Then: In my life pre-kids, I was a VP for a private real estate investment trust (a REIT) in San Francisco. I had people reporting to me, I was responsible for the financial workings of over $2B in investments, I was BUSY! I also had the sweet perks that come with a job like this: lots of travel (business-class!), annual company conferences usually in resort cities, stays in expensive hotels, a big expense account, a huge annual bonus, all the techie gadgets I needed (or thought I needed) to get my job done. I shopped all the time. Every year, with a tiny fraction of my bonus, I would buy a “bonus gift” from Tiffanys…to celebrate. We ate out at the latest greatest restaurants, had season tickets to the theatre, hosted parties, took trips to Europe…
Now: We get by on my husband’s income. No flashy gadgets. No half yearly sales at Nordstrom. (Those suits in my closet really should be donated!) We eat out a few times a month, but at a very different tier of restaurants! I still buy Tiffany (…knock-offs.)
I live vicariously through my friend Rachel. She’s sworn off kids, so she is still full on corporate, and has all the things I gave up. And that video ipod I lust after.
As I tell my husband, I gave up my ego. But it was a long battle.
I have two beautiful children. I got my dream. And what I gave up? I could get it back if I really wanted. But then Nik would have to go to a special needs school five days a week. And then into a daycare for the rest of the day. And Anju would be in a different daycare five days a week. And they would miss growing up with each other, knowing each other the way they do, loving each other the way they do.
And I would be hesitant around my children. Because I wouldn’t really know them. I would be like my husband, who always looks to me for explanations when the kids say/do something. But who would I look to?
I know I made the right choice for our family.
(But I would still like a video ipod…)