Some may note that I refuse to call myself a "stay-at-home mom," even though Motherhood is my primary occupation. Here's why:
For three years now, I have worked for a Renaissance Festival, and it has been one of the best jobs I have ever had. I work with some of the most talented - and the nicest - performers I have ever had the privilege of meeting.
One February morning in 2009, I dragged my feet, and hung my head, sighing deeply as I headed into the office for a meeting I had called with my boss and the general manager. I explained to them that my newly-discovered pregnancy meant an end to this job I loved so much. I told them how much I appreciated them, and how much I wished I could stay, but I did not want to put my child into daycare (and could not have afforded it on my paycheck, even if I'd wanted to). I was nearly in tears as I offered to help them find and train my replacement.
"But, why would we replace you, Sweeten?" my boss asked.
"Because I'm having a baby," I reiterated, confused.
And then, our wonderful general manager chimed in, "Well, Duckie, why don't you bring along the baby?"
So, I did. When Miles was nine days old, he was part of his first performance. At four weeks old, he was in his first official show. And at five weeks old, he began joining me at the office, as we planned our post-Festival awards party.
As Miles grew, our office became his playground. The other employees - my friends - would come and 'borrow' Miles for a few minutes of playtime when work got too rough. An enclosure was constructed, then rearranged to allow him the most possible room to roam, safely. He would play at my feet as I typed. Nap nearby as I answered and returned phone calls. Sit in my lap, sipping on milk in a meeting. It was like no other job I'd ever had. It was harder - much harder - but somehow, still very rewarding in so many, many ways. And my son was part of every aspect of it.
That first year was hard, but it's over now. Now, I find myself in the midst of another season in the same position, struggling at times, and reveling in the joy of it at others. I don't pretend to have all the answers, and I will never pretend that this has been an easy road. But come what may, I have learned that the lines between being a Stay-at-Home Mom and a Working Mom are not always so clear. And even if I stop working, someday, that doesn't mean I'll be staying at home. I am a Full-Time Mom, with all of the challenges and rewards that it entails. I'm just doing my best to stay on top of it all.
Just like every other mom.