When my first daughter was born, I decided to give up a lucrative newspaper job to become a stay-at-home mom. It's a decision I never second-guessed, but of course, sometimes I wonder what life would be like had I continued to work full-time. Would I have been promoted to that position I'd always wanted? Would I still own pants that weren't made of Spandex? But then again, I wouldn't have had all the amazing memories of spending every day with my daughter doing both big and little things together.
"I've been a stay-at-home mom for three and a half years now. And yesterday, I received an email that sent me on a trip to a parallel universe in which I wasn't one - I'd never been one," Rushdy writes. It turns out she'd received a salary guide published by a recruitment company that gives you an idea of how much money you'd make in various lines of work.
As the mom-of-two scrolled through it, she writes, "My eyes widened incredulously at the numbers in front of me - what I could have been making if I hadn't become a stay-at-home mom. My mind started racing down that path a little further: the title I could have held by now; the places I could have travelled [sic] to with my job and the experience I could have gained."
Suddenly, Rushdy admits, she was overcome with "I wouldn't haves." And, she shares, she began to wonder what it might be like to exist in a parallel universe, in which she was not a mother.
"I wouldn't have half-moons quite this puffy under my eyes," Rushdy imagines. "I wouldn't have those scars, or those irreversible, yet hard-to-exactly-identify changes in my body. I wouldn't have that gap in my resume, on which, although it is the greatest and most important work I have done, society has yet to place the right value."
The mama goes on to imagine how her life would be devoid of worries about re-entering the workforce, and that her brain had maybe turned to mush, or would she be able to balance being a mom, with having a job?
"But then, I wouldn't have them. Them. The ones I'm responsible for raising, nurturing, and loving. The ones who test my patience in a way I never could have imagined. The ones who have turned a mirror inwards and forced me to grow, just when I thought I was already a grown-up and had it all together," Rushdy writes in her moving post, adding, "I wouldn't have learned what limitless really means. You think you love them, and then another day passes, and the well of your love burrows further into the rich earth of your heart."
Indeed, motherhood has relatably tested Rushdy past points she thought she could manage, and yet, raising her kids has clearly proven to be the most rewarding experience she could imagine.
She concludes her post by writing, "I will take those trips down memory lane, and those trips to the land of Could and Would Haves, but my children have not limited me. Giving up my former career, for now, for them, has not limited me. It's changed things, sure, and it'll influence the curves and bumps in my path going forward. But I'll take it - every last little bit - because there is no way I'm giving up what their existence has given me."
Want the latest parenting news? Sign up for our Parents Daily newsletter!
As a mom who has stayed home for the past nine years, I couldn't agree more! Of course for me, eventually finding an opportunity in which I could work at home has proven the best compromise. It's different for every mom. In the end, as long as your life isn't constant "would" and "would haves," it's all good.