When the kids were young, I always had a romantic notion of wanting to be a stay home mom to them. It was weird how maternal instincts blindsided other personal goals. From someone who didn’t want children to someone who thought of giving up everything to stay home with the kids, the innocence and joy of children were like addictive drugs.
I sampled giving it a partial shot by taking a bout of no pay leave. It was fun at first, the prospect seemed exciting but when the novelty sizzled out, I headed back to work quite happily.
Recently, at a career juncture, I asked X if he preferred that I quit my job, stayed at home to spend more time with him and probably go for fewer holidays, or for me to continue working and to be able to bring him for more holidays.
X, my 4 year old, looked at me and said, “You go to work and bring me for holidays.”
That was swift and decisive. I hardly needed to ask Z because he was quite happy if I was not around to hound him to do his work.