Before I was the Evil Twin's Wife, I was just me - a little girl. I grew up mostly in the South (Alabama and Georgia, to be exact). My dad was an engineer with the federal government - the Divison of Highway Administration so when he was promoted, the rest of us moved along with him. After Georgia, we lived in Kansas City, Kansas for nearly three almost unbearable years.
When he was promoted to District Administrator (which meant he was as high as they go before heading to Washington, DC), he was given several different states from which to choose and he picked WV. His mother, my grandmother, was in a nursing home in Bluefield, VA and this station got him closer to her.
The rest of us were less than thrilled with being schlepped to West, by God, Virginia. I was unhappy because - get this - they didn't have a Saks Fifth Avenue here (they still don't!). But, I've been here for nearly 25 years and it's grown on me. I'm more a WalMart shopper than a Saks one these days anyway. I've come to love and embrace my inner cheapness. Especially when I'm spending my own money. LOL.
My dad was the eighth of 10 children, born into a poor family. My grandfather was a coal miner, as were a few of my uncles. My dad was only the 2nd or 3rd of his family to attend and graduate from college (Virginia Tech - where the man only got ONE B, the rest As, in his entire college career). Even though he was raised in a very different environment than the one my brother and I were lucky enough to have been born into, he was a fairly progressive thinker.
Along with being a civil engineer, he also attended law school for a few years, but never finished. He always said that was his one regret in life. He encouraged myself and my brother to reach high for ourselves - and he encouraged me even more.
He said, "Not-yet-Evil-Twin's-Wife, you don't have to be a teacher, nurse, secretary or airline stewardess. You can be a doctor, lawyer or a pilot. You don't have to settle for the jobs typically reserved for women." He didn't mean that any of these professions weren't worthy - he just wanted me to realize there was more out there if I desired it.
My mom was a stay at home mom. Originally, it was part of the agreement that went along with my adoption. Back then, the agencies requested at least one stay at home parent until the child reached the age of two. But, my mom was home for good. When I was three and a half, they adopted my brother. She never returned to the work force.
Another thing my parents' promised is that they would support me (and my brother) in whatever field we decided to study in college. Not going to college immediately following high school wasn't an option. So, if I had decided to become a doctor, my parents' would have given me that education until the day I graduated with that medical degree. They wanted us kids to graduate from school without debt over our heads (i.e. student loans). I did graduate, but with only a bachelor's degree, in Journalism. I liked to write, so that's what I picked.
I also picked it knowing that there wouldn't be added pressures on me when and if I became a mother. I wanted to also stay at home with my child/children and I knew, in my heart, that women who became doctors and lawyers didn't throw that education away to stay home with their families. There is too much time, and too much intense work, to just "take a break" from those professions. So, I picked a career path that could be put on the back burner for a bit. Maybe on the back burner forever.
I don't know, but I do know I love what I'm doing right now. I hope to pass on my dad's wisdom to Sissy (who was born after he died).
And I hate that I have to write this next part. It's a disclaimer. This was not written to make any one who is a working mom feel bad or less of a mom. It's only my own life path, choices and thoughts on the subject. (You seriously wouldn't believe how badly most stay at home moms get flamed for their decisions).