When I was in my late twenties I overheard a mother-daughter conversation in the next cubicle at work. It was after 5:00 pm, but everyone always worked at least until 8:00 pm during our busy season.
The daughter, on speaker-phone, played her v-mail. One message was from her mother, announcing that she had returned from Europe safe and sound, and to please call her asap to make plans to get together and to share about her trip.
The daughter did not return the call.
At 6:00 pm the phone rang. She didn’t answer it. She then played the message. Mom again.
At 7:00 pm the phone rang again, and this was the conversation I overheard: “Yes mom, I got your message. Glad you are home safe. No mom, I cannot listen to you right now. I am at work, remember? No, I cannot call you tonight, I am working late. If I have time I will call you this weekend (it was Monday!). Good-bye.” Click.
The daughter came over to my desk and said, “The nerve of that woman, calling me at work to gush over her vacation. Didn’t she realize that when she left me in daycare 11 to 12 hours a day while she pursued her high-powered career that she groomed me to do the same? Now she’s at home and I’m at work and I don’t have time for her. Mothers really should consider these things ahead of time.”
And that conversation clinched for me that I would be a stay-at-home mom. When my future husband called me the first time for a date, I actually said, “If you are not looking for a wife that will stay home and be a mother to your children, there is no reason we should go out.”
Shocked and surprised, he stuttered, “Ummm, yeah...I’m looking for that!” He told me later I was the first woman he’d dated who said they wanted to stay home.
By the way, I ran into my former coworker a few years ago…she was holding her one year-old son in her arms and she was a joyful at-home mom.