Before I had Henry I was impatient with the world, critical of myself and sometimes of others.
I thought stay-at-home moms had it easy. Worse yet, I thought they were devoid of interests beyond the confines of motherhood. I pictured them schlepping kids from Gymboree class to play dates, dressed in yoga pants and a pained smile. I pictured them chained to the kitchen, the SUV, the laundry basket and the obligatory spin class. I pictured them dutifully scheduling time for mommy pep rallies that celebrate the pleasantries of breastfeeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing and holistic nutrition. (Dear Earth Mamas: I see nothing wrong with these things. As topics of discussion, however, I find them boring.)
I thought I’d lose my identity as a stay-at-home-mom. I thought I’d compromise my self-worth and freedom. I thought I’d be resentful of my husband and pissed at myself for having failed at being a working mother: the ultimate wonder woman. I thought I’d be considered a disgrace to the radical feminists who came before me and a quitter to the overachieving, have-it-all multitaskers of my generation.
Leaving my job at the newspaper would mean I’d dropped a significant ball in the heroic juggling act that is regularly executed by the modern working mother. I’d be forced to rethink everything I thought I’d do or wouldn’t do as a parent, as if you really know these things before you bring a tiny, demanding, Bambi-eyed being into this world.
I was wrong about working mothers AND stay-at-home mothers. (As an aside, I was right about yoga pants.)