Last night, it hit me... What have we DONE? There is a person growing in my belly and we can't give it BACK! Up until yesterday, I've been alternately excited out of my mind or complacent about the whole thing. Then about 18 hours ago, the panic struck. What am I thinking? I can't be a Stay at Home Mom! I like Starbucks too much! How am I going to get my venti no whip hot chocolate on the way to work if I don't drive to work? There's no drive-thru in my hallway! How will I know how to act during the day if I'm not wearing heels? How will I introduce myself? I don't even like the term Stay at Home Mom, but I haven't found a suitable alternative.
Here's my problem: In theory, I believe that staying home with the kids is noble and selfless and beautiful. But now that my days as a working woman are numbered, I'm beginning to fear (correctly, I've heard) that this new career will be frustrating, mundane, and unglamorous. And it's not really taking care of the punk that I'm worried about. It's managing the household. Is it really possible to feel fulfilled when your primary responsibilities require no resume, no degree, no references?
Our society puts a lot of pressure on women and the choices they make about their families. McCain's running mate Sarah Palin has brought this issue to the forefront for many people. Can a woman contribute her time, talents, and energy to a career and still be a good mom? Can she be a leader in her community and still be the kind of leader that her kids need her to be to them? Can she volunteer to help people in need and still give her family a stable, happy home life?
All my life, I've planned to stay home with my kids. My mom stayed home with me and I had a wonderful childhood. I distinctly remember walking in the door from school and being greeted with the aroma of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. She volunteered for my school's PTA. We always had dinner together as a family. When I got a migraine, I knew she'd be available to pick me up and take care of me at home. I want to give my kids a stable, loving environment at home in order to help them develop the confidence and talents necessary to carry them through the rest of their lives. See? Doesn't that sound fabulous? But when it comes right down to it, I know that most of my time will be spent cleaning up messes, feeding little bellies, and being a chauffeur for the next 100 years.
Is it really possible to be satisfied with one's life as a Stay at Home Mom? (And is there a better title?)