Sunday, January 3, 2016

Why I'm Quitting Stay-At-Home-Mom

Standing near the produce at the Food Lion grocery store when I was eight, my mom promised me, "If you go to college, I'll pay for every cent." Deal.

And now, I'm standing in front of my life choices, watching them play out in slow motion. What the hell have I done?

Fortunately, I went to college and earned a BS in Communications with a minor in music. Unfortunately, I was a full-believing Mormon and that meant I was expected to stay home to raise my children. The Mormon church says you have a choice, but they mostly teach that being a SAHM gives your children the best chance to avoid sin, return to God and live with you forever. That's a lot of pressure. (And now I sound nuts. But this was all I knew—I was raised Mormon.)

It wasn't just the Mormon church delivering this message. Sociologists, Baby Center and Dr. Laura all praised the efforts and results yielded by stay-at-home moms. These children were more well-adjusted. These children were more confident. These children were more successful in life. And, most importantly, these children wouldn't risk abuse or neglect that can sometimes occur in childcare settings (some of which I experienced myself growing up in at-home childcare).

I now have three children. A few months ago, I studied and realized the Mormon beliefs don't hold a candle to the mounds of historical evidence and documents available today, most of which the Mormon church owns but brushes under the rug. (I'm still a little pissed, to be honest.) And I'm staring at my babies realizing, I wouldn't have chosen this—yet.

I would have chosen to secure my career first, family second. But for many, family never comes. And I already have one. I did it a little backwards but I have a feeling I scored the most valuable thing first. 

My youngest is still a little younger than I'd like for daycare—she's almost 2. And I don't want her in daycare all day. But, jeez, I'm an awful mom. The depression of being home all day—feeling useless, not connecting with adults—it's paralyzing to me. I envy women who love it.

And though I'm a little off track career-wise, the good news is, now, I don't have to worry if I will ever have kids. Now, I don't have to worry about the eternal consequences of working. Now, what I do have to worry about is whether or not my degree is still viable.

Back to work for this lady. I miss it!


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