Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And here, I thought I was living the American Dream...

What would you say is the "American Dream"? I guess in a way, it's different for everyone. But the basic gist is to provide a good life for your family, right. Give them what you wished you had or did have, that you loved and appreciated.

When I look at that, I would say we fit the bill. But to my amazement, some people wouldn't say that at all. Some would say that I am a "financial burden" on my husband. That I have "given up my dreams" to stay home with my kids. Or that I am "holding him back" from pursuing his dreams. Forgetting the fact that Josh and I live a comfortable life and we ARE living out our dreams. We don't go on vacations every year and we do have a little credit card debt. But for the most part, if we want something, we buy it. We have a beautiful home, new car, healthy, happy children. What exactly is wrong with me not having an outside job?

I actually priced the things we would need for me to run off to work, a little while ago. For child-care of my children ages 4, 2 and 6 months it would be at least $700 a week. And the maid would be between $50-100. When I was working (up until 4 days before Maria was born), I was making about $400 a week. So that would mean at the end of the month we would be in debt $1600. I'm pretty sure THAT would be the financial burden on my husband. And all of this is just me hoping that I could even find a job. Not to mention, my kids would be raised by a stranger. And who exactly would be cooking dinner every night because after working a long day at the office, I certainly wouldn't feel like doing it. Oh and the laundry...8 LOADS A WEEK,(which would probably be 9 or 10 when you add in my dress clothes) would probably never get done.

I did do it at one time. I went to work when Josh got laid off 2 years ago and guess what, we ALL hated it. But if we needed money, I would get a job on nights and weekends. We would all hate it, but if it were an emergency, I would do it. Right now, though, I would never change what our family is doing. We are doing what works for us. I feel terrible that there are women who want to stay home with their kids and can't. I feel blessed that we all get to do what we want and no one is suffering because of one persons selfish desire to "get away from her kids" and go to work. Josh gets to do the job he loves, I get to do the job I love and the kids get to have their mommy here every day to raise them and teach them how to be well-behaved kids and good people. (Something, apparently not taught in daycares in our area). What exactly is wrong with that? Why do certain people think less of me for doing what we ALL want me to do?

And when exactly did life become all about money anyway? To me there are things that are FAR more important in life. Things like being there for my kids when they need me, being the one to hear their first words & laughs. Seeing their first steps and first time rolling over. Keeping a clean house and having dinner on the table when Josh gets home from a hard day at work. Being there when they get off the bus and have had a bad day at school. I want to be the one there waiting with milk and cookies and hugs to let them know I am here for them when things get tough, not a nanny. I don't ever want to be too busy with work to spend time with my kids. Because they are only this age once. You never get that time back and I don't want to have any regrets as a mother. When my kids are graduating, I would rather have an empty bank account and a full heart, knowing that I was there for every game, recital, concert, bad day, good day, EVERY DAY of their lives. I grew up knowing that my father always felt there was something more important in his life than me. I never want my kids (or husband) to feel that way. And if my kids want to go to college and have a career, I will support them in that. But if they want to be stay-at-home moms (or dad) I will support them in that too.

Right now, I am fed up with generalizations and accusations and judgements and everyone thinking they could run my life better than I am. So this is my defense. This is me explaining why I do what I do and why I have no desire for that to change. If it means we can't go to the Caribbean every year, that is fine with us. It will make us appreciate it even more, when we do get to go. I am doing the best that I can right now. I am trying my hardest and if that isn't good enough for you, I am sorry...for YOU.

*stepping off my soapbox*


Danifred said...

This post makes me sad... sad that after spending the past four years with my kids I have to go back to work full time for financial reasons and because you are being made to feel guilty for doing the hardest, yet most important job in the world!
Hang in there and don't let anyone make you feel bad about being a mother!

Kara said...

This brought tears to my eyes.. it's nice to know that I'm not the only one out there who, by the end of the day, feels like they are doing the right thing by staying home.. I was not as fortunate as I am now with my other 2 kids.. to stay home with them and experience everything with them.. and I have so many regrets with Carter..because I went back to work 2 weeks after he was born (due to financial reasons) and missed him crawling, walking, talking.. everything.. because I was at work.. and now he's gone.. I'll be damned if I miss those things anymore! Children need their mothers (or fathers) there with them. It gives them security and encouragememt. I am proud to be a stay at home mom, and so should you!! you have a beautiful family! god bless..

Mama Reg said...

you are doing a wonderful job. i dont know where these attacks are coming from, but you really do have the greatest job and greatest gift in your kids. you and your kids are the greatest treasures your husband will ever have, not burdens!! keep up the good work. i am happy and proud of you for your decisions and the life you have made for yourself :)

much love and hugs :)

Tricia said...

I read the post earlier, but I didn't get a chance to write you. I have said it before, and I will say it again... I envy anyone who has the ability to stay at home with their children. I hope that Joe and I get the opportunity to do so... and if not... I'll cherish every second I'm with them. Keep your head up! We all love you!

cdefinbaugh said...

Most woman work because it is survival, NOT BEING SELFISH or to get away from their kids. That statement was a generalization of working women. And you shouldn't have to explain or defend yourself to anyone for your choices you and Josh make.