Let’s try this again…

Okay, I knew my working mom post was going to strike a nerve. I probably wasn’t in the best of moods to be writing such a post (which is why I didn’t go into too much depth on my personal views…) after spending a long day away from my son. What I meant to say, and really want to make clear is that parents who are working hard to feed and provide for  their families have my very deepest respect. Truly. What you do is amazing, and after the past couple of weeks as a working parent myself, I can also say that it is tough!  My sister is one of you, a single working mom with four kiddos, and she has to be one of the most dedicated moms I know.

That being said…

I guess what really gets under my skin is people who feel the need to justify their choice to work outside the home by saying things like “I would love to be able to stay home, but ya know, I have to feed my family!” And yet both parents drive brand new vehicles, they live in a house twice the size of mine, they go out to eat nearly every night, wear the latest fashions…. If you just want to work, then just tell me that you just want to work! Because otherwise what I really here is ” It might be nice to spend time with my kids, my stuff is just more important to me.” It’s about priorities, not money, which brings me to the other thing that irritates me…

People who assume, just because I am choosing to stay home with Munchkin that my husband and I must be rolling in money. You know, the ones who say things like, “it must be nice to be able to afford that…” Not that it is anyone’s business how much money we make, I’ll just say that while yes, we are both very fortunate to have jobs and keep them during these rough times, we are by no means rich by society’s standards. I am a half-time teacher (not much longer now!), and my husband makes close to what a full-time teacher in our area would make. Which is great. It’s enough. We have everything we need, more than we need for that matter, and for that we are grateful. But the fact that one of us will be able to stay home and raise our children is a result of much hard work and many carefully made financial decisions over the past 6 years, NOT because we are any richer than all the folks around us that choose to work. Pure and simple. I can afford to stay home because we made it a priority and we made it happen. We chose to buy a smaller house than the bank was pushing us to get, we chose to both drive paid-for used cars (one of which is more than 17 years old), we choose to budget our money carefully, cutting corners where we can and not purchasing things that we don’t need, we choose  to stick to our budget, we choose to save for the future and avoid buying things on credit so that we don’t have tons of bills to pay each month…  And as a matter of fact, we would do our best to make it work on even less money if we ever have to. There isn’t a possession I own or a convenience I enjoy that I wouldn’t give up if it meant the difference in one of us being able to stay home or not. It’s about priorities, not money.

And even as I say all that, I really, really LOVE my job. It breaks my heart to leave kids. But I know that I can always return to teaching, and I probably will some day when my children are all school-aged. But this time while Munchkin is young? I can never get that back. If I were to keep teaching despite my convictions, I know it would wear on me. I would start to despise the job I love, and I don’t want that to happen. I don’t what to do a job unless I can give it my all, and well, right now my all has to be my child.

Oh, and I have a few ideas up my sleeve for more family friendly work-from-home opportunities in the future… so I can still have my creative outlet 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Let’s try this again…

  1. Well said, I keep reminding myself–I can’t ever go back and regain these days–I truly need to treasure each moment. : ) Even the tough ones!

    Oh and yes, priorities, isn’t that what all of life comes down to?!

  2. Unfortunately I did have to work full time when Brooklynn was a newborn. I cried every single day. We had no debt aside from our house payment, and we didn’t have a fancy house. It was simply that David received no health benefits and all the insurance companies that provided maternity (because we knew we wanted another baby) wanted $500/month–which is a ridiculous amount to pay on one income! I worked very hard to find a position with less hours, then was eventually able to work from home (which doesn’t look like an option anymore). I honestly think some women can be working (out of the home)mothers and be wonderful mothers. Unfortunately I do not have the abilitly to do that! If you hear of any good work from home opportunitise let me know! 🙂

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