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Friday, May 11, 2007


Hi, I’m Chrystie. I’m a stay-at-home-mom.

Blech. I hate the way that sounds. And then I hate that I hate it. WHY do I cringe when those words are forced out of my mouth? Do I, somewhere in the depths of my heart, feel as though working at home as a mom is inferior to having a “bona fide” career? Do I feel as if I’ve sold out to motherhood, because I never pictured myself staying at home to raise my kids?

When I was planning out my perfect future, it never included staying home with my kids for more than the allotted maternity leave. After all, that’s what day care is for! Of course, my future family consisted of two perfectly healthy children (2 boys, I’m sure!), and a super-high paying job which allowed me fabulous flexible hours.

I suppose this is part of REVISING THE DREAM. And revising the stay-at-home mom stigma that protrudes my mind.

God made me Ellie’s mom for a reason. When Richard and I decided to make babies, we acknowledged the fact that our children’s health and happiness would automatically supersede our own. We signed up for the “what if’s” and for the sacrifices. The “what if” became a “what now”, and the sacrifices intensified.

As I write this, I’m struck by the fact that in my heart, I consider staying home with Ellie a sacrifice. The definition of a sacrifice is this:

“the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.”

I am surrendering the prize of climbing up the corporate ladder, and going to work with adults five days per week. Is that REALLY a prize? Perhaps the prize is fulfilment. To be honest, I have yet to feel the same fulfilment being at home with Ellie as I did when in the workforce. I realize that the fruit of my labour is found in 30lbs of a giggling, almost-crawling little being, which can sometimes feel intangible. Therefore, my fulfilment won’t EVER be the same as it was in corporate world. The measuring sticks are different. The prizes are of unproportioned values.

I’m writing about this today because I feel as though I’ve come to a bit of a crossroads. I said that I wanted to stay home with Ellie until she was two. Well, guess what? She’s two. And my heart is yearning, albeit timidly, to be back in the paid workforce. I will be the first one to admit that some of the desire is financially based. I’d like to have granite countertops. I’d like to go to Hawaii. I’d like to buy another baby. All things that would be really difficult without a second income. The other part of me, of course, is wanting to feel smart at the end of the day. To hang up the office phone and smile, because the words that came out of my mouth during a teleconference were articulate and strong. To converse with adults during the day, about things that are unrelated to poopy diapers and sippy cups.

Yet, I know that I can’t just apply for a job, kick some arse in an interview, and start working in two weeks. Not only are the logistics of child care and transportation to and from therapy sessions a major issue, but so are the questions of relying on SOMEONE ELSE to ensure that my daughter receives enough attention, and mobility encouragement (ie: home therapy) to keep her happy and healthy.

I don’t know what it’s like to parent a typical child, but in the midst of my selfishness, I can’t help but think these issues are so much easier. I wouldn’t have to worry about the other toddlers in daycare stepping over or running into my non-mobile daughter. I wouldn’t have to stress about finding someone trustworthy to drive my kid 45 minutes one way to therapy on Tuesday mornings. I wouldn’t have to wonder if a caregiver was stretching her hamstrings enough, or remembering to do her balance exercises every day.

…for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim…

My Ellie has SUCH a higher claim. Regardless of whether I continue to stay at home with her, or if I go back to a paying job, I will sacrifice for her. Because her claim reaches to the sky. I know in my heart that God will work it out. His claim on Ellie AND ME is even higher and more pressing than mine will ever be.

I just wish these decisions were a little easier, that’s all.


Kristy said...
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Kristy said...

Those first paragraphs are exactly how I feel. I struggle every day with the fact that I stay home and don't "contribute" to the family.