My birth was meticulously planned. My mother, a teacher, and my father, a businessman, strategized their baby-making agenda around my mother’s schedule. I would be born at the end of May, giving her the summer for her maternity leave, during which she wouldn’t lose any wages or use any of her sick or personal days, before returning to work. I arrived promptly in the latter part of May and then screwed everything else up.
My mother, a fiercely strong and independent woman, made what was, for her, a surprising choice to become a stay-at-home mom to raise me (and the younger sister who showed up later). In another previously unpredicted turn, our family moved overseas, making it even harder for my mother to return to the workforce later. For nearly 21 years, my mother sacrificed her career and her earning potential to raise two daughters.
Now, in my mid-20s, I’ve watched my peers struggle with the question of whether or not to have children. Those who decide to pursue the path to dirty diapers, sleepless nights and unconditional love seem to fall into two groups: those who blindly hope they’ll be able to make ends meet; and those who begin crafting idyllic budgets around their fictional child.
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