This past week I had an appointment downtown at 8am, so for the first time in several years I woke up early and took transit into the heart of the city. I walked along the sidewalks with the early rising business women, with their sleek black suits and polished heels. My kids were at home, the preschooler likely still asleep and the baby happily eating cereal in her highchair with her dad at her side. I only carried a small bag with me, no diapers, no stroller, no Didymos wrap trailing along the ground. Just me out in the world by myself. It was great.
Being an at-home mom for 4 years now has changed the way I feel when I go downtown by myself. I no longer feel like it’s my stomping ground, the way I did when I was a young career girl working on an important project or a university student working on the 20th floor of an office tower, with a window behind my desk that overlooked the Edmonton river valley. Still, walking along those early morning sidewalks with the office workers clutching their lattes, I remembered that I could go back to a career if I wanted to. Even though my stomping grounds these days are the playground down the street from our house and the community centre up the road, I can make a different choice whenever I want.
When I got home to my tousle-headed girl and her baby sister, I knew that being at home is the right choice for me right now. I might not be a big fish in the exciting pond of business, but I am a big fish in the lives of these two little people and that’s important too. Even though right now I am happy with the choice I have made, it does feel good to know that I have the option to change my mind at any point.