The Hero and I had a really hard talk two years ago when we brought home The Angel and The Dinosaur. I'm sure lots of other couples have had the same one.
"To stay at home with the kids or go back to work?"
There is a part of my femininity that may be missing, because this wasn't a difficult question for me to answer. I practically ran back to the office. I had been practicing law almost five years when the kids came home, and I was good at it. Law school wasn't cheap and I amassed more student loan debt than The Hero's mortgage on his first house. There was no way we could afford for me to stay home. Spending three weeks away from the office also revealed another horrible character flaw: I am a work-aholic. I love it.
This may be why making and keeping new girlfriends has always proved challenging for me. It's hard for me to admit that I like being at the office. That my brain lights up and ignites best when legal theories and paperwork abound. And also I think many women I meet would only judge this career choice as a character flaw. They might believe that because I work outside the home, that I am not a good mom. And let's face it, I don't need any help beating myself up about my faults.
I also have much guilt over this new personality development. I often lament my failures as a mother, sometimes on an hourly basis. Maybe we all do. Most days as I pull away from daycare, I groan that I couldn't give my kids a better mother. One who hadn't spent most of her twenties vying for grades and racking up debt. But in my spirit I know that staying at home with The Dinosaur would leave us both unfulfilled and unchallenged. He needs WAY more social interaction that one mama can give him. The boy is busy and the more kids around, the more he loves it.
And you know what?
It actually feels good to say that out loud (or in print).
I may never stay at home.
But that doesn't mean I don't adore my mama friends who stay at home. Most of the time I want to constantly immulate them.
And that doesn't mean they don't love me, even trekking it to the office every day. Even when I don't return their phone calls for a few days.
Some times ladies, I think the debate about whether or not we are good enough, or doing a good enough job in motherhood and life in general, doesn't happen between us women,
It happens within ourselves.
Here's to learning to embrace the creatures God created us to be, with the love that He shows us, no matter where He calls us to spend most of our days.