I left my job approximately 2 years ago to start a new career... the new, exciting and bewildering job of Mom. I was a professional in my past life, an event planner, working for a university and guaranteed, at least at that current salary, to never make enough money to cover the cost of daycare. And especially guaranteed to never make as much as my husband.
So I left, with no real intention of returning to the workforce anytime soon.
There are times however that the feeling of inequality overwhelms me. The feeling that what I'm doing isn't enough because it can't be measured in monetary value. I look at my son, see how well he is growing and learning and KNOW that is my influence, my time spent exclusively at home with him. But that time, that influence can't be measured, can't be given a number in the bank account, a yearly salary. And when times get lean, it's hard not to feel the strain, hard not to feel like you're not a "contributing" member of the family.
To be honest, this is not my husbands doing. He is the epitome of support. He tries to convince me, to impress upon me everything that a mom does, how valuable I am to our family and to our household.
And I know. Or at least I think I do. But when the budgets are tight, when it starts raining and pouring and the bills start piling up, you feel the inadequacy of not bringing something to the table. When you just can't explain where it's all going, how it's possible that it goes so quickly, you feel responsible. And you feel like you can't help because you can't contribute.
I truly think that staying home has been a gift. The ability to watch my child grow up and become the little person he is today is something I would never give back... but I struggle. I struggle with the need to contribute, in a way that can be measured, or quantified. With the ability to help, when times are tough, independent of just "moral support".