When Chaco was born, I was happily employed in my chosen profession. Most of the other women I worked with that had babies came back to work after maternity leave. I took an extended leave and came back with my hours cut in half.
I did the part-time thing for 3 years. In the meantime, Wolfgang had come along. In the meantime, I met some ladies who turned me over to their way of thinking.
Actually, I already knew I wasn't happy dropping the kids off with the babysitter 3 days a week. Even though she was great with kids, even though she lived and ran her daycare from her house that was very near mine, even though she and I would become good friends - all those even thoughs.
So yeah, I ended up meeting this fun group of moms. Remember the days when the internet was brand new? The happy chirp of the dial-up modem? The way we could practically drink a whole cup of tea while a page loaded? I met these women on a discussion forum for moms. Ironically, I found them while surfing from work.
They did "whatever it takes" to stay home and raise the kids. Recall that I said we did cotton diapers? To save money? Well, some of these women not only used cotton diapers, they made their own. They made practically everything! They schooled me in frugality. I retired. My only regret is that it took me 3 years.
I would love to know what happened to most of those women. But as these things often go, we simply lost touch. This was pre-facebook, pre-give-any-personal-information-to-anyone-on-the-internet.
Today, I was doing my weekly purge of my school e-mail. I ran across a short message from a teacher who took this year off to spend the first year home with her daughter who was born nearly a year ago. She was letting us know that her plan to take a year off turned into "I'm not coming back".
That made me happy.