What do you want to be when you grow up?

That question is asked at an early age all the way through college.

My answer out loud was teacher.

What I really wanted to say and should have was wife and mother. That is all I wanted to be. Why couldn’t I say that? Why did I feel I couldn’t?  Is it so bad to want to be this? To want to raise my kids full time and be someone’s wife?

I did become a teacher. In fact, when I had Izzy, I was working as an Educational Director at a private preschool in NYC. Impressive, yes? I took her to work with me. She commuted with me. One commuter train, one subway train and one bus. She was always, so good. When we moved to Massachusetts, I couldn’t find a job but John did, so I stayed home and I loved every minute. When KitKat joined us, even better. I loved waking up and planning adventures with them…even after 6 years, it’s the best thing in the world. There is no stress. Focusing on my family is amazing.

People still ask me what I do and up until earlier this year I would respond “I am just a stay at home mom”. I thought a lot about my response. Why was I sounding like it wasn’t important, like I didn’t matter? Like what I do is wrong? Why did I sound like I was apologizing? So I started answering “I enjoy raising my family” and it felt right.

With John sick and possibly dying, I have been looking for a job. I just can’t believe that while juggling the kids and John in and out of the hospital, this has to be bumped up to one of my first priorities and I am angry. I feel like I won’t have time to grieve the loss of my husband and everything we are going through. I feel like my kids will lose their mom too in the sense that they won’t have me because my focus will be on my job and paying the bills. Bills don’t care what is happening. Bills won’t grieve with you. Bills won’t give you time to process that doctors are working on monitoring your children for this kind of cancer. Can I just stop a moment to catch my breath? Can I just be able to afford to continue to stay home with my kids?
People are so focused on staying ahead of each other and less on family. Bigger homes, better cars, designer clothes, Summer in the Hamptons, soccer for the kids as well as French school and Karate. Even kids are being taught kicking a ball to a goal is better than letting them play freely with their friends. I don’t get it. We are losing ourselves as a society.
If you asked me today what I want to be when I grow up, without thought I would happily say wife and mother.

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