08/11/2014 05:48 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2014

What Made You Decide to Stay at Home?

Janie Porter

"So, what made you decide to stay home?"

I don't like this question.

But for some reason, whenever someone asks it, I feel the need for further explanation.

Like it's not enough to say I paused my TV career and chose to stop working the minute I had my first son.

For some reason, I feel the need to make my decision more understandable to the person asking the question.


And -- dare I say it? -- politically correct.

"Well, I really wanted to work part-time, but my TV station wasn't able to make that happen."

"TV news isn't good for family life, especially considering that my husband travels frequently and we don't live near family."

"I'd probably just be working to pay for daycare, anyway."

They're all true. They're all part of the reason I decided to stop working.

But none of them are the main reason.

Which is simply this.

I wanted to raise my children myself. (And I'm extremely grateful that I was afforded that option.)

That's the truth.

Have I told anyone that yet?


But maybe one day.

One day, when l decide that my real answer isn't old-fashioned. That it doesn't make me a 1950s housewife, or anything less than totally and fabulously modern.

One day, when I choose not to be afraid of silent judgment from the person asking the question. Of their made-up words, which I narrate in my own mind: "What a waste of her career and college education. I'm sure hundreds of people would have killed for her job. Plus, you'd think she'd be a little better at parenting, especially since she has no job outside the home."

The thing is, I know that my job is the most important thing I could be doing. But I don't always believe it.

I know it's more important than covering police chases, building collapses or even the opening of the area's first Nordstrom Rack (though that last one was pretty darn awesome).

I know that the most important thing I could be doing with my life, with the 24 hours I get each day, is raising my children.

Shaping their lives. Making mistakes. Growing my patience.

And loving my kids so much it hurts.

So that's the real answer.

Because the most important job I will ever have on this earth is exactly what I'm doing right now.

And that needs no further explanation.

Formerly an Emmy-nominated TV news reporter, Janie Porter is the creator of and (often-unshowered) stay-at-home mama to two boys under 3 years old. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter for more posts about less-than-perfect parenting, juice and smoothie recipes and tips on finding your inner glow.