Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When Are You Going Back To Work?

"When are you going back to work?" is a question that most stay at home mom's face, in my experience, on a fairly regular basis. It may be followed by the brilliant comment "because you certainly didn't go to college and get a degree to sit at home and raise kids."

It's true that I wasn't planning on being a stay at home mom when I got my degree in political science. After I graduated I went to work for a non-profit lobby group in Berkeley and was then hired by the CIA's clandestine service (I'll try and write a blog on this sometime, because it was a crazy experience). I had big plans.

And then I met my husband and all the plans that I'd made went out the window. I'd found the love of my life and my vocation. I never moved to D.C. We married and built a little cabin in the middle of no where instead. A year later I was pregnant.

We had always talked about having a big family, but the news that there was a little one on the way was still shocking. Our lives were about to change, even more drastically. There was no question that I would be a stay at home mom. I had been working at our local newspaper as a sports writer. I resigned right before Sadie was born, at the end of baseball season.

The idea that I should go to work, simply so that I can have a career and pay someone else to watch my children, is kind of crazy. What career could possibly be as rewarding as guiding her little, brilliant mind as it grows and develops? How could I possibly trust that job to someone else?

My experience coaching cheerleading at a local school solidified my ideas about homeschooling. The youngest girls on my team were involved in stuff most of the girls I went to college with wouldn't have even talked about, much less done. I didn't want that kind of information thrust on my children at a young age. They'll have more then enough time to grow up when they're at an age when they should be growing up. There's no reason to rush the experience!

Many women have to work to support their families. We've given up the things that we consider luxuries, so that I can raise our children full time.

And so yes, in the end, I did go to school so that someday I could be a mom. I'm rather sure I'll use most of the things that I was taught as my little ones grow to love learning.


  1. I heard Voddie Bauchum say once that it's what he calls "wife swap": I get someone else's wife to work for me and raise my kids, so that my wife can go work for someone other guy. It's crazy the way the world thinks about it, isn't it? I'd love to hear your CIA job story. I considered that once myself. I didn't get nearly as far as you did.

  2. I'm not even married and have kids yet and I got the same response when I told my mom I want to be a SAHM. She was like "Well then, why'd you go to college?" Of course at the time I didn't know I'd meet my future husband at college. And I didn't know I'd become even more conservative and a Catholic at that!

    I think getting a college education even if you plan on being a SAHM is important. What if something horrible were to happen to the father of your children? Then you'd have to work to provide. There's always the unseen circumstance that could happen. And I do agree, I'm sure there's much that I learned while in college that I can use to teach my children someday.

  3. I am really happy to have found your blog and read this post. It gives me a lot of inspiration to read about someone who has the same convictions that I do -just with more bravery! It takes a lot of gumption to share the love you have for your vocation as a wife and mother. When I was getting ready to go to medical school, I was startled to realize that I wanted to spend my life making a home instead. When people say that you should "do something" with your education they assume that the purpose of education is one of utility. I would counter that education is for the development of the human person. My husband and I are finally getting to the place where we are ready to trust providence and go for having a child that I will stay home with and living on his grad student income. Everyone will think we are crazy if I leave my well-paying job in this situation; it is nice to know that there is someone out there who would not.

  4. Thanks! I'm really only this brave online. In real life I'm pretty quiet! And I haven't talked about the stuff on here yet that would really make the people I know think that I'm crazy, like NFP (I've been thinking about a blog on that for a while, but haven't gotten around to it). We don't even talk about it around my family because they would think I'd lost my mind! I definitely think you're making a great decision for your future children by staying home! Now that I have Sadie I can't imagine leaving her. That makes defending the decision so much easier!

    It really sounds like we're in about the same spot. It's tough to make due on a grad school income (that's what we're doing too!) but there's always the light at the end of the tunnel when they graduate!

  5. "Many women have to work to support their families. We've given up the things that we consider luxuries, so that I can raise our children full time."

    That's it in a nutshell ~ many parents today are not prepared to pull the belt in a little tighter when they have kids, but want all the luxuries a two-income family brings. I was saying this to my husband yesterday...back in the 50s women didn't work after they married, and people managed. Plus children then weren't overwhelmed with expensive toys and gadgets and played outdoors, for free, most of the time! You and others like you (such as my own daughters) are keeping a way of life going that would otherwise be lost. It is a godly calling :¬)
    Mrs.P xx


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