Back in my introduction I referred to myself as an, “unexpected housewife,” and promised to expand on that later. Well, I find myself unable to sleep (typical pregnancy insomnia: can’t get comfortable, feel too hot, etc.), so here goes.
If you asked anyone back in the day, they would probably have said I was one of the last people they would have expected to end up a housewife and stay at home mom. In high school and a good chunk of college, my big goal was law school and being a hot shot attorney. So what changed? Well, I met my now husband my sophomore year of college and as things got more serious with us, my priorities started changing. We wanted to get married after we graduated, and adding the stress that comes from adjusting to marriage to the stresses of law school, to me at least, seemed like asking for trouble. Add to that other factors, such as the cost of going to a decent law school (Hello, student loan debt!) and the fact that even after law school a work/home balance is a tightrope walk, and it seemed to me that law school wasn’t really the direction I wanted to go anymore.
Anyway, we graduated, got married, and, despite the recession, were both able to find employment. Nothing even remotely related to our fields of study, but a job was a job, and even though no one was calling it a recession yet, we went into our job search with the attitude of, “take what you can get, you can still keep looking for something better.” Thank God, too, since some of my pickier classmates took 6 months to a year to find work.
Life probably would have continued on that way, both of us working, enjoying being a young, married couple, except six months after we got married we found out we were expecting our first child. That totally changed things. Crunching numbers, we realized that even though my wages were decent for our lifestyle without a child, once we had a baby, daycare alone would eat up most, if not all, of my paycheck. To me it seemed silly to work simply to pay for someone to watch my child for the day so I could go to the job that just barely paid for the daycare. That whole scenario seemed a little too “hamster spinning her wheel” for me. I also felt very strongly about wanting to nurse, and so the decision to become a stay at home mom and housewife was made.
Was it easy? Absolutely not. Things were tight, but we made it. Hubs decided to join the military, which is probably the best decision he (and us as a family) could have made. Entering life as a military family also reaffirmed my choice. My staying at home with our kids and handling the domestic side of our lives, for us, just makes things run more smoothly. He gets to focus on the mission and can be confident in my ability to manage things at home. I get to enjoy watching my girls grow and know that what I do really matters to those most important to me.
Is this where I thought I’d be if you’d asked me 10 years ago? Not at all! Am I expecting to get some looks and questions at my high school reunion? Honestly, yes, but I’m happy with my life, unexpected though it may be.