I graduated from MIT and worked for 10 years as an engineer and in business development, mostly in Japan. I loved my work, was very successful, and conducted business in Japanese. I dreamed of a Masters in International Relations and was accepted to Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies just at the time my husband and I were starting a family. My husband could have stayed home, we could have chosen day care options, but I decided to be the stay-at-home mom. I opted out of JH SAIS (still hard!). I worked 13-hour days, took a half-load of classes at U of Michigan and started a Japanese language seminar (and struggled with fertility issues). When we moved for his career, I was finally pregnant and quit everything to move to a small city in the Midwest. We lost the pregnancy during the move, so I had no job, no school, no kids, and no family in the area. I knew no one.
Ever accidentally find yourself become a mid-western housewife?
Soon, I was pregnant again and had landed a full-paid scholarship to the best local MBA program. The program started three weeks before my due date . . . so I opted out of that too! Today, I am the mom of a 4-yr old, a 2-yr old and a 7-mos old. Up until a month ago, I was the president of two volunteer organizations. My children have friends, my son reads (and says thank you), my daughter is almost potty trained, my 7-mos old is a wonderfully happy baby. My career? Perhaps when all of your plans fall apart at once you have to learn to NOT define yourself by your career or your family. No matter what is thrown at you, you are still smart and ambitious. My friends are teachers, musicians, lawyers, Phd's, consultants . . . all mommies. My house is filled with noise and chaos, “no, honey, not now”, “get off your brother, he's a baby", "yes, the earth is rotating, you just don't feel it because you are rotating with it. . . ." Yes, I did explain to my son that he is moving very quickly through the universe in multiple directions. He also knows what happens when you move a magnet across wires and how our air conditioning works.
But, more importantly, someone who loves him was right there to answer him. Its hard work and its not at all glamorous. It’s a bad financial decision. The first year was a horribly difficult and exhausting experience. If you consider that you have worked hard to earn your degree to improve your world, is there a better way to improve your world than to dedicate a few years to the next generation?
I don’t think so.