Thursday, March 20, 2008

Because I Love Me Some Irony

I've known for a long time that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom when I had kids. It all began with my own mother. For many, many years she stayed home with us and that really made a difference in my life. I mean, really, how could I not vividly remember all the pampering that was showered upon my brother and me. We lived the good life during those elementary school years. Austin and I still reminisce about how she gently woke us in the morning and carried us out to the couch where she would tuck us into yet another blanket so we could watch cartoons. She would rub our feet to wake us up while we decided what we wanted for breakfast and then she would bring our breakfast out to the couch. Our clothes were neatly laid out so we could get dressed at our leisure.

I'm not kidding or exaggerating at all - this really happened.

Sick days were even better. We were settled into our parent's bed with a paper cup of Pepsi to ease our sick tummies. We watched game shows and soap operas all day while our mama did everything she could to make us as comfortable as possible.

Still...not kidding or exaggerating.

Her job was to take care of us. She was there when we got home from school. She was the perfect hostess to any birthday party. She was game for slumber parties and pool parties. She took us to dance competitions and soccer tournaments. She was there. She was present. She was constant.

I loved it.

Who wouldn't?

I decided I wanted to be a counselor when I was in high school after being inspired by a former teacher (and current exceptional friend). When it was time to specialize in a counseling field for my Master's Degree, I ultimately chose school counseling. I reasoned that I would still be in the field that I loved, but I would have the flexibility to be with my future children as much as possible. I would have the same schedule as my school-age children and those children were going to be my priority. If I was going to work outside the home then at least I would be working the same hours that my children were in school.

Thankfully, Matt and I were on the same page about me staying home with the kids until they go to kindergarten. We planned well, saved even better, and have always made choices (financially) that reflect this priority for us.

It doesn't hurt that my sugar-daddy of a husband totally provides for us. Thanks, honey.

I have now been home with our children for over 4 years and these are years that I will always cherish and know that I spent well. It is not easy, it's not always fun, and I'm not even close to being a perfect mom. But, I'm doing the best I can, and so far these little people are turning out pretty well.

And, I've got to tell you, I really like staying home with them. I don't miss work. When the kids are older and I go back to work, Matt plans to use my salary to save for retirement. I keep trying to tell him that I'm already retired, but he doesn't really think that is funny.

CPA's have an odd sense of humor.

Right after Abby was born, my brother came over for dinner and game night. He was wearing a shirt that simply said, "Unemployed." Ummm....hello? When he bought that for himself way out in California did he not think it appropriate to buy one for his unemployed sister?

I'll save you the suspense...he didn't.

So, I did what any reasonable person would do. I forced him to take off the shirt and give it to me. I sent him home in one of my old t-shirts. That "unemployed" shirt now belongs to me and Austin really didn't have a say in the whole matter.

He probably knew better than to argue with a sleep-deprived woman.

I LOVE wearing that shirt. When the kids were still babies, I would put that shirt on and push the unwieldy double stroller around the mall while I got all kinds of funny looks from people. And, boy did they ever give me funny (or disapproving) looks. But, I think it's hilarious and you could never convince me otherwise.

I still enjoy wearing the "unemployed" shirt as much as possible. Clearly, I have a job. A very important job. The most important job I'll ever have.

But, I'm still loving my years of unemployment. I may as well let the world know as such...

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