How The Mommy Wars Was Won is a weekly series where moms tell the story of how they made and are living with the big parenting decisions of motherhood. It ‘s an attempt at putting a stop to all the “mommy wars” media hoopla. As moms, we’re all in this together and we’ll be damned if we let the media pit us against each other. If you’re interested in ending the war that never was, read the original post here.
Today, I’m excited to welcome new mom Sarah from Sweet Lil You. A native of
Growing up I had plans. Big plans. I was going to join the Air Force and be a fighter pilot. I was also going to med school to become an orthopedic surgeon. Somewhere in there I’d find time to be a paleontologist and a politician.
Oh, and I was also going to be a mommy.
The Air Force gig didn’t pan out, since I wasn’t tall enough, didn’t have good vision and I’m a bit of a coward. The ortho track didn’t happen because I did not like the idea of 18 years of schooling, especially allll that math. I didn’t become a paleontologist because I decided graphic design would be a more lucrative profession and there would be a few more job opportunities in the field. I don’t think I’d be a good politician, since I’m so brutally honest.
But, this year, I did become a mommy.
I truly feel that “mommy” is the best career choice I ever made. From the moment my biological clock started ticking, I knew I wanted to be able to stay home with my children. I had visions of the cute little house on a cul de sac with a white picket fence. Cleaning the house and cooking dinner for my husband and 2.5 children, while wearing high heels and an apron. Basically, I wanted to be June Cleaver without the repression.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was ecstatic but needed to figure out what we would do about child care. Would I stay home? Would we find a nanny? Daycare? Helper monkey? How would we pay for all of it?
After doing the math my husband and I realized if I continued to work outside the home, I’d be working just to pay for daycare. It seemed to make the most financial sense for me to quit my job and be a stay at home mom. I moonlight as a Disney travel agent; and I plan on doing freelance graphic design from home to supplement my husband’s income.
I must be clear, I truly HATED my job, and wasn’t making near enough money, so I wasn’t heartbroken to leave (Had I worked a job I adored, our decision may have been different) I just knew that, even if I was coming home with large bags full of money, I’d be miserable dropping my newborn off at daycare while I went to work at a place I lovingly referred to as “The Tenth Circle of Hell” I did not want to come home, drained and upset everyday. I knew that would have a negative impact on my relationship with my baby, and my husband. I wanted to give them all of my energy.
I want to be able to help my daughter learn and grow. To take her on adventures. Introduce her to knew things. Be there. Every day. I couldn’t do that, or at least not to the level that I want, if I worked 40 hours a week. I look forward to the days, when she’s a bit older, that we can go to museums, or the zoo. Take hikes and visit new cities. Even just crafts at home, or spending a day reading together.
I was actually terrified to tell my parents, and other family members. I come from a family of very strong and independent women. My grandmother was in politics, there are teachers, nurses, lawyers, and even someone with a scary level of security clearance with the Department of Defense. These are not “June Clever” type women. I was afraid they’d think I was being “lazy” or “throwing away all my education” or that being a stay at home mom made me “unsuccessful”. I was pleasantly surprised when everyone thought it was a GREAT idea, and they all gave me their blessing.
I have no regrets about my decision. While some days I yearn for some adult interaction, I feel so blessed to be able to spend my days holding my baby girl. Watching her grow (and, WOW, she’s growing fast)
Most of my friends who have had babies in recent months and years have returned to work. Some for financial reasons, others because staying home just isn’t for them. I’d never judge the choices another woman makes, just as I’d hope they wouldn’t judge mine. We need to embrace our differences, and raise each other up as mothers, not knock each other down because of our career paths. We are all in this together, and we are all just trying to do what is best for our families.
Sarah is a stay at home (and occasionally, work from home) mom to newborn daughter, Avery Fontaine. In between changing diapers and washing
onesies, she blogs at http://www.SweetLilYou.com, does graphic design work and helps plan magical Disney vacations. You’ll recognize her on the
street by the spit up stains on her clothes.