I went to college. And boy did I go to college! I was in college on and off for 8 years, more on than off.
I have several sheepskins to be proud of, including a Masters of Education specializing in Agency and Community Counseling. It was a long haul, studying, counseling, working, and at the end of the day I usually have cheerios in my hair.
Can I just tell you how many people really get annoyed with this? Many get upset, especially women. I had the opportunity to go to college, get good grades and a career that makes a difference. How dare I stay at home while women are needed in the workplace? How dare I be a “sell out” on my dream of being a career woman?
Simple, my dream changed. It changed the moment my daughter came into this world. As soon as I heard that raspy cry I knew where I needed to be, at home with her. I didn't lose my education and it doesn't go to waste.
Unfortunately my new job didn’t have a training course. I don’t get paid vacations or a 401K. I do get job reviews, they usually come in the form of “Mommy, you make the best Peanut Butter and Jelly EVER!” or “When I grow up I want to be a mommy like you.”. Not bad. I don’t get paid but my benefits include nighttime visits to sick kiddos or doing a few hundred load of laundry. My workplace pep talks consist of my hubby telling me to go take a bubble bath and relax or a smooch and a blessing before he goes to work.
You see, it isn’t about recognition or pay. I could go outside the home to work, (although New York State licensure laws really whomp). But, no matter where I was, if I wasn’t at home with the kids I wouldn’t feel like I was doing what I was meant to do. It is a personal decision but one I am very sensitive to.
The next time you see a stay at home mom who “once used to work” please be kind. Don't lecture us on our lost potential. Don't assume that you had a higher GPA than us. Don't underestimate us. Several years from now, when our children are grown, we could be your boss.