I’ll Never Regret Being A Stay-at-Home Mom
There have been many times since I got divorced that I questioned how smart my decision was to be a stay-at-home mom while married. Cause in leaving the workforce for seven years, I not only left a gap on my professional resume, it left a hole in my self-worth. And when I divorced, I felt so vulnerable and stupid for my choice, I swore I would never be financially dependent on a man again…
Today, having reentered the workforce for almost four years , I can smilingly say that in the end, I have absolutely no regrets for my choice to stay at home for as long as I did. Nor do I regret in any way, the career sacrifices I made AFTER I got divorced so I could stay focused on my kids: Yes, it was REALLY tough being a full-time parent AND working crazy full-time hours into the wee hours of night. Yes, there were times when I felt ‘doing it all’ was going to undo me.
But I really see the pay-off for my choice – it’s right there in front of me on the faces of my children. I see happy, secure, well-adjusted, well-mannered kids with a solid sense of self-worth and kind and empathetic hearts. And I know they wouldn’t be this way if I hadn’t made the choices and sacrifices I did, through all the good times and bad these past eleven years.
Many of you reading this may be in a tough place on your divorce journey right now. Maybe you’re scrambling to ‘do it all’ like I did. Maybe your ex is giving you a hard time with co-parenting. Maybe you worry every night about how you’re going to pay the bills AND parent your children in the way you want/expect of yourself…
And I just want to remind you your life won’t always be this way: the chaos, the enormity of the demands, the stress, the fear, the worry… when we’re eyeball-deep in those stages, it can be downright impossible to envision a rosy future.
But as I’ve learned, our so very needy ‘little ones’ DO grow up; I’ve gone from having three toddlers in diapers to having three in school full-time. That reality leaves me in somewhat of a daze - how did it happen so fast when it seemed so long?
Difficult exes grow up too (smile). Perhaps not along the timeline we’d wished. Perhaps not ever to full adulthood. But relationships with exes usually metamorphose, as well; it can be wonderfully unexpected.
But the greatest part of all is that WE grow up - or perhaps a better way of putting it is ‘we grow upwards.’ Cause through the insane demands of single parenting, navigating a divorce AND working, we are forced into stretching into more; into fully examining and also honoring our values, our self-worth, our courage and our passions.
And then…then one day ‘it’ will just happen: you’ll suddenly realize, with the biggest smile ever, that “Damn - I just got through something horrific . AND I did a really good job by my kids.”
No…(smile). I’ve no regrets for having chosen to be a stay-at-home for seven years.