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This was advice from my dentist. I said, “I would be a lot more bored being a dentist.” OK, fine, I didn’t say it aloud. If he said it now, almost four years later, I would retort out loud. And probably, loudLY. Then, though, I just kind of shrugged. I was still pregnant, and I hadn’t really decided what to do. Maybe I would be bored. I sure thought I was going back to work after my maternity leave.

Fast-foward to the hospital room with the newborn baby in my arms. OK, now try to rip it from me. Impossible. Even doting grandparents had a hard time holding that baby. I’m not advocating these feelings as the healthiest or most desirable–evidenced by my first time out without the baby as I exclaimed to my sister, “Hey, look at us! Two girls out at night going to CVS! This is so awesome!”

Actually, I did get bored sometimes, especially when it was just me and nursing or sleeping baby hour after hour, but that’s not the kind of bored he meant. The message was loud and clear–that I was too smart, too capable, too into other things, to possibly give everything up to raise children full-time. I was too good for that.

And really, damn him and everyone else who think I live a soap-opera-and-sweatpants kind of life. But while I talk tough, I have to still admit that the stereotyping of mothers who are staying with their children gets to me. I got a publication from an academic honor society the other day, and at the back were car stickers, pendants, and key chains with their symbol. I have barely perused this magazine in the past; it’s from a long-ago college thing. I couldn’t care less about stuff like that. (I only remember the banquet because I was staring at my watch until the minute I could escape, then sprinting down the hall to make a Sarah McLachlan concert on time.) But now, I actually considered ordering some kind of key chain. With a sinking feeling, I realized that it would only be to say, “Hey, look, I’m smarter than you probably think I am! I could actually go back to doing smart and important things if I wanted to instead of being at this playground!” So even though I have not regretted giving up a paying career to stay home, and even though I am disgusted by insinuations that a parent taking care of children full-time is something to look down on, I guess I still let it get to me. Yuck.


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