Never grow a wishbone daughter, where your backbone ought to be — Clementine Paddleford
When I was little, I never imagined a life where I would be staying at home raising one, yet alone four daughters. When adults would ask what do you want to be when you grow up, I often replied, Have a career! Then Livia was born, and then the triplets came along, and I never asked myself if I should be doing something else. It just made too much sense to me that I should be raising them. I have little care for individuals who tell me, I’d rather not be you. Or if I were you, I’d rather go to work. I never understand their pity because I made this choice very consciously and quite happily. I am not sitting around wondering if I should have made a different choice, or regretting if I am losing what little youth I have left to motherhood.
I am also not delusional: everyday is very difficult, thankless and repetitive. I worry plenty that my children will grow up to only view me as a household manager, even though I have lived a significant part of my life outside of the household doing many other things. I fear that when I am ready to re-enter the work force that people have little respect for what I have chosen to do with my early thirties. I also wonder how much potential income I have lost that can perhaps be used for my daughters’ futures because I choose to stay at home. Just the other day I asked my friend, should I have worked? I could have bought a bigger house for the girls – they might need the space when they are older. She replied: All the money saved by not being in mortgage debt, you can buy them books. My friends are cool like that.
Still, I know that whatever decision I made three years ago, even if that might have been deciding to work, it came from the purest and best intentions for all four of them. So parents who choose to stay at home, or to work, or to stay at home and work from home, how can you say all that hard work you put in for your family can ever be the wrong decision?