Nine years ago, I finished my Ph.D. I was a bright-eyed 26-year-old with the world at my feet, and many were surprised (some offended) when I chose raising children over a career. I was throwing away my future and wasting opportunities. I had done a great job of balancing a difficult pregnancy and a colicky newborn with the demands of a Ph.D. program. Why stop there?
Seven years ago, I started my blog as a gentle explanation to concerned friends who still did not understand why I was choosing home at the price of the professional career I had begun so ambitiously. Over the months I changed a few minds and was given up as a lost cause by others. This month I wrote an essay for a book edited by a friend from college on the same topic, joining 19 other mothers who chose motherhood over promising careers. Choosing Home: 20 Mothers Celebrate Staying Home, Raising Children, and Changing the World (affiliate link) is the result of this collaboration. I hope you will check it out!
There are women who work full-time outside of their homes who are incredible mothers, with children who are clearly loved and thriving. There are also mothers who stay home full-time whose children are neglected. There are women who long to stay home, but cannot, no matter how much they trim their household budget.
This book features twenty very different women who followed twenty unique paths to staying home – and we stay home in different ways. Some homeschool, some send children to school outside of the home. Some take in some paid work; others do not. For some, staying home was a lifelong dream; for others it was an unexpected dream that came only as they prepared to return to work. For some, staying home has been financially simple; for others it has required many sacrifices. The thread tying our stories together is that we have each found a level of fulfillment in staying home that no career could provide.
Do you stay home with your kids? Does your spouse stay home? Did your mother or father stay home? Did you have a choice? How did you make your choice?