? Well, I’m not so sure.
One of my mother’s closest friends once exclaimed to me that she didn’t understand why women didn’t stay home with their children. After all, it was such a short time in a woman’s life, and it goes by so quickly. She can work before and after, right? But, the time with one’s children is so precious.
This made an impression on me. So, after my husband earned his graduate degree and landed a full-time job in his field, we decided to see if we could live on his salary (my earnings would be “extra”) so I would have the option of staying home with the children. That’s precisely what I did and I don’t regret it for a moment.
How do women do it? Work full or part-time and still raise a family? I know they manage somehow and I imagine it is a constant juggling act.
For me, I had no choice. I couldn’t leave my children. I needed to be there with them every day, to witness every delightful expression that pops out of their mouths or shows on their faces… to discover finger painting and chalk mazes on the driveway… play playdoh with them and bake cookies… sing Sesame Street songs and plan birthday parties. I didn’t want to miss a moment.
Sometimes if I planned too many activities, I could see the stress in my children’s behavior and realized it was time to have a quiet afternoon at home. It made all the difference. Quiet time. Time to read. Time to be.