Lexie, Dumfries VA (3/4)
"I’m a math teacher but I didn’t go back after I had her. I taught for four years in Washington state and I built up like 30 days of vacation time. When we moved in Virginia, I found out I could not transfer any of it and had to start from scratch. I was allowed my full six medical weeks, but only eight paid-days for my maternity leave... At the end of my sixth week I told my husband, ‘I'm supposed to go back to work tomorrow. That's what normal women do.’ Normal women have to leave their six-week-old baby and go back to work. They just have to. But I thought ‘Why should I go back? Why should I go take care of other people's kids when mine is teeny tiny? I can't imagine. I just can’t.’ So I didn’t. My husband is in the military and we're just really frugal and really, really careful. We don't buy things that we don't need. I do a childcare thing in the mornings for other families. I also tutor from my house. This year has been a very successful year - and I have two or three kids a day. I still feel like I'm contributing to our family other than cleaning clothes and taking care of children. It’s good and the best is yet to come. I just feel like every stage is better. I can't imagine sending her to daycare every day. It just wouldn't be good for us. My husband is the best. I don't know how women do it alone. He's so supportive, so involved, so present. I think becoming parents brought us closer. I don't know if he'll agree when he reads this, but I think it made us different in the sense that we have this common goal now, whereas before, he had his life and I had my life, and we were kind of paralleled. We had a lot of common interests and we enjoyed being together, as a couple, but she has connected us in a way that we could never be unconnected."