This article was also published in The Huffington Post.
I don’t like it.
But for some reason, whenever someone asks the question, I feel the need for further explanation.
For some reason, I feel the need to make my decision more understandable to the person asking the question.
And (dare I say it?), politically-correct.
“Well, I really wanted to work part-time, but my TV station wasn’t able to make that happen.”
“TV news isn’t good for family life, especially considering that my husband travels frequently and we don’t live near family.”
“I’d probably just be working to pay for daycare anyway.”
They’re all true. They’re all part of the reason I decided to stop working.
But none of them are the main reason.
Which is simply this.
I wanted to raise my children myself. (And I’m extremely grateful that I was afforded that option.)
That’s the truth.
Have I told anyone that yet?
But maybe one day.
When l decide that my real answer isn’t old-fashioned. It doesn’t make me a 1950s housewife, or anything less than totally and fabulously modern.
When I choose not to be afraid of silent judgment from the other person. Their made-up words, which I narrate in my own mind: ‘What a waste of her career and college education. I’m sure hundreds of people would have killed for her job. Plus, you’d think she’d be a little better at parenting, especially since she has no job outside the home.’
The thing is, I know that my job is the most important thing I could be doing. But I don’t always believe it.
I know it’s more important than covering police chases, building collapses or even the opening of the area’s first Nordstrom Rack (though that last one was pretty darn awesome).
I know that the most important thing I could be doing with my life, with my 24 hours a day, is raising my children.
Shaping their lives. Making mistakes. Growing my patience.
And loving my kids so much it hurts.
So that’s the real answer.
Because the most important job I will ever have on this earth is exactly what I’m doing right now.
And that needs no further explanation.