I always said that I wish I had the choice; the choice to work outside the home, or the choice to be a stay at home work. Because when you have a choice, you naturally have to accept responsibility for that choice, right or wrong. And if you make the wrong choice for you, well you can always change it. When you don't have a choice, you lack control, and often the ability to make necessary changes. That feels lousy.
I have never had the choice. I may have, at times when things were REALLY hard to manage, felt resentment about that. But I have recently made a startling revelation. I am thankful I never had the choice. I don't know what decision I would have made. It would have been very tempting to stay home. It's so hard to leave the kids when they are so little. And that time goes by SO fast. It's not that it would have been a bad decision. But I don't know that it would have been the right decision for me. I'm not sure I would have been a very good stay at home mom. Some women AMAZE me. I am in awe of how well they do their jobs as a stay at home mom. And I do believe it is a job - albeit it a largely underpaid job. I have also seen many stay at home moms turn their personal passions into profitable careers - some, almost by accident.
I am starting to get ready to start a new job. An opportunity I would have never had if I had not been working. And though I am stressed about how I will continue to manage the demands of my home life, with the demands of a new job, I feel a sense of accomplishment for getting to where I am. It's kind of like going to the gym - you hate to go. In fact you dread it. But once you get into the routine and start seeing results, you become self-motivated in a way you weren't initially. And that motivation propels you to march on.
The time will come, not so far from now, when I will have the choice. But I think given the past, it will be a much easier choice for me to make.