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.