So I thought that I’d give a little more information about myself and my family, especially considering I only put up a tiny little blurb in the “about” section. I have a Bachelors Degree in Mathematical Sciences and a Masters Degree in Mathematics Education. I was a high school math teacher for 5 years and I can say “was” because I officially resigned this past week. When I had my daughter last April, my husband and I made the decision that I would take advantage of my contract and take a parental leave of absence for this school year. By March 1, I had to let the district know whether or not I planned on returning, and we made the decision that I would stay home with Audrey.
When I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to be able to resign and be home with my child. I thought it would be nothing but happy feelings, but when I actually wrote my resignation letter and the good-bye email that I sent out to the staff, I surprised myself by feeling a bit sad. I was anticipating resigning for so long, yet the time had finally come when I was closing the book on that part of my life.
With that being said, I am more than happy that I am able to stay home with my daughter and my future children, but it was not simply because we are “lucky.” My husband and I have been planning on having kids together since before we were even married. We knew we wanted a house and kids, and I knew that I wanted to stay home and be the one to raise my children. So we made a lot of decisions, financial and otherwise, based on that. We didn’t buy the most expensive house; in fact, we wouldn’t be in the neighborhood we are in had we not gotten our house as a short sale. We saved a lot. I taught an extra class or two at the community college. We paid off our car loan and for a few years, only had one car (Marcus biked to work pretty much every. single. day.). Shoot, we even had only internet service and watched TV online through Hulu and the network websites. No Hulu Plus or Netflix accounts even. And we waited. We got married and didn’t start trying to have a baby until we knew we were ready — ready mentally and financially. Add to that the fact that even now, as a “stay at home mom,” I teach a class at the community college and tutor several students throughout the week. So, no, it wasn’t luck that let me stay home with my daughter; it was planning.
Yes, I understand that the last paragraph was a bit of a rant, but you wouldn’t believe how many times people say something along the lines of “Oh, you’re so lucky that you can do that!” Sometimes it is said earnestly and sincerely, but sometimes I can hear that slight tinge in their voice that tells their real feelings. I understand that some people just cannot be stay at home moms even if they wanted to, and I feel for those women, I know some of those women. But I also know that some who say they can’t probably can, but are not willing to make some of the necessary sacrifices that go along with being a stay at home mom. And guess what? THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. We all do what is best for ourselves and our families, and we shouldn’t have to face the constant judgement we do from our peers: other women.
Man, are we women hard on each other. We are judgmental, pushy, bossy, and snobby. And I include myself, even though I’d like to be able to say I’m above all that. But let’s be real, I find myself critiquing THE MOM just as much as the next lady. You know, THE MOM is the one who not only makes everything homemade, but only uses the purest ingredients. Even though she makes all that, her kitchen is spotless, along with the rest of her house and family. Her kids are perfectly well behaved and never throw temper tantrums, and her husband is as helpful and romantic as any leading many in the latest rom-com. Well….I do make a lot of homemade food…but I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to cleaning, I suck as a homemaker, and the hubs is not quite the neatest person in the world. Some days it bugs me how much dust is all over the furniture and how my long hair and the dog’s hair sits in little clumps in the corners of the room. I get a bit irritated at having to wash dishes about 52 times per day (yes, we do have a dishwasher, but not everything goes in there!), and I definitely don’t clean the bathroom as often as I should. But eh, it’s alright. My dirty house will be here tomorrow for me to clean. So, to quote my good friend and neighbor, Mandi, rock on, THE MOM. You’ve mastered something I have yet to do and just might never get around to doing.
Long post/rant DONE! But P.S. stop on over to Mandi’s blog at mandishouse.blogspot.com for some good eats and fun treats! She’s the one that inspired me to start a blog 🙂