Here on the blog, we usually talk about issues affecting women who work. Although it’s out of the ordinary, I thought I’d share a few snippets from the inaugural post of a stay at home mother, on her career journey and decision to leave the workforce. A former lawyer, she eloquently tells her tale, emphasizing that she’d always been a high achieving, ambitious woman.
On her decision to leave her law firm for good:
I don’t know exactly why or when, but at some point during those 18 weeks, I came to a certainty that I would not return to the firm. Part of it was the fact that my postpartum episode had made me realize how fragile I was. Could I handle the stress of big firm life again, with two children at home? And the childcare – could I trust a stranger again with both of my kids? There is no clear answer to these questions, and ostensibly, the answer could be yes. But, one night I stared at Carol’s sleeping face and knew the answer was no. The fact is, I am greedy. I wanted these kids all to myself, all the time. I didn’t want someone else to hang out with them all day, albeit just 3 days a week. I didn’t want conference calls and emails to interfere with my time with them when I was home. I just felt such a pull to be with them. And I listened to that, above all reason – despite the fact that doing so would mean giving up my career, at least temporarily, and a salary the likes of which I may never see again.
On feeling insecure about her new position as a jobless mother:
I think the loss in status is what has hit me the hardest so far. I never realized that I took such pride in being able to say that I was an attorney at a big firm. I still dread the day when I go to a work event with my husband and someone asks me what I do. I guess I am just not completely comfortable with the whole concept yet. But what really hit home was something that Jack said to me last week. We were talking about daddy and what daddy does and how daddy goes to work everyday as a lawyer. And then he literally said to me: “Mummy does laundry.” I sat there for a moment, shocked that this could very well be how my son viewed me. “It’s true, Mummy does do the laundry,” I said holding back tears. “But I do have a law degree.”
Have you considered becoming a stay at home mom, for a brief period or long term?