Family, Career, or Both?
Ever since I got pregnant, I’ve been mulling over in my head: Career? Baby? Stay at home? Go to work? Two and half years later, I’m not sure I’ve come to an answer yet. I really never thought that I was going to be one of those people who wanted to stay at home with their child, go to play groups, or talk about naps (or lack of naps) in the park. I truly believed that I was going to have this career and be financially independent—sure, get married … but kids weren’t necessarily in the cards for me. That was, until I started seeing my friends’ kids, and then my sister adopted a baby, and it was all downhill (or up, depending on how you look at it) from there. I got married in November 2008, and presto chango, I became a mom in August 2009.
On my first day back to work, I suddenly looked around and realized how none of it mattered. I didn’t care how much profit our company made or didn’t make, or what price increase to take on our products, or what marketing tactic was working or not working. All I cared about was that my then five-month-old son was home with his dad drinking my breast milk out of a bottle, and I was going to miss something that he does new every day! How can we as parents make that choice every morning? Why would you ever choose to sit in meetings or respond to emails all day over seeing your son roll over for the first time?
I will say, though, I’ve been very lucky in many ways. We haven’t had to put our son in day care, so at least one of us gets to see it all. I also consider myself lucky because my company is fairly flexible in terms of hours. But they’re not flexible enough, at least not enough to allow me to do my job part-time so I can spend more time with my family. So, I made a choice—my family. What that meant for me is that I do my job and do it as best as I can without sacrificing too much time away from my family. I’ve been sick to death thinking I was going to miss his first words, or his first steps. And on Halloween, in his dinosaur costume in front of six complete strangers plus my husband and myself, he walked for the first time and I started to cry—because I didn’t miss it. The problem is that I don’t want to miss anything. However, neither does my husband. So, how do you choose? How do you decide who has to work and who gets to stay home with our son? It’s awful that we all have to make this decision. Why can’t we all have sugar daddies?