Steep Cliff

When my second daughter was born I was the marketing director for a music software company. If this sounds glamorous, it was. I had a large salary, stock options, and countless benefits. Plus, apart from the creative aspects that being a director of marketing afforded, this position married my two favorite things; technology and music.

I was also in the fortunate situation of having a husband who earned enough money that I could stay home and raise my own children if I wanted to. And, this is what I eventually did.

Did I love it? No, I did not. However, I was in the unforeseen predicament of having gotten exactly what I had wished for.

Early on, I realized that I had an opportunity to be, for better or worse, a role model. So, I tried to display fairness, kindness and compassion in my everyday interactions. I took up volunteer work, and quit sneaking cigarettes behind the pool house. I stopped swearing, I exercised and took my vitamins. I tried very hard not to gossip, although this was difficult.

From the beginning, I took being a stay-at-home mother fairly seriously. I made my own play dough, packed organic lunches in reusable containers for play group, and kept my house as neat as a pin. I adored my children, but I missed the excitement and accolades of my career and professional accomplishments.

Now, I wonder if I made the right decisions? I treasured my time with my daughters now 17 and 18, but I wonder if all the sacrifices I made personally were really necessary? Where would I be now if I had not opted out of work in favor of being a full time wife and mother?

At the time, I remember thinking these were brutal choices. At that point in history, there was a very steep cliff in terms of work. My job was a 60 hour per week commitment. Marketing Directors did not work from home. My husband worked this many hours or more. We found it impossible to find a nanny who wanted to work 12 plus hours per day like we did. With a two year old and an infant the choices were limited.

I think about these choices as I help to prepare and educate my own daughters as they move into adulthood. These are important questions to raise as they consider careers, and hopefully motherhood and families of their own.

My hope is to raise these topics, among others, and have this conversation in my weekly column for News 24/680.

Love and blessings.

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