It’s the number one question that everyone always asks when they meet each other for the first time. It doesn’t matter where you are….at a going away, at a barbecue on base/post, at a spouse event, or even at those fun little parties (think Pampered Chef), this question is always the first one to pop up among fellow spouses.
Six years ago I would have answered, “I’m a case manager here in town for the elderly and mentally disabled.” My answer today is completely different.
“I’m a stay at home mom to our two young children…..and I LOVE it.”
I remember attending a birthday party on base a few years back and this very question came up among some of the women. When it was my turn to answer, I proudly told them. I was not expecting to see the reaction that a few of the ladies gave me. One in particular, seemed like she had it in for me the rest of the night. I would ask her a question pertaining to some activities on the base and she would respond in a snippy tone, “I don’t have time for things like that. I work!”
Now I ask you, was that comment really necessary? Maybe she just wasn’t having a good time or maybe my questions caught her off guard. One thing was for sure though, I made sure to sit on the opposite side of the room the rest of the evening.
The truth of the matter is, I do work. It may not be by what society deems as work, but it is work. Instead of being paid monetarily, I am being paid in hugs, kisses, and ‘mommy I love you’s’.
In my pre-children days, I was a working woman. A full time social worker/case manager. Yes, I do have my college degree…which should expel any rumors that most stay at home mom’s aren’t well educated. I have heard all of the stereotypes surrounding this lifestyle choice. Everything from we are all lazy to all we do is like to leech off our spouse’s paychecks to we just don’t want to better ourselves. And you know what? It makes me sick to stomach to hear it all. Why? Because it’s just not true (at least in my case).
I did go through an identity crisis while I was pregnant with my daughter. Most of the women I knew who were my age all had successful careers, some had families of their own, others were child-free. Regardless, all of them had paying jobs, outside of their homes. I felt the pressure to be just like them. To have it all…the career, the marriage, the kids, the house, etc.
That all went away after I held my baby girl in my arms. I knew right then and there that I wanted to be a stay at home mom and that nothing else in the world mattered. Two years after we had our daughter, we were blessed with our baby boy….and I have never looked back nor regretted my decision.
Throughout all of this, I found solace in cooking and baking….the two things that every stay at home mommy has to learn to do. I also loved writing. In 2009, an idea popped into my head and my blog, Cooking With Libby, was born. Now when someone asks me what I do, I proudly say “I’m a full time mommy and a part time food blogger/columnist.” Yes, I get to go to work wearing my sweats and t-shirts and my office is my kitchen. I still get the odd glances and crazy comments, however, it does not bother me any like it used to.
Will I ever go back into the workforce full time? Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t.
One thing is for sure though, I am in love with what I do…and that my friends, is all that should really matter 🙂