I have made many choices in my life. Some were very good, some were not so great but bearable and others were very regrettable. I think we all can find at least one choice in our lives to fit into each of those categories. Thankfully I don’t have too many that fit that last one.
Sometimes however, the choices we make don’t really feel like our choices. For example, I didn’t want to start my family at age 37. But I didn’t meet my husband until I was 30 and we didn’t get married until I was 36. I didn’t have to wait to have children. I could have found any guy to be a father and had a baby at 25, but that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to fall in love, get married and raise a family. So I guess I CHOSE to wait.
I also chose to enter Graduate School. While it was something I desired, it wasn’t exactly the program I originally wanted. However, I was invited to take part in a rare and incredible opportunity, so I applied. I was accepted. And six years later I emerged with my Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering with absolutely no student loans. See what I mean about a “rare and incredible opportunity”.
Now I have the choice of going back to work or continuing as a stay at home mom. I choose to stay home with my daughters. In a way, I don’t feel it’s a choice. I actually feel compelled to do it. I love being with them and it’s more difficult work than I have ever done in my life. This is all very strange for me because I never saw myself as the stay at home mom type. I would always say “Oh no! I would go crazy at home. I would have to work!” And while I have lost my grip on sanity at times, I have to say that staying home with my girls is more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.
Some people don’t get it. They find out about my degree and they look at me all slack-jawed, like how dare I stay home when I went to school for so long. They ask why I bothered at all with Graduate school or why I wasted all that money and time if I was going to just stay home. Some of you are thinking that right now…aren’t you?
Well I could be impertinent and say it’s none of your business and realistically…it isn’t. However, I will afford you one explanation. The truth is I think that I can do more right now in helping shape the lives of my two daughters than I could ever do behind a microscope. My heart used to be in science, but now it’s with my family.
Do I miss work? Sometimes. I do miss being on the cutting edge of science and being able to stretch my brain daily. Although I have to say, caring for two babies under two stretches not only my brain, but my patience, vocal chords and everything else pretty well.
Submitted by Claudine Jaboro