Career vs. Stay at Home: How Did You Decide?

I was contacted a couple of months ago by a book publisher. I know. Me.

The email appeared as I was being forced to get jiggy with my daughter and her favorite movie, The 12 Dancing Princesses. As I strained to read the email’s contents, Hadley reprimanded me I was not “keeping form” with my pirouettes. This, from the girl who performed an impromptu solo at her dance recital.

The query came from a leading publisher in the outdoor industry. The company was looking for someone with a travel writing background to write a guidebook on hiking with children in Colorado.

I went through my mental checklist:

Hiking? Love it.
Children? Have them.
Colorado? Live there.

It was the perfect fit! Or was it? After the initial euphoria wore off, I sat down to weigh the pros and cons of accepting an assignment of this magnitude. And after a lot of self-reflection, my answer was no.

This still floors me. Ten years ago when I was hot on my career path, I would have jumped at such an opportunity.

Well, except that I was single and living in Utah so I likely would not have been a viable candidate.

When I got married, I made the decision to stay at home with my children. It was not something I always dreamed of doing but it was the right choice for me. My transition from a wanderlust life to a stay-at-home mom of a colicky newborn was not a smooth one.

But after four years, I have finally come into my own and have a pretty great gig. I freelance part-time from home, drag my kids on a new adventure every day, shower once a week and blog about poop. I am living the dream. Or at least my dream. And right now, I just don’t want to take on a gargantuan new project to mix everything up.

Women’s libbers say we can have it all. I do not believe that we can have it all at the same time. Life is give and take. For me, I cannot immerse myself in my career without falling short in other areas. This is not a pessimistic approach or a judgment against those who chose their careers over staying at home. This is my reality and I would not change it for the world.

Well, except for being forced to do all those pirouettes….

(Originally published at Mile High Mamas).

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