#stayhomemom

 

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Hi there, my name is Camila and I am a #stayhomemom… in Silicon Valley!

Quick pause for some judgement (…)

I bet you were ok with me being a stay home mom until I mentioned: Silicon Valley, right? But before I get to the whole Silicone Valley competitive culture, I”ll first give you a quick walk through on my cultural background.

I was born and raised in Brazil. I come from a medium-class family, in which my parents always worked full-time. I attended private schools and grew up with a maid who would prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus clean the house. Having a maid in Brazil is a norm once you are from middle-class, so don’t go thinking I’m a millionaire!! I decided to come to America to attend college at the age of 21, and the plan was to get my Bachelor’s degree in Communication and go back to Brazil to be ahead of the job market. Well let’s say the plans didn’t go as planned…

I never, ever, wished to be a stay home mom. I was raised to be an independent woman financially and emotionally. Culturally speaking, Brazilian modern women look down on women who stay home “taking care of children and husband”. Usually, stay home moms in Brazil, are women who are from older generation, who didn’t go to school, and are poor. You see, I wanted to be just like my mom!! Go to work, wear beautiful clothes, buy whatever she wanted with her money, come home to clean-showered child, and go out on weekends with the family. Pause so I can laugh for a bit…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Fast forward 20 years later, here I am, living in America, married to a foreigner, a mother of two, holder of Television Broadcast degree in one hand, and a mini van driver on the other hand… and truly HAPPY to be where I am!!

You see, it took me almost 4 years into motherhood to accept my new reality of life! It took me almost 4 years to deconstruct all the stigma, stereotype I had about being a stay home mom. It took me almost 4 years to throw away all the shame and low self-esteem I carried for choosing to stay home with the kids. It took, past-partum depression, body changing, marriage on the rocks, therapy, traveling, and lots of faith to finally accept my new role in life: full time mother! Once I accepted that, I expected less of people and loved myself way more!! And ladies and gentleman, self-love is the key to live a good life.

Now, the Silicone Valley thing… ugh…so annoying. A typical conversation goes: “Hi, nice to meet you, what do you do?” I haaaaate this question with all my powers!!! And it’s not because I’m stay home mom now, it’s simply because what you do , your job position, your work, your degree, your status, I care less!!! Now, can you smile? Can you say “Good morning?” Can you hold the door for one to pass? Over here is so competitive that you feel your child is falling behind if she can’t read by age 3! Some families here can afford putting their preschoolers in a $20K school. In some households both parents work at Google, or Apple, or are doctors at Stanford hospital, or entrepreneurs of a start up. Now I’m not judging people’s affordability or hard work, but what I am trying to say is that it doesn’t help being a stay home mom to two children age 3 and 4, juggling life and messy house when everyone out there seems to be doing better than you in every aspect!! There I said it!!!

But hey, I take a deep breath, hold on to my beliefs, hug my children tight and tell them everyday: Be good to people. Love God with all your heart, and tell me what you fell because the rest will come when it’s time!!

Anyway, I’ll stop here, otherwise I’ll write a book, instead of a blog post!! Talk to me, where are you in life that might have taken sometime for you to accept it?

Love,

Camila

 

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