I gave up a lucrative and fulfilling career to become a full-time mother to a daughter who has grown into a lovely young woman. She once remarked on how I was such an excellent witness to her life. She was referring to the scrapbooks I gave her when she graduated from elementary school and middle school. I was planning on giving her another scrapbook upon graduation from high school, but I decided to write an essay instead. And I could not stop with one essay. All the memories simply came rushing in like a tidal wave, and I wrote at a frantic pace, frightened that I would forget.
I thought of her high school graduation as the day of my retirement from motherhood. I was always going to be her mother, and I was always going to be around to support her, but it was time to reinvent myself yet again.
After seventeen years of staying at home, and against all odds, I have since rejoined the workforce as an institutional dining facility manager. I find myself with a career again, and yet, there is something strangely missing in my life. The work is challenging and rewarding. I look forward to each day, but working again has confirmed to me that I made the right choice in being a full-time mother. I could not have balanced a career and motherhood. I would have shortchanged my daughter. Working has also made me realize that the seventeen years I spent being a mother were the best years of my life, and that those years will never be surpassed by anything.
Here is our story.