If you are a long time reader of this blog you know that I was laid off a week or so after my son was born. I lined up a job that was set to begin when he turned six months, but as the start date of my new position approached I had a change of heart.
After an inseparable six months I simply wasn’t ready to hire a nanny to watch him while I worked. It was an extremely difficult decision to make. I didn’t have the contact number for my hiring manager so I sat on the living room couch and typed up an email to him. As tears streamed down my face I gathered up a box of tissues and attempted to explain the predicament I was facing. While the job paid more than the one I’d been laid off from and the opportunity to learn new technology was enticing I just wasn’t ready to part from my son.
I’ll never forget my husband shaking his head as he watched me typing. “Most women would be thrilled with the opportunity to stay home”, he said, “why are you crying?” I cried over the decision itself, over the idea that I would be dependent on my husband, on the fact that I didn’t know how or when I would find work again. I cried because I wasn’t sure that it was the right decision and because I hate making decisions as I always worry about the outcomes of whatever I decide.
I cried because this felt like a momentous occasion. I had worked all my life and couldn’t imagine not earning a paycheck. I qualified for a six month severance package when I left my job, so for those first few months I technically felt like I was still earning a living.
I read that email at least ten or fifteen times. Then I read it to my husband. He assured me that it sounded good. That it explained my predicament and that it was okay to click the send button. I looked down at the button, reread the email one more time and then clicked send.
Unlike all of the other decisions in my life I never second guessed this one. I decided that where there is a will there is a way and when the time comes I will find work again. I gave in to the fact that I will be dependent on my husband and embraced the idea of staying home with my son. On the very day I was set to start my new job my son learned to crawl and I was right there, front and center, to witness it.
A year later I can look back and say that this has been the most magical year of my life. It’s amazing to watch my child grow and learn right before my eyes. He began as a little lump with clenched fists who preferred being swaddled and bundled into a little ball. These days he prefers exploring to snuggling. He walks around the yard unassisted and barely holds my hand as we walk down the street to explore the neighborhood. He is inquisitive and bright. He loves to turn pages and read. He sings to himself when he thinks no one is listening. He hides behind our ottoman for a daily dose of peek-a-boo.
He loves people of all ages and races. He smiles at everyone he meets and has recently started giggling to himself for what appears to be no reason at all. Unlike other babies his age he appears to have no fear of strangers. At a football game you can pass him right down the aisle and he’ll play with everyone he meets.
I know that a lot of women love their jobs. I know others who simply can’t afford to stay home and I respect every woman’s decision no matter what the reason. As for me I can’t imagine living my life any other way than the way I do now. This has been the most magical year of my life and I feel grateful and fortunate for every moment of it!