Whenever I meet new people, one of the first questions asked is, “What do you do?” Sometimes, I catch the other person off guard and can hear an audible gasp when I tell them that I am a stay at home mom.
The gasp is often followed by patronizing almost sarcastic sounding comments like “That is the hardest job of all!” or “I think it is so nice that there are still stay at home moms.” Afterwards, the subject is quickly changed and never mentioned again.
This is not one of those articles that argues the pros and cons of being a stay at home mom. While there are many, I became a stay at home mom because it is currently what works for my family. I support any mother’s decision to do what is right for themselves and their family.
While I’m proud of my current stint as a stay at home mom (Charlie survived and the house didn’t burn down), I do think about what I’m going to do when Charlie goes to school. The plan prior to Charlie’s birth feels like it was from another life and will no longer work. Is this a NICU mom issue or is it a general stay at home mom issue?
I realize that I have time to consider my array of options which currently range from obtaining my teaching certification to going to pharmacy school. However, I find my struggle with lack of direction further complicated by Charlie’s early arrival. My interests have been refocused and, in some cases, limited by necessity.
Maybe the thoughts about a future more distant than tomorrow is a sign that I am finally settling into our ordinary routine. Perhaps, I am moving past the initial trauma but continue to be a little lost. At times like these, I really wish there was a road map of how to proceed after a micropreemie birth.
What comes after being a stay at home mom or should I always be one? If I have a difficult time settling back into ordinary society, will reentering the workforce be more of a challenge? More importantly, what do I want to be when Charlie grows up?