Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Stay at Home Seawife

Being a Seawife I already feel like I "stay at home". I mean compared to what most of my peers from the maritime academy are doing, shipping out in one form or another, I do "stay at home". While at home (or ashore) I also work 40 hours a week for a company which makes nautical charts and cruising guides. I love my job, I love the people I work with and I especially love that I am using my maritime education though it has been a struggle at times to grapple with the fact that I haven't set foot on a commercial vessel for over two years. But now, expecting a Seababy I am grappling with the NEW meaning of "stay at home".

On Friday I told my boss that I would not be returning to work full time after the baby is born but that I would very much hope to be kept on part time and from home. Is some ways this sounds like a totally unreasonable request - I should just be lucky to have a job especially after my company was recently downsized by about 90 percent. But I know in my heart and in my head, that I could not work full time and send my child to daycare, and keep an orderly house and a happy husband. Doing some research on the Internet I keep coming across articles which say things like "if you are fortunate enough...", "if your budget allows...", "if you can afford the luxury of..." being a stay-at-home-mom. When did staying at home with your kids become a luxury? Don't get me wrong. I am so very grateful for all the women of history who have broken down doors and have so far allowed me into a school, and a career where previously only males existed, but now it seems our society has swung the opposite direction. You are an inadequate woman if you CANT handle a career and a family at the same time! (The emergence of Sarah Palin has brought many of these issues to the forefront of discussions and I am glad for that - though I'm not a huge fan of her possibly being our Vice President.) Anyhow, I was very relieved to have the support of my parents, family and husband and also my co-workers as I made the decision to Stay At Home, at least partially, while I watch the little one grow.

1 comment:

Deep Water Sailor said...


You're writing! If your husband could get pregnant than I'm sure he'd be at home and you'd be the one out at sea making the cheese, but it just doesn't work that way. No one expects you to be a Sarah Pallin, and I don't think your request at work is unreasonable, they'd be number than a pounded thumb not to keep you on. When can we have tea?