High-pressure job to housewife
Let's play a game of "What am I?"
I am a young mid-20s female Maori, living in Wellington. I am driven, intellectual and fierce.
Can you guess what I am or shall I give you a clue? I drive a European car and I am also a homeowner.
Are you still stuck? Here's another hint. Today I am considered to be one of the two following things: a yo-pro (young professional) or an entitled housewife.
So ... what am I?
Still perplexed? Same! Let me tell you why.
At the beginning of 2016, I was your quintessential yo-pro. Living in an apartment in the heart of Wellington, I was eagerly working my way through a corporate game of snakes and ladders.
My diet consisted of at least four $5.50 lattes per day, smashed avocado on toast, and Fidel's Cafe halloumi and chicken salad, ordered via the Deliver Easy app installed on my iPhone 6 and delivered right to my door. It was glorious!
Fast forward to August 2017, I am now unemployed (by choice), married, 30 weeks pregnant, and living in the 'burbs.
Now before you start hypothesizing, I want you to know that all of these things were 100 per cent by choice.
No, I did not find Jesus. No, my husband is not a 40-year-old millionaire, no I did not "accidentally" get pregnant, and no I do not regret a thing.
When I first met my husband I fell head over heels in love and landed directly in the plate of buffalo wings he had ordered on our first date.
Buffalo wings! On a first date! The confidence!
Our courtship was relatively short before we started to talk about marriage, babies and everything adult. We had both had our fair share of long-term relationships mixed with casual dating, so we both felt really certain about what we wanted in the future. We both knew that we wanted to be married within the year and decided we wanted to start our own family sooner rather than later.
It all seemed pretty straightforward. Move in together, start trying to conceive (because statistically it takes roughly a year without complications – we did our research), and in that time get married. Easy!
Nope, not easy. Our first month of trying and I'm pregnant. Two months later and I've resigned from my job. Neither of these things were in the plan, in the Excel spreadsheet, in our shared Google Drive.
Choosing to leave paid employment was one of the hardest choices I've had to make. I was working in a high-pressure environment, with a fantastic team, and a plethora of opportunities for career advancement. I absolutely loved it!
But between the morning sickness, lack of sleep and shift work, my body just couldn't cope. Our original plan of me working up until 30 weeks gestation before resigning had been dramatically reduced.
The adjustment from young professional to housewife was almost as hard. Explaining to my friends, family and colleagues both why I was resigning and why I was doing it so early came with mixed reviews.
We had already calculated that both of us individually earned too much to receive any government assistance, and that if I returned to work part-time after giving birth, whatever I earned would be paid straight to childcare and travel costs.
Anything left over after that was hardly worth the inconvenience. We had also decided that we didn't want a daycare raising our baby full-time, which meant one of us would be staying home. I earned less and was the person carrying our baby (and struggling), so I was the person who got to stay home.
The comments I've received have been both demoralising and empowering: "You're throwing your life away", "Harden up, people get pregnant all the time", "You're a housewife, you must be rich", "You're only 23, go for it, you have all the time in the world", and "I wish I had done it the way you guys are doing it".
So … what am I?
I am still a young mid-20s female Maori, living in Wellington. I am still driven, intellectual and fierce. I was a yo-pro, but I am now a married housewife about to give birth to our first baby.
But this isn't the end of my career. It's merely a detour.
- Stuff Nation