Friday, September 18, 2015

My Path


My daughter is on a travelling soccer team. The coach is one of the dad's who played soccer years ago while attending college to be an attorney. The team is largely comprised of his co-worker/friends' kids. So last weekend I looked around and realized that on the sidelines it was attorneys, judges and me, one of 2 stay at home moms on the team. Not your average group of soccer moms.

I have to say that it bothered me more than I would like to admit. There was a time, that feels seriously too long ago to have fit into my 44 years, that I was so career-driven. I was going to attend college at one that provided internships in New York City and I was going to study advertising.

And then, I can't remember why it was prompted - most likely something to do with my dad's death months before high school graduation, but I had the realization that I would be devoting my career to encouraging people to buy what they didn't want or need and it lost it's appeal overnight.

Instead, I pursued a career in the non-profit sector. I was a grant writer, public relations, special event organizer all in one. And this was before the internet was huge and I am embarrassed to say, when email was the most popular mode of communication.

I loved my job. I worked for a non-profit that supported folks with disabilities and I loved it. But then, we wanted to have a baby. After 2 heartbreaking miscarriages, when I finally was pregnant with my girl but my work was encouraging me to take phone calls and stop into the office during my maternity leave, my priorities shifted. 

We didn't have local family to help with child care and the idea of handing over my 8 week old baby to a stranger to spend all day with, I just couldn't do it. It just was not the right decision for us.

I figured I'd stay home until she was in kindergarten. But then she had a sister and then another. And then the local schools didn't work for my girl and we began homeschooling. And then her siblings saw all the time she was spending with me and wanted that too. The next year, we ended up homeschooling them all.

So, I started out wanting to work as an advertising exec in NYC and ended up a stay at home mom who homeschools her 3 kids.

No, it's not a path I could have ever imagined for myself and surely would even have judged harshly in my younger years. But it's what has evolved from answering the same question over and over, "What is best for my kids?"

My kids see the difference between the families with 2 incomes vs. stay at home moms. They hear their teammates travelling; living in far larger & fancier homes; taking all the classes, lessons they want, etc., etc. I just hope that my kids see the value in the decisions that we have made.

They must see the differences in the attitudes of the mothers themselves. I found myself watching the moms as much as the kids on the field. Their expectations of their kids were high. Their cheers were more directive than supportive. It was just a completely different energy. I began to think, what must my daughter think when she perceives the difference. I hope that she doesn't think her mother is "less than."

On the soccer sidelines, I'm aware of how different my decisions are from theirs. And the difference between me and them. With the benefit of living a few decades and having most of my family pass away, I know these decisions are right for me and us.

I just hope that my kiddos, in the midst of these fragile tween years, do too.

No comments:

Post a Comment