“Just wait until you become a mom.”
Critics thought it premature for me to have and voice opinions about stay-at-home parenting before becoming a mother. Indeed, midway through my pregnancy I shared several reasons why, in our family, quitting work to become the primary caretaker of our yet-to-be born son was far from ideal.
My opinions caused quite the stir, with more than 200 readers weighing in. Some agreed with my choice while others described my views as shortsighted. “It's almost hilarious that you are writing this before your child is born,” balked one reader. “Her perspective might change a lot once her child is born,” said another.
Maybe I did jump the gun. Who knew how I would approach running my business once motherhood arrived?
Fast forward to today.
Today I am a mother. I have discovered an entirely new and powerful and unconditional kind of love. I know well what it’s like to hold your baby and wish to never let go.
Yet I still, with even more conviction, stand by my views. Being an entrepreneur is an immeasurable part of my livelihood and, equally as critical, a major source of financial security and freedom for my family, which now includes a child. It’s not something I want to or can forfeit easily.
And it’s hard, especially as a working mom with a demanding travel schedule. Over the last few months I’ve gone away six times. The most difficult trip was when my son was just three months old and I left for a full five nights and six days.
The weeks and days leading up to that extended time away were filled with self-doubt over whether I was being “fair” to my son. I worried about whether he would even remember me when I got back home (the answer is yes, silly.) And I experienced the inevitable guilt over feeling like a selfish mom who was putting her career over her family’s well-being (also silly). Oh, and there was weeping. Ugly middle-of-the-night weeping.
As a working mom who travels, I guessed this was par for the course.
Or was it?