I like working. The feeling of fulfillment and accomplishments from my career make me unapologetic about how much I love work. It is who I am, and I love that part of me.
Plus, I have tons of amazing stay-at-home mom friends who say, “What you do is awesome, and I have chosen to stay at home with my babies.”
And I respect their decision.
When my friends will ask me what we after doing for President’s Day when the kids are off of school, and I respond, “Oh, I have to work.” Or when I have a work event on the weekend, they say, “That sucks,” and we all move on.
They respect my decision to be a working mom.
However, my husband and I have decided only to have one child. Yes. We have one child, an incredible son, who is four.
And, no. We are not planning on having more.
About two years ago, I realized how I felt more judgment for being a mom of one than I did as a working mom. Thankfully, all of our close family and friends understand and now respect our decision.
Imagine this hypothetical and yet highly likely scene. We have a variety of friends over, our son is running around with his PJ Mask shirt on playing with his friends, and our friend says to me, “When are you thinking about having another one?”
I glance at my son, back at her, and casually say, “Oh, we aren’t.”
My friend pauses and then chooses one of the following questions:
“Don’t you want them to have a sibling?”
“Don’t you want a girl?”
“Don’t you want them to be lonely?”
I always matter-of-factly reply, “We are done.”
Then the awkward conversation ends. Sometimes I feel like I have to explain our decision, and other times I think it’s not worth my time.
Before kids, I could stay late and work as much as I needed to, I could leave feeling accomplished. Now, I have to close my laptop to get to daycare on time, and I feel guilty walking away from my desk with a to-do list that I couldn’t finish for the day.
Then I feel guilty for feeling guilty for not wanting to leave work.
Now when I am with my son, he gets all of me. I pour into his life entirely. Being present in our time together is my focus, and when I’m working, work is my focus. Adding another child to our perceived chaotic life doesn’t make sense to my husband and me.