Jennifer is a one in a million stay-at-home mom. (More like one OF a million stay at home moms!) She graduated from a liberal arts college but there is nothing liberal OR artsy about her. She is married to Kevin Fischer of This Just In, and together they have a beautiful toddler daughter Kyla Audrey. In no particular order she loves dogs, wine, a good bargain, her family, pizza, and entertaining. Follow her blog of all things miscellaneous including but not limited to cooking and baking, entertaining and party planning, being a mommy, and homekeeping.
Despite my degree from liberal arts Alverno College, I never had any desire to “climb the corporate ladder.” I wouldn’t trade my education for the world. College was a fantastic experience and helped shape me in to the person I am today. But I just never wanted to be a “suit.”
My last job before having Kyla was for a well-respected and extremely large health care organization. My boss was the most incredible person I had ever worked and will ever work for. My position was a dream and I did exactly what I loved to do. I worked with a phenomenal group of people who were more than coworkers, they were friends. I made an excellent salary and had wonderful benefits. My boss knew that I wanted to drop down to part time after our baby was born. She even facilitated a transfer so that my office would literally be five minutes from our home. I got to pick the days and hours that I wanted to work. What more could I ask for?
The answer to that question came on my very first day back to work after my twelve weeks of maternity leave ended. I wanted out. Immediately. I came home after just five hours away from Kyla and bawled. Some might contribute it to hormones of a new mom, but I knew it was more than that. I knew, just KNEW that I could not be away from my baby. I will never forget sitting at the table with Kevin and, over dinner, sobbing about how I just couldn’t see myself working with that precious little bundle of ours out of my sight. He knew my heart was breaking. We talked at great length and decided that it was truly in the best interest of our family if I left my job.
So, the very next day, I was in my boss’s office. She took one look at me and, without my saying so, knew exactly why I was there. She was not the least bit surprised or upset. She knew that my life’s greatest goal had been achieved: I became a mom. I was completely honest with her and said that all I wanted to do was be “Laura Petrie and wear my pearls to the market and volunteer for the PTA.” Oh, if only my professors at Alverno could have heard THAT conversation! It had taken me thirty six years to reach my dream, I wasn’t going to let anything stand in the way of me being a full-time mom.
So let’s look at the facts: I have a bachelor’s degree from a college that is regularly recognized in national publications. I earned a fantastic salary and enjoyed many benefits. Anecdotally AND medically I was considered to be “of advanced maternal age” when I had my first baby.
I definitely do not fit the profile of a stay-at-home mom, according to geniuses supported by data from the US Census Bureau. Colleen Carroll Campbell has a much different view of those of us who choose to stay at home with our children because WE WANT TO, not because we are too young and stupid (my words, not hers) to choose a better option. You can read her entire column here.
I know my choice does not fit every woman’s lifestyle. Some moms want to get out of the house and have conversations that involve more than, “Do you want some more apple juice?” Some moms need to work because of financial constraints. Some feel guilty, some feel liberated. I don’t judge their choices, I just did what was right for our family. My feeling is that I can work, literally, the rest of my life. I can not get two and a half years back of Kyla’s childhood. I can’t imagine missing the moments when she asks me to play ball in her room, drink cocoa with marshmallows, or take a walk down the hallway just because she likes to hold my hand. NOTHING could ever convince me I made the wrong choice. Just look at her… and tell me I’m wrong.