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Turning Tides: Tomato Soup Punch

As told to Leah Gebber

Kiwi, pineapple, tomato, basil … mingled flavors that tell of the wonderful relief I had that crazy evening. The combination tasted strange, repulsive even, but to me it is the triumphant taste of finally letting go of all the voices that soured my life.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

tomato juice punchWhen I made the decision not to work, it was simple. Technical. We had three little kids — a set of twins and a baby — and to spend three-quarters of my wages on childcare, cleaning help, and other work-related expenses, didn't make sense. I handed in my notice, packed up the photos from my desk, and gave away my uncomfortable work suits to the local charity store. Whoopee!

No more seven-fifteen busses. No more guilt at leaving my three little ones. No more would my husband arrive home from work to an upside-down house and a request from me that he gets right back into the car and go buy takeout. Finally, I had joined the ranks of that rare breed: the non-working mother.

Okay, so the sheen wears off after a while. You start to miss the camaraderie of the office; the satisfaction of a job well done (at home, no one compliments you on cleaning out the fridge or ironing what seems like a thousand white shirts). Even the suits started to seem more appealing — at least once in a while.

But even though it was draining taking care of my little ones, I was happy. I'd made the right decision for me, for my marriage, and for my kids. And that satisfaction propelled me right through the diapers and dishes.

What I hadn't reckoned on though, was the reaction of everyone around me. At first, I was barely aware of the judgments people were passing on me and my life. They infiltrated gradually.

It's okay for her, she doesn't work.

What does she do with her time, anyway?

They really must be rolling. We could never afford to make that decision.

My husband's learning is so important, I would sacrifice anything.

She must be really bored.



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