Answer to the question…

“And what do you do?” is the second or third question they ask me when I meet. It seems harmless enough, but I always frown a little. “I’m home with the kids.” Simple, isn’t it? I guess it should be.

But somehow it always happens that I say below that I was a teacher. Why do I need to say that additional information? Why am I making excuses? I know why I quit my job. I know what I do is important… Do I know?

I miss my job

It’s been four years since I taught my last group of students… Four years since I started preparing for the next group to enter through my classroom door. I miss going to work every day. I miss doing something important. I miss managing projects that were important to me. I miss working with some goal, achieving that goal, celebrating achievement. It seems insignificant, but it was important to me. I was good at it.

I miss my colleagues. These were my friends, people I trusted. We talked, listened, laughed and cried together. They lifted my spirits every day. No offense to my children, but they “hurt” to care about my mood.

I would never go back

The change from a mom working to a housewife mom wasn’t even my choice at first. I did it because it was necessary. Our family, with two small babies in intensive care in neonatology, was in crisis. Now – a few years later, I am still at home. Nothing has been fixed, solved, or achieved by not working. My stay at home did not “cure” my children. Every day is about the same… I do my best to arrange doctor’s check-ups, therapy, wrestle with cleaning and play with my kids. Glamorous, isn’t it?

It may seem like I hate this life of a housewife mom. But no matter how stressful and boring my worst day was, no matter how isolated I felt, it was still better than leaving the kids in kindergarten. Let’s face it, this isn’t an article against working moms. And my oldest child went through the nanny and kindergarten stages. But having children with special needs changes everything. It’s hard to trust the outside world when your child can’t tell you what’s wrong or what happened.

And did I mention how much I love being present when my kids leave and come from school? And how great is it sometimes to let the oldest ones not go to class just to be lazy all day? I may not be climbing the ladder of success as before, but staying home certainly has its advantages.

So what I want to say… I know that what I do is important. Every diaper change, going to therapy, a pile of laundry are important. But who wants to talk about it? That is why I assume that I will continue to give that additional explanation when they ask me “What do you do for a living?”.

Meghan Ashburn – She knows
Translated by: Danijela Janjanin
Photo: TeiTo