Dear Lady Who Sat Next to Me at Swim Lessons,
1) I actually LIKED my job before becoming a SAHM
2) I was pretty darn GOOD at my job before becoming a SAHM
3) I didn't chose to be a SAHM because I had no career, no skills, and no other options
4) Being a SAHM was a willing sacrifice, not a plan B
5) Of course becoming a FT SAHM at 23 involved some paradigm shifting, rethinking, and redirecting of my goals.
6) That shift, however, was not because of oppression, but because of the exact opposite...the opportunity to choose to stay home.
Additionally, I don't want you to say how being a SAHM is "great, but it's so not for me. I could never do that. You are so wonderful that you can do that. I love my career too much. I love my job so much. I could never quit my job. We need the money. We couldn't live without my paycheck. " All of that may be true-but lay off the condescension. Are you trying to make me feel OK about staying at home or are you trying to make yourself feel better about working FT?
Guess what? I thought I would have a couple more years in my career, but when I found out I was pregnant and would have a child, I knew for me and what I believe, I knew that staying home with him, no matter the cost to my career/lifestyle was top priority. Living on a dime, not spending money on frivolous things, learning to live on one income, putting off career goals until another phase of life, it was all a choice. Lots of women wish they could stay home but have to work. I believe being a SAHM is a privilege.
And guess what else? I have lots of friends (actual people) who work FT and raise their children. I do not just hang with a bunch of "mommies" who have nothing to do except talk about how many diapers they have changed that day. Really.
I was talking to a teacher the other day who had a baby in the Fall. All she could talk about was how she wished she was at home, playing with her new baby. She couldn't wait until the bell rang to let her go home. She dreamed about being able to make it work so she be home with her baby all the time. I was. I am. And I feel blessed to have been around for all the bumps, bruises, crazy, manic, sad, lonely, exhilarating, hysterical, bonding, loving, playful, fun, hair-pulling, joyful days. You don't have to try and make me feel good about my decision to stay home. I am pro-choice and this is what I chose.