Career vs. Stay at Home: How Did You Decide?
I was contacted a couple of months ago by a book publisher. I know. Me.
The email appeared as I was being forced to get jiggy with my daughter and her favorite movie, The 12 Dancing Princess. As I strained to read the email’s contents, Hadley reprimanded me I was not “keeping form��? with my pirouettes. This, from the girl who performed an impromptu solo at her dance recital.
The query came from a leading publisher in the outdoor industry. The company was looking for someone with a travel writing background to write a guidebook on hiking with children in Colorado.
I went through my mental checklist:
Hiking? Love it.
Children? Have them.
Colorado? Live there.
It was the perfect fit! Or was it? After the initial euphoria wore off, I sat down to weigh the pros and cons of accepting an assignment of this magnitude. And after a lot of self-reflection, my answer was no.
This still floors me. Ten years ago when I was hot on my career path, I would have jumped at such an opportunity.
Well, except that I was single and living in Utah so I likely would not have been a viable candidate.
When I got married, I made the decision to stay at home with my children. It was not something I always dreamed of doing but it was the right choice for me. My transition from a wanderlust life to a stay-at-home mom of a colicky newborn was not a smooth one.
But after four years, I have finally come into my own and have a pretty great gig. I freelance part-time from home, drag my kids on a new adventure every day, shower once a week and blog about poop. I am living the dream. Or at least my dream. And right now, I just don’t want to take on a gargantuan new project to mix everything up.
Women’s libbers say we can have it all. I do not believe that we can have it all at the same time. Life is give and take. For me, I cannot immerse myself in my career without falling short in other areas. This is not a pessimistic approach or a judgment against those who chose their careers over staying at home. This is my reality and I would not change it for the world.
Well, except for being forced to do all those pirouettes….
How did you decide whether to work or stay home with your children? Are you where you want to be?