Woman, know your place.
So many women complain that they don’t have the time to do everything in a day that they need. Their houses are messes, their children are messes, their marriages are messes. There are not enough hours in the day, days in the week, or weeks in the year. There are appointments and activities.
But I also see how many of them work outside of the home, so many of them.
Ah, but you say, “I have to work outside the home. We need two incomes!”
Well, no, you don’t really!
But then you follow up with, “Yes, really! We do! How would we survive on just one income alone?”
It’s easy. My family (a larger than the average family far) has been doing it for years. The most important thing to remember is… simplify! Reduce, reuse, and recycle. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
My schedule is hectic, to say the least, and I don’t even have half the crap going on my life that others do. My kids play outside, not on teams. We dance to music in our living room, not on stage. I don’t begrudge the parents that want to give their child every outlet possible for creativity. But when you tell me you don’t have time for life, that you’re oh-so-busy, I don’t want to hear about your child’s social calendar.
I truly believe that we, as women, are focused too far out our front doors that our homes and houses crumble in the wake of our own need to climb the corporate ladder. Do you think, honestly, that your child will find himself thinking- I wish mom had made VP today? No, probably not (and if he does, man do you have a screwed up kid). More plausible will be the little boy who wished Mommy read him a good night story or played blocks with him.
I’m not perfect. I once had this awesome career. I made enough that yes, we were a one income family… my income… but I was miserable, my children were miserable, and you know what? My house was a mess. But at the time, I couldn’t see that. It was- rush, rush, rush… I rushed through the first years of life for my son and daughter, and missed the world.
I saw my daughter’s first steps on the compute screen between patients. I allowed myself only a second to go ‘awe’ before I headed into my next patient’s room. I pushed the images of my daughter on the screen aside for images of cancer (in this case breast cancer) on the ultrasound machine.
I was afraid. I realize that now. I was afraid to close my eyes and open my hands, to let go to the control and hand the reigns off to the person who should have rightly had them, my husband.
It’s not a religious thing. I don’t think that Moses and God had a pow-wow with Jesus, the followers, and the three wise men and said- “man shall toil the earth while woman should keep the hearth”. I’m not particularly faith-filled (kind of hard to believe in something you can’t see… like ghosts…).
To say that he’s a good provider is an understatement. He had shown me that early on in our marriage. I only got a job because I erroneously believed that we had to be a two-income house hold. I wanted things… oh so many pretty shiny things…
And so, for a time, we both worked. We paid an ass-load in childcare for our then three children (including the two conceived and the one born before our wedding). We were lucky to find cheap care considering how much it could have been.
When my daughter was born, we decided, enough was enough. I was supposed to take off 3 months from work to recoup after having her, but I barely made it 7 weeks. After all, I was busy. So I went back to the practice, and my husband hung up his cleats, and we tried to make it work with one income again, and we did.
It wasn’t easy. No. There was sacrifice, no doubt. We didn’t have the biggest, baddest TV or the best couch. We owned a house with a leaky roof and no HVAC. But we survived.
We stayed that way for a few years, until one day, I took a week off and spent it with my then youngest child who didn’t really understand who I was. A week of trying to figure out how we fit in each other’s lives.
I returned to work and put in my notice.
By then, we were determined to always have one of us home. Why work if you’re going to have to pay someone else to raise your children? Why have children at all?
It’s taken some adjustment, certainly, and I did try to re-enter the workforce last Spring for a time, the kids we had then were all school-aged creatures, just to have my house made of cards start to crumble. So I again found myself pulling back into home life. And it’s good.
I have a new wee one to care for. I’m still a little miffed that he could never run for president (he’s an American citizen, but was not born in America), but who’s to say he’d want that life?
I balance our complex lives out on a single schedule, and know I couldn’t be the mom I am now, if I had remained the person I was when I worked. I get reminiscent sometimes, thinking of all the things I could be doing and seeing now, but I also know that for every amazing moment I spend with my children, I wouldn’t trade it for all the shiny things in the world.
I know my place.