Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A turning point

The weirdest thing happened to me at work this week.

I started training a new employee. For my job.

I’ve made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom.

If you had told me a few years ago that I would have turned my career upside down to take care of a baby, I would have laughed at you. That’s what they make daycare for, I thought.

But then Ladybug was born, and it no longer mattered that I had spent the last 20 years of my life preparing for and working in my dream job.

In the early days after my maternity leave, I’d cry when I’d leave Ladybug to go to work. She did too.

Then we got used to the routine. I’d grab my coffee, purse and car keys in the morning; she’d put my shoes next to the door. Ladybug would wait for me by the window at night, and wave and point as I’d pull into the driveway.

But as I got back into the swing of things at work, my days kept getting longer and longer. The fluctuating schedule that kept my job so interesting before was now a nightmare. Most of the time I’d leave for work before Ladybug was awake and I’d get home just as she was going to bed. There were weeks where the only time she’d get a bath was on the weekend.

Then I started missing milestones. It was days before I knew she had her first tooth, was saying her first words or was standing on her own.

But my fate was sealed the day my husband filmed Ladybug waiting for my return from work.

Every time a car passed in front of the house, Ladybug would run to the window and yell “Mama!” With each car that passed that wasn’t me, she became more exasperated, eventually working herself up into a full-blown crying frenzy. She wore herself out and was sound asleep before I ever got home.

I decided then that it was time to stay home.

Over the coming months I’ll be cutting back my hours until I’m no longer working. Sometimes I feel guilty for making this decision, like the other day when a colleague told me she had worked until midnight the night before and was likely going to be at the office late into the evening again that day.

Then I remembered Ladybug’s cries as she waited for me at the window and it all disappeared.


Blogger Major Mom said...

I think that is awesome. Really, really wonderful. You are being brave and doing what you need to do for both you and your daughter.

I think the best thing we can learn as mothers is that what's right for one person might not be right for another.

Figuring out what's right for you is your milestone. Congratulations.

June 21, 2007 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate it.

June 22, 2007 at 9:50 AM  

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