For the first time since I became a mother 21 years ago, I am about to become a stay-at-home mom. Although I am leaving one community of working women, I am joining another. Some argue that the work at home is far more exhausting physically and mentally.

It seems like a feminist victory when women return to the workplace after a hiatus at home. Other women offer support and the “you go girl” mantra echoes through our networks. But what about when it’s the other way around?


What if a skilled multitasking career gal opts out of the away-from-home work force? Does one still attract the camaraderie of the feminist sisterhood, or does choosing a life path centered more in the domestic sphere elicit aloofness?


For the first time since I became a mother 21 years ago, I am about to become a stay-at-home mom. I’ll be writing strictly from home and I will no longer be interacting with colleagues face to face.


The relationship with many of my co-workers extended beyond the professional while true and deep friendships were forged throughout the better part of a decade. There will be the loss of supplemental income and the poignant loss of adult interaction. Just getting out of the house and having grown-up conversations has been one of my favorite parts of working outside the home.


However, there will be no lounging about eating Bon Bons. Neither will there be any increase in the cooking nor cleaning.


In fact, I look forward to using the time to amplify my feminist activism. I look forward to expanding my academic portfolio and donating my time and energy to volunteer causes. I also expect to get to know fellow stay-at-home moms sharing similar family-focused schedules. Bring on the playdates.


Although I am leaving one community of working women, I am joining another. Some argue that the work at home is far more exhausting physically and mentally. Maybe I will need those Bon Bons after all … for energy, of course.


Dianne McDonald lives in Marshfield, Mass., with her husband and five kids.