Given that I was so career-driven, I know I shocked most of my colleagues and friends when I announced I wasn’t returning to work after the girls were born. I knew it was what I wanted to do…what I had always wanted to do…but I still had some fears about such a radical change. I felt like I had been defined by my career for so long, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t otherwise know who “me” was.
Eighteen months into staying at home with the girls, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else right now. There’s no doubt it’s a very difficult job with so many more challenges and rigors than I could have ever anticipated. And the funny thing to me is that I don’t feel like I’ve missed a beat since I left work.
Although it’s on a very different level, I am still driven by the challenges I face at home. Instead of developing a strategic marketing plan for a new product launch, I’m strategically trying to figure out how to adjust to a new nap schedule, or to offer my girls a varied diet and try to keep them from becoming picky eaters! :)
I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past 18 months, namely that there’s a lot more to me than just my resume, and that much of my “professional skill set” is part of who I am, but that it transcends any job. I’ve also been able to focus on some things that I haven’t had time for in a long time, things that I truly enjoy, just for the sake of enjoyment…like cooking and baking and creative writing and crafting. I look forward to sharing these rediscovered joys with the girls.
In some ways, no two days are ever the same…there’s always something going on!...but in other ways the days are very much alike, and that’s probably been one of the more difficult adjustments for me. Monday is pretty similar to Thursday, which looks a lot like Saturday at our house. I’ve heard one of my bloggy friends say that she is a better mom to her girls for working outside the home, and I understand what she means. It can be very difficult to maintain focus and drive for something you do every.single.day, 24/7/365.
Why was it so important for me to stay at home with my girls?
I know them better than anyone else. I know their needs and wants, their quirks, their grunts and groans and squeals. I want to be the one to shape them during these critical formative years, and I don’t take this job lightly. It’s a huge responsibility, and I’m up for the challenge.
And because (to steal a quote from an unknown author) the days are long, but the years are short. I have the rest of my life to work, but my baby girls will only be “babies” for such a short while. I just want to soak in every moment.
People ask me all the time if I miss work. Sure I do! I miss wearing nice clothes and high heels…I miss doing numeric analysis…I miss travelling and giving presentations…I miss the satisfaction of a big sale made or a problem solved.
But when I get up in the mornings and put on my yoga pants, cook a hot breakfast for my girlies, and then load them in their stroller for a beautiful morning walk…when we stop along the way to admire a dog or talk to a neighbor…when I see them holding hands or doing baby signs through the stroller canopy…well, that’s just one of the many times I’m reminded that this is really my dream job, and I intend to make the most of it!