Lokes and I have been discussing a lot these days about me going back to work on a part-time basis. Money has been tight but ironically, it would cost us more if I did go back to work full-time because childcare here in Washington is just so NUTS it’ll make you want to go into the business of babysitting yourself.

Plus it would totally defeat our initial intention of wanting to raise our children better by just being there, you know?

Thing is, my in-laws will be coming for six months in March (everytime I tell one of my mom friends this, they go, “Oh. My. God. You poor thing!” or today, it was one of those polite, knowing smiles interrupted by, “Wait, is that a good or bad thing?”.

Anyway, so if they’re here, I can take on one of those work-from-home contracts, writing technical case studies for what my esteemed husband calls “a shitload of money”.

“You can TOTALLY do it!” he tells me today in the car. “They pay these guys like a thousand dollars a week, AT LEAST!”

I am hesitant. A familiar, stale taste forms in my mouth.

I’d dabbled a little in writing about enterprise computing in my career as a technology journalist back home, but decided ultimately to focus on video games and video cards. I’d told people biz tech was boring. The truth was, it was just too damn difficult for me. The supposed impact of e-commerce when only six people in the country were online. The Oracle vs IBM vs SAP Middleware Showdown. Getting the most ROI on your CRM. It just took too much grey matter, grey matter I did not have, or did not wish to expend. What do I care about supply chain management systems or the long term effects of outsourcing? Leveling my dwarven priest to 60 so we can stay alive in Molten Core (I know, so last year. I’ve stopped playing, so sue me)? Now that mattered because it made me happy. The evolution of ERP? Not so much.

And now, just when I’m getting some of my creativity back, am I to go back to spinning propaganda about something I care nothing about?

“Think of the money!” says my beloved.

“This is selling out,” I reply.

“Selling out is when you have a choice.”

Hmm. When did he get so smart?

Thing is, I can’t help but feel that I would’ve somehow failed in my brief stint as a SAHM, in my wanting to go back to work. Yes, part of me wants to, so badly, to contribute monetarily to our household, to lessen my husband’s burden. This is the Asian ethic at work, ladies and gentlemen. Where I come from, not earning money when you’re educated and have both your hands and your brains intact, when you’re still young, when you’re still strong, is considered irresponsible. Motherhood is a waste, they tell us. What are you doing, bumming around at home, they ask? Tsk tsk.

A large part of me, though, is determined to be here for my kids. No matter how hard it is, no matter how angry and frustrated and tired they make me, how close I’ve come to giving up, how many times I’ve reached the end of my tether, I know I am doing what’s right.

That by just being here, even if we have to tighten our belts, even if we aren’t able to enjoy the same luxuries as we did back home in Malaysia when both of us brought home a paycheck and we went on holidays and shopping sprees every month, even if I had to deny Raeven a $20 toy yesterday when everyone else got one, and ended up having to talk to her for the first time in her life about money, to my four year-old daughter, that still, undeniably, this is all worth it.

That I am here. For my girls. Come what may.

I dunno. Maybe I will pick up one of those three-month gigs, see how it goes. Tell them I need to work from home, at my own pace. And if they think I’m worth it, then I will make it worth their while. If not, at least I have my priorities straight.