DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: We are very fortunate in that my husband makes enough money at his job for us to be able to stay on top of our monthly budget and even put some money away each month. For the first three years we were married, even after our daughter was born, I was also working fulltime, and while the money was really good, the stress and crazy-long commute were getting to me, especially considering I didn’t love my job. I felt like I barely had a life, since by the time I got home and we had a late dinner, there was no time with our baby, and there wasn’t much time for me and my husband during the week.
Since he got a big raise and a promotion nearly a year ago, my husband works longer days and more weekends. So we decided that it would be fine for me to stay home, take care of our baby, run the house, and have more time as a family by working around my husband’s schedule. We are also looking at adding to our family in the next year or two, and I would like to be able to continue being home fulltime, at least while our kids are little.
We really thought a lot before making this move, and we are at peace with it. My mother, however, thinks I’ve made a horrible mistake to give up my career. She knew I wasn’t happy in it, and that I always planned on being home with kids when they came along anyway. Almost every time we talk, or she and I get together, she hammers me with how she was able to do it all and is now a CEO with a big bank account and all the trimmings. She just doesn’t get what makes her happy was definitely not making me happy.
What do I do to convince my mom that there is no shame and no sellout to being a fulltime mother and homemaker? --- HAPPY AT HOME
DEAR HAPPY AT HOME: It sounds like you’re one of many young people who’ve decided to step out of the traditional work world to follow a different path. For some, “having it all” means finding your own balance, in your own way, outside of generally accepted and expected choices.
If your mom has always had a heavy focus on her career, it’s not surprising she has trouble understanding where you’re coming from. If you can demonstrate over time that you’re keeping busy and mentally challenged — which hopefully you are, for your own sake — she may relent. If not, work on agreeing to disagree as you each do what makes you happy.