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I recently came across this article about how childless women judge working moms. I admit – I’m completely guilty of this. In fact, when we found out we were expecting Ari, one of my fears was how this unexpected pregnancy was going to affect my career. Even long before our unexpected pregnancy, I would think to myself “If I ever end up pregnant, I would still want to work full time. How could anyone want to give up something so fulfilling as working outside of the home?”
Even after Ari was born, I looked forward to going back to work. Sure, not right away. I definitely enjoyed my maternity leave. Well, scratch that – I loved the fact that I didn’t have to juggle work and getting absolutely zero sleep for three months. And having the holidays off didn’t hurt, that’s for sure.
But I looked forward to going back to work. I remember it being more sweet than bitter. I wanted to be around real talking human beings. I mean, I had it rough at home — Ari was colicky for months and months. He refused to sleep and spent most of the day (probably 20 out of 24 hours) screaming and crying. It was awful. So I practically RAN back to work. Seriously.
That feeling lasted for months after I went back to work. And shortly after Ari started sleeping through the night, something started to change. And not just the feeling of being semi-rested; but something in me started to ache to spend more time with Ari.
And that’s part of what prompted me to change my position at work for a job that provided me with more daytime hours with Ari. My work day started at 2pm instead of 8am which gave me plenty of time to have lazy mornings with him. And for a while, that was fulfilling enough. Sure, that meant I had to give up Saturdays to work instead of spending it with Chad and Ari. But the benefits outweighed that con.
Over the last year, perhaps after Ari started becoming less of a baby and more of a toddler, things have majorly shifted for me.
I also think it would make me happier if I was able to be that kind of mom who stayed at home with Ari. But I know that this is not in the cards for us; it’s not something that is financially possible. At least not at this time.
I just can’t believe I’m now this person. I can’t believe I judged working moms for feeling this way. I’ve verbalized this judgment over and over again before having Ari; and for that, I feel incredibly guilty.
A girl I work with has been known to say the same types of things that I used to say about not being able to even imagine NOT wanting to work. It took everything I had to bite my tongue. I knew my words were useless with her. She would never believe me. She would never believe how much a little person could change someone so much. She would never believe how I, the same person who never ever wanted to have a child, could have so drastically changed my outlook on childrearing.
I don’t know if there’s a purpose to this post other than to just put it out there into the universe. Maybe it’s so that I can keep focused on my main goal, which is to be in a position where I can spend my time focused on my family and our household. However, in the meantime, my family will always, always, be first. Chad and Ari are the only things that are important to me; everything else is secondary — everything else is replaceable. But those two? Irreplaceable. And they are my absolute everything.