Since I was a teen, I always told my parents I’d never get married. I couldn’t see myself being a mom, being a wife, or what I thought to be the worse thing possible — a stay at home mom. Cooking and cleaning have never been my favorite pastimes, and I dislike with a huge passion having to pick up after others. I wanted more out of life. I had a plan for my life. It would take a miracle to make me a stay at home mom.
Almost 10 years later, I have been married for 6 years and have 2 kids, ages 4 and 5. I am no longer working in the career of my dreams. I never finished my degree, and my passions have dramatically shifted. I am happy at home doing things I never would have thought I’d ever enjoy. All the things I was afraid of losing were just not important anymore.
I realized that my definition of a stay at home mom was only what my traditional culture taught me. My Mexican roots taught me that the women stay home while the husbands went off to provide financially for their families. All the stay at home moms in my family at some point were annoyed and miserable at having to stay home. I would see them cook, clean, and run errands all the time. They were needed by everyone. I want to believe they are what held most families together. My heart tells me they could have been so much more.
I had the hardest time accepting I would be home. Not because I didn’t want to be with my babies or didn’t want to be at home being a wife, but because I felt like I had lost everything I had worked for. I felt like I had no independence and I was stuck under a title I never saw myself being. I could never do what the stay at home moms in my family did. Their role as a stay at home mom had high expectations. I could never fill their shoes.
Soon after discovering I had never lost my voice and picked up several hobbies to find my passions, I was happy. I was embracing my new life, and I loved being the best mom I could to my little ones. I realized that the reason I didn’t want to be married and the reason I didn’t want kids was because I felt like I’d be losing myself. I imagined having to succumb to cooking and cleaning at all hours of the day. I am not the best cook, and I have very strange cleaning and organizing habits. My life is nothing like that; matter of fact, what I imagined couldn’t have been further from reality.
I now spend all my day at home with my family. My husband works nights, and he does most of the cooking for us during the day. I actually like doing laundry — on my terms! I learned I am quite picky about how I do certain house chores. But the biggest and greatest part of being a stay at home mom is having the support of my family. Everyone pulls their weight! The kids are on routine and I am within their reach at all times, but they are independent even at their young age. I have an income and a voice by doing what I love, all from the comfort of my home. My life is so different from the stay at home mom I once said I’d never be. I am a modern Latina stay at home mom.
Read more of Ruby’s writing at Growing Up Blackxican