Such a simple statement to describe a decision that was anything but.
I always assumed that I would work. For a long time, I didn't think I'd ever have kids, and I was okay with that. I'm a firm believer in making your own happiness and not depending on others to give your life meaning and fulfillment. But as I got older, the idea of children wasn't quite so... scary. Still, I figured if I ever did have kids, I would be a working mom. After all, I invested quite a lot of time and effort in my education and I wanted to put it to good use.
Even after I got pregnant and was surfing the tsunami of hormones, I knew I would continue to teach after my maternity leave was up. I am, after all, a Modern Woman, and I wanted my daughter to see that it is possible to work and have a family. Countless women before me had fought hard for the progress I now enjoy, and it's my responsibility to keep pushing forward so that Little Roo can inherit a better world, one where women aren't dismissed and discounted on the basis of their gender.
And then I gave birth.
Little Roo has been a revelation. Before, she was this abstract idea and I had no trouble imagining how I would fit her into the 'baby' slot in my life. She would simply be an addition, much like the attic addition to our house. We would adjust, but life would go on much as before.
Let me pause here so that the parents reading this can finish laughing.
Naive doesn't even begin to describe my pre-parent thinking, but that's okay. I don't think there really is a way to imagine just how much life changes after your baby is born. Needless to say, Little Roo has completely transformed my life. The best way to describe it is a metamorphosis--going from caterpillar to butterfly. It's a one-way street, and you can never go back to not being a parent.
Not that I want to.
Anyway, the more I get to know this amazing little human, the more my work life faded in importance. Never in a million years did I think I would *want* to stay home with a drooling, non-verbal, incontinent creature, and yet I can't bear to be apart from her. I figured I would be counting down the days until I got to go back to work, but I found myself counting down the days until I would have to go back to work. The thought of leaving her broke my heart, and I'm just not strong enough to do it,
So after much discussion, Mister and I decided that I won't.
It's going to be a big change for us, that's for sure. And the decision has been a little bittersweet, because I truly did love my teaching job. I worked with some amazing people, and I am going to miss seeing them every day.
But in the end, I know we made the right choice for our family. And in addition to taking care of Little Roo, I'm also going to be able to call myself a full-time writer for the first time in my life. Scary? Yes. But also exhilarating.
My daughter will still learn that it is possible to work and have a family--I've come to realize I don't have to leave the house to show her that. And I know I will still be teaching, even if I never set foot in another classroom again.
My life has changed direction (again!) but I'm not disappointed. On the contrary, it's exciting, this new road we've chosen.
I can't wait to see where it takes us.
Vikki and now hosted by Lexa Cain, and it's one of my favorite blogging things to do. I encourage you to check out her blog and the full list of participants, because who doesn't love reading about good things?