Had you asked me what I thought my life would be like today five years ago, I don't think I would have predicted my current situation.
Back then, I was a scientist. I have always liked that label. There is just something about working in a lab, designing and conducting experiments, or growing and monitoring cells that seems sort of glamorous to someone on the outside. Sure, there is a lot of grunt work involved, and experiments often need tending to at crappy hours (such as early in the morning or GASP! on the weekend), but my time in the lab was really fulfilling ... Intellectually and otherwise.
Even so, knowing that I'd be starting a family at some point, I wanted to pursue a career that was more "family friendly." So, I made the jump (or maybe leap of faith, if you will) to teaching science. It wasn't that far-fetched of a career switch ... I had all the content down and I had planned to get into teaching at some point, but the time had never been right. Once it was, I went for it. Although the label of "teacher" by no means packed the same punch as "scientist" (I think, in terms of career, I will always refer to myself as a scientist first, teacher second), it was a welcome change. A very, very difficult change to be sure, but a welcome one. So, when I got pregnant, I fully expected to continue along my path as a science teacher ... To take the minimum amount of maternity leave, go back to the classroom, and never look back ...
It's funny how life works, sometimes.
Within weeks of settling into my new role as "mom," I knew that I didn't want to return to work. I weighed out my options in my head, calculated our household's finances on a reduced income, considered a plethora of possibilities, but each time my heart screamed at me to just stay at home. My mother did it. My mother-in-law did it. Many women across many different backgrounds have done it ... Why should I be any different? Still, it was strange for me to fathom the idea of not working a "typical" job. I had always insisted that my husband would be the one to stay home and raise our children. True story. Ask him.
My current label as "stay-at-home mom" is the least glamorous by far. But, I love what I get do on a day-to-day basis (which, if I were to describe it to you, would seem like nothing at all). I love being at home with my son, watching him grow and change and really develop into a little person with a big personality ... Yet it's not without its moments.
Nothing in this life is truly perfect.
Even so, I know that I've made the right decision every evening around 4:30 pm. That's the time when my husband arrives home from a dirty day of welding. He's usually stinky and sweaty, covered in grime, but that doesn't phase Malcolm at all. Upon hearing the back door, he comes tearing from whatever corner of the living room he is in, squealing his excitement until he is face to face with his dad (and then promptly hoisted up off the ground).
Words can not express the feeling this daily scene gives me.
Words wouldn't do this moment justice.
And to think, this is something that many mothers don't get to witness.
One of my (small) handful of readers once told me that she liked that I don't use this space to complain, but rather to speak about the many blessings I receive every day. From the start, I knew that I wanted this blog to be positive. Being someone's mother (or parent) is tough work, but the pros completely outnumber the cons. While I wouldn't have predicted this set of circumstances five years ago, I seriously wouldn't want it any other way.