Former Washington Post writer Allison Klein wrote an introspective article last week about how she can now “admit” she is a stay-at-home mom, despite the “surprisingly awkward” conversations it causes in a city where “nothing about you is more important than your job.”
The article has found continued success on social media, and many are sharing their own experiences on the issue. Some are going further, saying they believe the article was actually “written for them.”
Klein explains how, before making the decision to quit her job, she was warned by friends and co-workers “not to do it.” She was concerned she was giving up part of her identity, and struggled with whether she was “selling out the feminists of [her] mother’s generation.”
But eventually, Klein knew something had to change.
She explains her life before becoming a stay-at-home mom:
You working moms know the drill: Fit 10 hours of work into eight hours, and secretly spend two of those hours doing something kid-related; come home harried and then try to find the reserves to play with the kids, make dinner, give the kids a bath and put them to bed, and secretly spend some of that time tying up lose ends at work. Then clean the kitchen and pass out from exhaustion as your husband walks in the door. Mumble to him that he is on his own for dinner. If you both have the energy, argue for a few minutes about the familial division of labor.
Repeat. Day after day.
After spending more time on the phone than with her daughter on her daughter’s third birthday, Klein said she knew the “delicate system” she had “cobbled together” wasn’t working.
Klein decided to quit her job, after speaking with her husband and concluding that they could live on just one salary, and she doesn’t regret it for a moment.
It was scary. What am I if I’m not a journalist?
I’m a full-time stay at home mom. I’m trying it out. I still write some as a freelancer. I had a period of deprogramming when I trained myself to take a breath instead of blow a gasket when the person in front of me in the grocery store needed a price check on a item.
After all, I had to transition from writing about murder and sex assaults to sitting on the floor and doing sand art with my kids.
Being with my kids makes me feel good about the world. I know it’s corny. Maybe that’s why I don’t like talking about it much.
One commenter wrote that the true definition of feminism is having control over your own life, whether you choose to work or stay at home with your children.
“It is hard to walk away from a career that you have sacrificed so much for,” the commenter added. “And then you may have colleagues whispering “career suicide” in your ear, making the decision to leave that much harder. In reality, as we all know but refuse to admit, it is not possible to have it all. Bravo to you for taking action and doing what you think is best for your family, and for your sanity.”
What do you think of the article, and of quitting work to stay home with your children?