My husband and I have a 1 ½ year old little girl. After she was born, I knew I should be staying home with her, but tuned you and my conscience out. I thought that simply reducing my working hours was enough, because she would be with my mother-in-law and not in day care. I was haunted by my choice. And even though I was still spending more time at home than most working moms, I was miserable. I couldn’t listen to your radio show anymore and I couldn’t discuss the topic with my mother.
I am a high school teacher but work for an educational program that seeks to help teens who would be first generation in their family to attend college. I work with the same group of kids for four years and I know how profound a difference there is between children with a parent who raised them as opposed to a day care. Each summer these kids attend a 6 week program, and during that time my work hours are 6am to 9pm. A girl in our program sat next to me one evening and said, “I wish you were my mom. Your daughter is really lucky.” I couldn’t respond. All I could think was, “No, honey, if I was your mom you would never see me because I would be here.” With that thought running through my mind I left the room, called my husband and in tears told him I couldn’t do this anymore, and I resigned shortly thereafter.
It has been a month since that phone call and here is how my life has changed: I took a vacation to be with my family. My husband and I looked at our finances to see what we would trim so I could stay home. I amped up my small at-home business and realized I could still make an income during nap time and in the evenings. My husband has said how proud he is of me, that he loves me, and that I’m doing the right thing.
Thank you for being the voice that my mother listened to, and thank you for being the voice my husband and I needed to hear.
(My Husband’s Girlfriend and My Daughter’s Mother)