A recent text conversation between one of my best stay-at-home mommy friends and me:
Friend: “Did you know that Seward Public is looking for two high school counselors?”
Me: “Really? Oooohhh, so tempting- just bad timing.”
Friend: “I know, right?”
Me: “I don’t think I’m ready to go back to work full-time. Is that bad?”
A few days later, at a coffee play date, another stay-at-home mom and friend said she was contacted by a former employer and offered a great paying, managerial position.
We discussed the perks: salary, healthcare benefits, sense of professionalism and a new wardrobe.
Then we talked about her concerns: daycare/in-home care costs, significantly less time with her children and her husband, much less flexibility, and as she said — “What about dinner?”
Before I go on, let me outline a few qualifiers, (as to avoid the “mom-wars” debate):
1. I consider myself extremely blessed to have a choice in whether I stay home or work for a paycheck. My husband’s job provides sufficient resources giving me this choice.
2. I understand not every family has this choice.
3. I also understand that some moms, even with a choice, chose work. I respect your choice.
OK, let’s continue.
I shared the text conversation from earlier that week with my coffee-date. We laughed at the irony we would both consider rejoining the professional world in the same week.
Then I pondered again, “Is that bad?”
She said: “No way! Mommy life is not easy, but it is good!”
It is good! It is real good.
I like setting my own schedule. I love the flexibility it affords me. The kids and I can go to the Children’s Museum and Zoo during the week when it isn’t busy. I can call friends and set up a lunch date and picnic at the local park. We can go to Costco and the grocery store on a Wednesday morning and avoid the chaos, and if I’m feeling really crazy, I call a sitter and go alone!
I have time during the day to keep up on laundry, cleaning, and to prepare home-cooked, healthy dinners most nights. This results in family time on the weekends free of copious errands and chores.
I have a wonderful network of at-home mom friends. Women I can call on at any moment and find support in all forms.
Sure, there are days when I am pulling out my unwashed hair, hiding in the bathroom looking for a moment of sanity, and counting the seconds until my husband walks through the door.
But most days I am laughing with my children and making memories to savor when they are grown.
I loved my career, my students, and my coworkers.
But right now, my job as full-time mommy and housewife is a pretty good gig.
I think I’ll stick with this for a bit longer because it sure seems like my children are growing more independent every day.
Jessica Brashear is married with two children. Read her blogs here on momaha.
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