I've had a heavy heart - yes, I do have an icy, shriveled-up one in here somewhere - reading how many of you have also struggled with feelings of guilt over whichever "work while having kids or not" solution you've come up with. All of us parents deal with guilt, but specifically, a number of you stay-at-home parents have described feelings of guilt over not pursuing a career, guilt over enjoying staying at home, guilt at "not contributing anything" to a marriage (I detest even typing that one, it's so full of NO), guilt at spending any money on yourself, guilty guilty guilty GUILT.
Phew. That's a lot of guilt, Pretties.
I don't know how, but of all the many (MANY) things I like to worry about, I feel fortunate that this particular form of guilt hasn't gotten to me - yet. Though I've been irked with the judgment of others about my stay-at-home decision, once the Anoymous Husband and I made that choice, I like to think that we've owned it. I've selfishly struggled with the ego hit of no longer having a fancy pants lawyer title, but I haven't for a second felt guilty about shelving a career that ultimately wasn't right for me, in favor of one that is absolutely right for my family.
|I feel no guilt in taking care of this full time. I just don't. Worry, yes - guilt, no.|
As far as society, there are people who will mock us for whatever we decide, whatever their motivation is for doing so. I type this knowing that there are plenty who will read and roll their eyes at me here. I can't control what others think of my decisions, but I can control the decision itself; you may not like my choices, but that doesn't mean they are wrong. Easier said than done, of course, but there's comfort in that.
If there is to be any guilt, let it be that there are parents who would like a different situation, whether that be finding a job outside the home or staying in it (BECAUSE I AM FINE WITH WHATEVER YOU DECIDE, AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME SAY OTHERWISE, NEENER NEENER PUMPKIN EATER!!!), and can't afford it or otherwise find a way to make that change. I'm not sure I can do anything about that aside from hate it, but I do. Would that we could find a way to help families emotionally and financially reach the right decision for them.
As we set off for the weekend, I waive my magic wand - which is pink and sparkly, obvs. - and declare this a guilt-free zone. Let's own our choices to work outside of the home or not, society be hanged. I wish I could spare all of us the agony of worrying what others think about that right choice.
This job is awesome, even when it isn't. It is, and I say that guilt free. Pinky swear.