It's with lots of hesitation that I write this post. I don't want to be judged or thought to be taking a step back for womankind just because I, one person, feel this way. Maybe it's due to our mothers' generation, but little girls are raised to want it all and to be able to achieve everything they want. I definitely was told from a young age that I could be and do anything and everything I wanted (and we will impress this upon Georgia as well). I knew that it would be possible to have a career, even a demanding one if I chose so, while nurturing my marriage and raising a houseful of children, if that's the path I wanted to take.
Somewhere between getting my degree, climbing the corporate ladder and growing a baby inside my belly, I realized that having it all was possible. But I also realized that was definitely not the path I wanted to take. It's a very personal choice, and I don't think one choice is necessarily better than the other. But I know which choice is right for me.
Lately I've been asked more times than I care to count the expected question: "Are you bored/unfulfilled/unstimulated/not using your full potential/needing adult conversation/guilty for not contributing financially/etc etc etc?" Some people I know are genuinely curious and struggling to make the same decision for their own life. But other times, even from friends, the question comes across as very judgmental. When that happens, I often feel flustered before I answer and I hope that doesn't make them think they are right.
But the truth is, no - I don't feel any of those things. I've developed a couple of hobbies (happily, they don't involve the computer or internet) to keep me stimulated and keep my brain squeaking. If I'm ever bored, it's my own fault for allowing myself to feel that way since there are always plenty of things for me to do. Same with adult conversation. I get more of that now than I did as a career girl, and now it's on subjects I actually want to talk about! I've developed new friendships with other mothers I see daily at the park, and strengthened friendships I already had.
Don't get me wrong; it's not all fun and games all day long. There are plenty of days when, at six o'clock, I know without a doubt that being in an office all day would have been the easier job. And in the beginning I did worry that "just being a mom" would leave me wanting for more at the end of the day. But watching Georgia catch on to something new I've taught her or discover something altogether on her own is more than enough to make my heart and brain swell with pride. More so than anything ever has.
I also don't mind being a homemaker. Now that I'm here and not focusing on my career, charity board obligations, and keeping tons of other people happy, our house feels so much more like a home. Rather than a stack of invitations to be mailed and fundraiser decorations to be assembled, I'm surrounded by colorful wooden blocks and little stuffed animals. Even with a pile of laundry beside me on the couch and a kitchen floor in desperate need of mopping, I am happier than ever. These piles of laundry and the sounds, sights and smells of our house are what make it a home. Now I really take pride in having a nutritious (or not so healthy, but amazingly fun) meal on the table for David. As 1950's as it is, I don't mind doing his laundry or ironing his shirts - because he's out working so that I am able to stay home.
As much as I like a challenge, I have absolutely no desire to juggle a family, career and marriage. If that makes me seem less of a go-getter and diminishes me in the eyes of others'...well, I'll just have to stay a lesser person to them. I know in my heart and in my mind that I "just being a mom" fulfills and challenges me in ways that working outside the home never did.