Thursday, June 20, 2013

"I'm always lookin' out my own eyes."

When C awoke sporting the same fever he was sporting last night, having broken it and put it back together several times through the night, I was a little worried.

Off-season colds worry me more than the on-season ones.  Why?  I'll have to get back to you.

So, I texted my nurse-sister and got some nursley reassurance.  And justlikethat, my work day was back on!

After keeping all parties apprised about the feverish happenings at our house, I dropped the kids off with Nana & Tata.

As I left, baby A was sitting atop their golden car, smiling his little smile and alternately waving at me and pointing at trees and birds and sun.  And sick-boy C was "running fast" in bare feet, his curls bouncing and landing and bouncing and landing against his feverish head.  I looked long as I backed out of the driveway, and knew it was an image that was burned into my own head, even without the benefit of running a temperature.

Driving to work, I was more than usually aware that I am sitting on the brink of the possibility for stay-at-home-motherhood.  And with the image of my waving baby and my curly-haired boy freshly in mind, I was more than usually grateful.

I had a productive day at work.  It was a good day that included such things as crossed out to-do lists and lunch with a colleague.  It also included a conversation with my boss about phasing myself out further.

Then, at some point throughout the course of the day, I came across this article.  Make no mistake, because I have aimed myself at staying home rather than pursuing my occupation, my career has been in an extended stall pattern since about 2009.  There are days that all I want to do is stay at home, literal and figurative costs be damned.  And there are days that I really kind of like my part-time gig and feel like the luckiest person ever to be doing a job I enjoy at a rate of pay that is unheard of for part-time work and working for what is possibly the world's most understanding boss.  And yes, it's possible that choosing to give that up with have costs that extend beyond dollars and cents.

I still don't know what the end game is.  But I refuse to believe the pessimism.  I refuse to drink that kool-aid.  If and when I decide to stay at home, I refuse to believe that regret is the only thing waiting for me at the end of the tunnel.

[Title quote is from "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"]


Danielle said...

Oh man, I really did not like that article you linked. She let down those who went before her? No, those who went before her worked to give her the choice to stay home or go to work. Just because she chose to stay home, doesn't mean she let anyone else down.

And her kids don't think she did anything? I bet if she asked them now how much it meant to them to have their mother much more available, she'd get a much different perspective. This is where I'm so grateful for the perspective the gospel gives-- I can look at my day in terms of bottoms wiped and messes cleaned up-- but I know it's so much more than that. The minutes I spend loving, teaching, playing with my children, etc are never wasted.

And it pains me to hear her say she "lowered her sights" for herself. Her career may have taken a nosedive because of her choice to stay home, but she obviously does not view the work she did as a mother as very important. Sure, she could have put her kids in full-time daycare and they would have grown up just the same-- except it wouldn't have been the same and she wouldn't have had the same impact in her sons' lives as she did. It's easy to think the grass is always greener somewhere else, but she doesn't realize how important what she did at home was.

If you love your PT job and enjoy the challenge it gives you, great! If you want to stay home full-time instead, great. But DON'T listen to this lady. She has a very narrow view of what's important in life.

Nichole said...

Thanks for your comments. I read a really good rebuttal today. And you're SO RIGHT: this is a prime example of where the world gets it very wrong. And where the values of the world diverge heavily from what's really important.

The reason my career is stalled is because I've put it on hold and passed up opportunities that would take me away from my ultimate goal of staying home. I understand she didn't count the costs, but there are costs for the alternative too. The more I've read it, the more I realize her reasoning is flawed flawed flawed.

I'm kind of sick of the renewed mommy-wars debate lately (FB chick, Yahoo chick, and this one). I feel like something fundamental is always missing from what these women are putting out there and you've hit it right one: gospel perspective. Career is NOT the most important thing we will ever do; being a mother IS.

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