So many people who've met me for the first time in the past two years (since Sabine) ask me what Kadin does for a living or where he went to school. These same people have asked nothing about what I've done or what I do in addition to take care of Sabine.
Now I volunteer my work and school history in an effort to shatter what I fear is some lame stereotype of women who stay home with their children.
I know or have met working women who make comments about those women who are at home with children: "She's bored" or "Well, you know, they're traditional" or "Those women do nothing all day."
In my case, nothing could be farther from the truth. I'm anything but bored or traditional, and in my twelve-year career as a magazine editor and writer, there were not even a handful of days that compare or come close to the levels of difficulty and tirelessness that are present when you parent a baby or small child all day every day. And I've worked for start-ups and well-established magazines alike, enduring my fair share of lunatic bosses that make you want to jam a number two pencil into your eardrum so as to never have to listen to them again.
I know women who go to work because, financially speaking, they have to; and I know some who work because staying home is too much for them.
I think putting food on the table and a roof over your child's head is more important than staying at home with them; and I think that if being home all day alone with children is too wearing or difficult, putting them in another person's care is only going to benefit the entire family's well-being.
On the flip side, I know women, like myself, who choose to stay home. My specific reasons for not working while Sabine is small include the following:
1) I am her mom--I don't want to pay someone else to care for her if I'm able. I want to be there for all of it and not miss a single disgusting or beautiful second because before I know it, she'll want me to leave her alone.
2) She's not old enough to speak effectively so if something happened, I wouldn't know.
3) She just turned two and is still not potty trained--I don't want something that personal being managed by strangers if I can help it.
4) When I first graduated college, I studied early childhood education and worked at a preschool, where the director and two of the teachers hid in the bathroom and did crystal meth during naptime.
5) As discussed in this older post, I had my own unfortunate experiences as a small child and I'm going to make sure the same thing never happens to Sabine even if it kills me.
And for all the judge-y people out there who think that stay-at-home moms are watching soap operas and eating chocolate all day, you're dead wrong. I challenge you to one day in my stay-at-home shoes that never come off--not even when I sleep, which is with one eye open now. When Sabine is in school full time, I will work outside the home again so I can help earn as much as I can to give her every opportunity that I can. In some years, I will have gone from successful career to at-home motherhood to career again. I will have run circles around you and you're judge-y, never-changing shoes.
|Image via Huffington Post|
|Image via BSRM|