Friday, August 31, 2007

All in a Day's Work

Last night, I had my hair cut and highlighted. Even when I was fresh out of college, just making ends meet on my starting salary with an $800-a-month rent in downtown Chicago, I have always done this one special thing for myself. I look forward to pampering myself, and for only $90, I leave the salon feeling like a million bucks.

Only last night, the first words out of my stylist's mouth were, "So you're not working anymore?" followed by a series of other harmless, but irritating comments about the 1950's. I guess I've been preparing myself for this for awhile. I smiled at him and responded pleasantly, while quietly thinking, "Hey bud, if you think I'm not working, I'd love for you to give this a try." And oh, by the way, more female doctors, lawyers and professionals are choosing to stay home now than in the last decade. It's a generational thing.

I'm transitioning into a brand new chapter of my life...wonderful and fulfilling, but a transition, no less. I've traded in my tweed skirts, suits and three-inch heels for clothes that can I run through the washing machine several times a week (yesterday, my first wardrobe change was before 10am), and I've exchanged my button down tops for shirts I can yank up when Madeline's hungry. I'm growing my Peoria network (i.e. making new friends) to include women who are home during the day, using tactics that make me feel like I'm dating again. My new salary is watching Madeline's personality unfold and feeling my husband's deep gratitude. My annual review will be looking back when Madeline turns one and appreciating every minute. My raises and promotions will come from within.

So admittedly, part of this transition for me involves taking pride and feeling confident in Rob and my decision, even if it's a choice that not everyone makes. It means not being sensitive to silly comments from well-meaning people (we'll give them the benefit of the doubt) who have never been faced with the same decision. And it definitely means respecting each of the choices we make for our families -- be that to work inside or outside our homes.

No comments: