There was a great piece by Geraldine Lynagh in the Irish Independent newspaper 2 days ago, about working mums who gave it all up for their children which ponders on the belief held by some that you need an excuse to give up your career for your kids.
Geraldine rightly poses the question: 'Why is an excuse necessary at all?'
She gives examples of some high profile career women who felt that people were unwilling to accept their family-based reasons for leaving their <paid> jobs behind them. The article then went on to ask two women why they made that decision and how it worked out for them; one of whom was the fabulous Lorraine Keane and her story and the other was... um.... well.... me and mine!
Not only did we make it into a national newspaper
but we got a rather nice photo too!
For personal reasons my story had to be diluted somewhat, but basically my fundamental reason for leaving my job was not only because I felt I was missing out, but because I felt my son was too.
I don't feel guilty about being a Stay-at-home-Mum but I will admit that the decision to leave was not easy. I honestly believed that going out to work on a job-sharing basis was my 'me-time' that gave me the best of both worlds and allowed me time spent in adult company. Therefore I was initially reluctant to give it up!
To be honest there are some careers where it is perfectly acceptable for a mum (or dad) to give up work to care for their children, no raising of inquisitive eyebrows whatsoever. It saves the company money, you see, and besides some work colleagues can view job-sharing/part-time mums in a less than favourable light.
Ultimately I made my decision very quickly and have not regretted it for one moment. I recently wrote about this pivotal decision and my thoughts on being Home Alone and of how I feel the role of the SAHM ( and Dad) is viewed in this country.
I also recently wrote about the question you should never ask a Stay-at-home-Mum, aka: What Jazzy Does all day!
Not all contributions to our society can be measured in financial or economic terms. Which leads me to ask a question of my own....
Why is staying home to rear one's children not considered a career in it's own right?
Besides, some stay-at-home-mum's me time can turn into a new career, worked around family needs, or be of benefit to local communities or causes.
Speaking of which, you can support iPhones4Autism.ie, the campaign I contribute to in my spare time, by donating your old iPhone if you have recently upgraded! You can even send me any old mobile phones you, your work colleagues or fellow SAHMs, have lying around! Any donated iPhones will be given to children with Autism (and Special Needs) to assist with communication and all other phones will be pooled and used to avail of Irish Autism Action's Mobile Phone Recycling scheme.
Please support if you can.