Writer and mum Rasha Rushdy often shares interesting anecdotes and poems about life as a stay-at-home to two little girls over on her blog The Tuna Chronicles.
Recently she received an email which made her consider what life might be like in a “parallel universe” if she wasn’t a mum.
“It was one of those salary guides that recruitment companies often publish, with rough ranges of likely salaries in your line of work,” she explained.
“Out of curiosity, I scrolled through it. My eyes widened incredulously at the numbers in front of me - what I could have been making if I hadn’t become a stay-at-home mom.
“My mind started racing down that path a little further: the title I could have held by now; the places I could have travelled to with my job and the experience I could have gained”, Rasha wrote.
As she considered this, other “I wouldn’t haves” entered her head.
She realised how much life had changed since giving up her career to look after her children.
“I wouldn’t have half-moons quite this puffy under my eyes.
“I wouldn’t have those scars or those irreversible, yet hard-to-exactly-identify changes in my body.
“I wouldn’t have that gap in my resume, on which, although it is the greatest and most important work I have done, society has yet to place the right value”, she said.
Rasha admitted the thought of re-entering the workforce after several years out filled her with “worries and anxieties”.
Despite all of this, Rasha knows she is lucky to have her daughters and is happy with how life has turned out.
“But then, I wouldn’t have them. Them. The ones I'm responsible for raising, nurturing, and loving. The ones who test my patience in a way I could never have imagined.
"The ones who have turned a mirror inwards and forced me to grow, just when I thought I was already a grown-up and had it all together”, she reflected.
Being a mum gave Rasha a chance to experience limitless love and joy and also taught her how to persevere in incredibly tough situations.
Although she has had to put her career on the back burner, she knows that becoming a mother has enriched her life in so many other wonderful ways.
“I will take those trips down memory lane, and those trips to the land of Could and Would Haves, but my children have not limited me”, she said.
“Giving up my former career, for now, for them, has not limited me. It's changed things, sure, and it'll influence the curves and bumps in my path going forward”.